TOPSHOP’S decision to make changing rooms gender neutral has sparked heated debate.
The switch, publicised after “trans feminine” Travis Alabanza accused the store of barring the performance artist from trying on women’s items, was welcomed by some though others plan a boycott.
Getty Images – Getty 9 Topshop and Topman has decided to make their changing rooms gender neutral
Here Miranda Yardley, 49, who transitioned ten years ago, explains why she thinks the move is part of a worrying bid to appease a minority.
I find it astonishing that Topshop and Topman have made this decision.
Here we have a major High Street store changing its policy to accommodate a minority of people, arguably at the expense of their target market.
I can quite understand the outcry, especially from parents uncomfortable at the idea of their young daughters undressing in a cubicle separated from a man by just a flimsy curtain.
9 ‘Trans feminine’ Travis Alabanza said Topshop prevented them from trying on women’s clothing
Women of all ages must be able to feel safe in areas like changing rooms. This policy doesn’t feel safe to me.
Topshop has become another victim of the trans lobby, jumping into action to appease the demands of a minority.
(It’s interesting to note that women have been asking Topshop to bring in larger clothing sizes — they only go up to size 18 — and the store hasn’t done anything about those demands.)
It might surprise you to hear me talking like this. After all, I am transsexual.
Alamy 9 Topshop has appeased to the demands of a minority group
But that doesn’t stop me being concerned about the way society is changing in the name of so-called trans rights.
I want proper debate, not knee-jerk reactions to satisfy some idea of political correctness.
The issue is set to take centre stage this autumn as the Government publishes its consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
At the moment, a person can legally change their gender if they satisfy three requirements:
- They have lived in their chosen gender for two years.
- They have obtained a medical diagnosis showing they have gender dysphoria — a condition where a person experiences distress because their gender identity does not match their biological sex.
- If a panel of experts agrees.
Rex Features 9 Equalities minister Justine Greening wants to change the Gender Recognition Act 2004 so that any person can change their gender by declaring it
To me, this makes absolute sense.
It means that the transitioning person is 100 per cent sure of the life-changing decision and also their desire has been verified objectively.
However, the equalities minister, Justine Greening, has proposed changes to the Act which could make it possible for a person to change their gender simply by declaring themselves as such. So if you were born Simon and want to become Sue, all you need to do is declare it and sign a piece of paper.
A large section of the transgender community is campaigning for this, but I am absolutely against it.
Alamy 9 Changing gender should not be taken lightly
Changing gender should not be taken so lightly. If all you have to do to change gender is say so, it takes away whatever authenticity trans people can claim.
It will base your reassignment on mere thoughts and feelings rather than an accepted screening process.
It’s tough enough to go through what we do in society without our sincerity being questioned.
Making it easier to legally change gender will inevitably result in a greater number of people doing so — and the flip side will be a larger number of people de-transitioning after deciding they don’t want to be that gender after all. How is that going to help anyone?
Alamy 9 I do not believe in bringing in a law that will negatively affect the privacy and safety of girls and women
There is also a campaign to lower the legal age of transition to 16, and that is very dangerous. I believe children have become the collateral damage of transgender rights.
The number of children wanting to transition is at an all-time high.
I am very wary of some adults who are aggressively pushing children to transition. Among them are grown up trans women who have — in many cases — had families and built careers before they transitioned and have nothing in common with the children going through this.
They’re doing it for validation for themselves and to broaden access rights for trans people at the expense of not just women but those children they support transitioning.
Getty – Contributor 9 The number of children wanting to transition is at an all-time high and that is very dangerous
What they’re arguing is that being transgender is a medical condition and that we should be treating it medically.
Yet there is no “medical” test to back this up. Indeed, no one is agreed on what makes people transgender.
I am not popular for my views. Unlike many people in the gender non-conformity community, I don’t believe a trans woman is a “woman”.
I wouldn’t dream of calling myself such because I haven’t had the same experiences as a woman.
AFP – Getty 9 Topshop has not done anything about the demands to carry sizes bigger than 18
During the black civil rights movement, black people didn’t demand to be called white. And no lesbian or gay man I’ve met has demanded to be called heterosexual. So why are we jumping to give trans people equality at the expense of equity?
My views go against those of trans activists who won’t debate whether trans women are or aren’t considered “women”. If you can’t have a debate about such a basic idea, how can you move forward?
The trans community makes out it is very welcoming and accepting, but if you don’t conform with their views then they can make life very difficult.
I have been dubbed a TERF, a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, a derogatory term aimed at dehumanising people.
9 Some people planned to boycott the store after Travis Alabanza said they were denied access to trying on women’s clothing
This dehumanisation results in the most horrific verbal abuse and even physical violence against people who have a different opinion to the transgender dogma.
I believe in transgender rights, but I don’t believe we should be so quick to appease the minority.
And I certainly do not believe we should bring in a law that negatively affects the privacy and safety of girls and women.
We are over the first Brexit hurdle… now we want free trade with the EU
BRITAIN has cleared the first major hurdle towards striking a Brexit deal – despite all the pessimists warning of impending doom. It’s not a perfect outcome and won’t please everyone 100 per cent.…
BRITAIN has cleared the first major hurdle towards striking a Brexit deal – despite all the pessimists warning of impending doom.
It’s not a perfect outcome and won’t please everyone 100 per cent.
4 Britain may have cleared the first hurdle but there is still plenty of work ahead
But now we have made progress on the Irish border, the size of the divorce bill and EU citizens’ rights, we can start discussing the more important issues of trade and future relations.
Before we do though, we really must learn to stop going into meltdown every time these talks run into the buffers.
It is certain to happen again as we move into the more difficult stages but as we learned this week, when things go wrong, you go home, sleep on it and move forward.
As we go into these negotiations one idea must remain at the forefront of our minds — whatever deal we get with the EU will not be as important as the decisions we make once we have left.
Contrary to some of the shouty nonsense we heard from both sides of the referendum campaign, leaving the EU will guarantee neither failure nor success.
When a young adult sets off from his parents’ home, the act of leaving is only the first step.
It is a daunting time, with many risks and much uncertainty, but it is what that person does with their new-found freedom that really counts.
The same will be true of Britain’s future outside the EU.
Reuters 4 Theresa May and Jean-Claude Junker shake hands at EC headquarters
Over the coming weeks we will learn how much Europe’s elite want to maintain their current trading relationship with us.
Three issues will dominate discussions:
FIRST, what degree of freedom will we have in the way we regulate our economy?
SECOND, to what extent will we be able to determine our own tariff regime and strike trade deals with other nations?
And THIRD, what control will we have over our borders?
We will have to make compromises in all three areas.
But before that, we need a clear understanding of what we want to achieve.
No such vision has yet emerged from the UK Government.
AFP – Getty 4 Whatever deal we get with the EU will not be as important as the decisions we make once we have left
The process of national debate is beneficial and important. But there comes a moment when leadership is needed.
The Government must now set out its aspirations for our future outside the EU.
Regulation and red tape is likely to be the first battleground.
Some people argue we should aim to be like Norway. It almost completely aligns its regulations with the EU to get the best possible access to its markets.
But Norway must take rules from Brussels without a say in how they are shaped.
As a result, it is burdened with 93 of the 100 costliest EU regulations.
Such arrangements impose costs on an economy and restrict its freedom to strike trade deals outside the EU.
For me, it comes down to who will make the laws that govern our country. I am sure we will choose to implement many of Europe’s regulations going forward, but that choice must be ours.
All new regulation involves choices between competing interests. Our interests in remaining aligned to the EU will be one important consideration, but only one.
There are other competing interests — importers, exporters, producers, consumers, the environment and the economy — and deciding between them will be hard.
But the choice must be made here, taking account of Britain’s unique circumstances.
Rules in the EU are designed on a one-size-fits-all basis.
They are a compromise between 28 countries, not tailored for each country’s specific situation.
Rules to protect newts might make sense in parts of Europe where they are endangered, but not in the UK, where builders find them in abundance.
As a result of this and other inappropriate regulation, the EU’s Habitats Directive makes it harder and more expensive to build the houses we desperately need.
To accept the idea of independent regulation we need to eliminate one pervasive and muddled myth.
PA:Press Association 4 Simon Wolfson is a Conservative life peer and chairman of pro-Brexit think tank Open Europe
Many believe that unless we are bound by European regulation, Britain will be unable to trade with Europe.
I work for a company that imports products from inside and outside the EU and sells them into 70 different countries across the globe.
So I know an exporter does not need to impose the EU’s rules in its own markets to export to the EU.
Individual companies can still make their products comply with overseas regulations.
How else does China, India and the US manage to do so much business with Europe?
Failure to agree equivalent regulation may increase the administration of crossing borders but will not prevent UK companies trading with Europe.
The Government has already sensibly said it will not rip up the EU rule book as we leave.
And of course we will keep many rules that help secure a deal and a soft border with Ireland.
But we should not bind ourselves, for the rest of time, to abide by unknown future rules over which we have no control.
For this reason, a Norway-style arrangement will not work for the UK, nor is it the only available model.
In my mind the vision is clear — we should aim to trade fairly and freely with Europe and, if possible, we want them to have the same privileged access to our markets that they currently enjoy and we would like the same in return.
PM striking Brexit ‘deal’ is welcome but there are still causes for concern
The news on Friday that Theresa May had struck a “deal” with the EU Commission was welcome. Certainly, its language was an improvement on the draft which we saw on Monday and the Government has cle…
The news on Friday that Theresa May had struck a “deal” with the EU Commission was welcome.
Certainly, its language was an improvement on the draft which we saw on Monday and the Government has clearly managed to move the Commission some way.
News Group Newspapers Ltd 3 Owen Paterson is the former Environment Secretary
The agreement allows the talks to move forward. It does not set in stone any terms of the final Brexit arrangement.
There are, however, obvious causes for concern.
The continued oversight of the European Court of Justice in the UK is not good.
It is standard practice across the world for the courts of countries in an international treaty to pay attention to the judgments of their partners, and to try, if possible, to apply a consistent interpretation.
That poses no problem, but the idea that EU citizens in the UK should be “protected” by the ECJ would be a bizarre situation, creating a privileged class of 3 million people whose rights in this country would be enforced by a court beyond the influence of our Government and Parliament.
The question of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland has dominated the headlines in recent days, so it was particularly good to see confirmed what many of us have been arguing for some time: there is no need for a “hard” border and avoiding one is entirely possible with new technology and goodwill which should exist on both sides.
Paragraph 45 of the agreement clearly states that the UK is leaving both the Single Market and the Customs Union. Too many Establishment figures – from senior civil servants to the EU-funded CBI – still cannot accept this.
To understand the scale of the problem, look at the CBI’s President Paul Dreschler, who absurdly called Brexit “the most serious issue any country in the world has ever had to face”.
More serious, he claims, than the Reformation, the English Civil War, the Great Plague, Stalin’s purges, the Cuban Missile Crisis…
AFP – Getty 3 In 1999, 61 per cent of UK goods exports were with the EU, now they are 43 per cent
At best, they see our leaving as a problem to be solved rather than an opportunity to be grasped, and at worst something they reject outright.
They narrow-mindedly focus on our trade with Europe, but ignore the massive gains that can be made from expanding our trade in a changing economic world.
In 1999, 61 per cent of UK goods exports were with the EU, now they are 43 per cent. By 2025, it has been projected that they will account for under 35 per cent.
The European Commission itself says that 90 per cent of global economic growth in the next 10-15 years is expected to be generated outside Europe, a third of it in China alone.
Those who would now cling gloomily to the status quo would deny us the key benefits of expanding free trade – lowering the price of food, clothing and footwear for all consumers – preferring instead to stifle new competition and enterprise.
Paragraph 45’s clarity is welcome, but Paragraph 49 states that the UK will maintain “full alignment” with their rules to support North-South co-operation on the island of Ireland in the absence of agreed solutions.
We cannot allow “alignment” to be interpreted as shackling our whole domestic economy with the rules of the Single Market (exports to which account for only 12 per cent of our GDP) and having us effectively inside the Customs Union.
Such an outcome would leave us without control either of our borders or our trade. It could not possibly be consistent with the outcome of the referendum.
Getty – Contributor 3 Tee CBI narrow-mindedly focus on our trade with Europe, but ignore the massive gains that can be made from expanding our trade
The Government must now make the exciting case that only after we leave both the Single Market and Customs Union can we take full advantage of Brexit; Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and others will be watching the negotiations closely, knowing that they will only be able to do deals with a fully independent United Kingdom.
The UK’s position is strong, and the speed with which the Commission moved this week showed their willingness to make concessions.
Our net contribution to the EU budget has been over £180 billion – the second biggest in the bloc. Ending those contributions is clearly a major cause of European concern.
As we move ahead, we work on the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.
So, if the EU wants our cash, it must talk seriously about a comprehensive reciprocal free-trade deal with zero tariffs.
Bake Off Paul’s post-affair actions were so Hollywood — and not just his name
WHEN a married, middle-aged man is caught out having an affair there are usually two options that present themselves. Option A: He gets kicked out pronto. Or Option B: Things have to change. Option…
WHEN a married, middle-aged man is caught out having an affair there are usually two options that present themselves.
Option A: He gets kicked out pronto. Or Option B: Things have to change.
Getty Images – Getty Paul Hollywood’s actions after his affair were not those of a man trying to put his wife’s mind at rest
Option A usually involves a rented bedsit in a dodgy area, the imminent arrival of a buggy in the communal corridor when his thirtysomething lover suddenly decides she wants a baby and, of course, the bi-weekly visitations from a couple of sullen teenagers who, understandably, feel that dad’s been a bit of a chump.
Option B requires utter compliance on a lengthy tick list headed: How I’m Going To Make Amends for Being Such An Arse. Or words to that effect.
When Bake Off star Paul Hollywood first admitted to having an affair with his US co-presenter Marcela Valladolid in 2013, he and wife Alexandra split up.
However, after he admitted the affair was “the biggest mistake of my life” (tick), the couple, who have a 16-year-old son, decided to give their marriage another go. Now, four years later, they have released a joint statement to say they have split for good.
Getty – Contributor Paul Hollywood and wife Alexandra have split for good
So what went wrong?
Until one of them provides more detail, it remains guesswork. But recent events suggest that maybe Paul didn’t quite grasp the post-affair rules that need to be followed if a wronged spouse’s trust is to be rebuilt.
Aside from the vital remorse, they include patience, transparency, no furtive glances at your mobile phone, no shutting your laptop lid as soon as your spouse walks in to the room, no unexplained late nights out (particularly if alcohol is involved), no talking about personal issues with anyone other than your spouse and, most of all, absolutely no flirtatious behaviour with a member of the opposite sex, however harmless.
A couple of weeks ago, Paul was photographed giving a goodbye kiss to former Bake Off winner Candice Brown following a charity event.
PA:Press Association Paul judged this year’s Great British Bake Off competition
Others were present and say it was totally innocent. Fair enough. But that’s not the point.
As I wrote at the time, “Given that Mr Hollywood is now back on track with wife Alexandra after his much-publicised affair . . . he should perhaps desist in future from clasping the back of a woman’s head when leaning in for a supposedly chaste goodbye.
“It’s very Hollywood. And I’m not talking about his surname.”
In other words, a man trying to keep his post-affair marriage on track would either stay away from the event, invite his wife too or, if she didn’t want to go, turn up, shake a few hands and be in a cab home as soon as the last award had been presented.
Rex Features The pair have a son together
Instead, he pitched up at the after-party and sat outside (in full view of the paparazzi) drinking champagne with Candice and others until the early hours.
Which, however you look at it, is hardly the behaviour of a man trying to put his wife’s mind at rest.
FORMER One Direction star Harry Styles performed at the famous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, this week.
The show, which will air on US TV later this month, involves prescriptively “perfect” models showing off the latest range of boudoir-esque undies for peachy-thighed young women to choose from.
And of course, young Harry could select his next girlfriend too.
Welcome to the past
HOLLYWOOD practices have been put under the spotlight following the revelations about producer Harvey Weinstein preying on young actresses.
But sexual assaults aren’t the only issue. How women are presented on screen is part of the problem too.
Does Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle misrepresent women?
An analysis by the University of Washington of 800 screenplays has revealed that gender stereotypes are the same as 60 years ago, with men portrayed as “powerful” and women as “timid”.
The study shows that male actors also spend more time on screen than their female counterparts and speak more.
And that’s not the half of it.
Check out the photo from the set of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson and former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan.
Getty – Contributor Alex Rodrigues and Jennifer Lopez
While he’s in practical combat trousers and a khaki shirt, she’s wearing a skimpy pair of shorts and a belly top.
As you do.
Meanwhile, the current issue of US Vanity Fair includes a photograph of singer Jennifer Lopez with her baseball player boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.
Mr Rodriguez is fully clothed, while his hand is lifting up Ms Lopez’s dress to reveal her admittedly impressive derriere.
Getty – Contributor In the wake of the Hollywood sleaze scandal, why did J-Lo feel the need to flash her bottom?
Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree as her fans feverishly debated the, er, issue of whether her suspiciously elevated bottom crease meant that the image had been retouched.
But surely, of far greater concern is why, against the current backdrop of women collectively voicing their frustration at being treated like sex objects, one of Hollywood’s most powerful women has chosen to depict herself in this way?
– NEWS that Donna Air, the on-off girlfriend of the Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton, is taking part in Dancing On Ice has led certain sources to suggest they have finally split for good, as she would “never risk embarrassing the royals by joining a reality contest”.
Oh, I don’t know.
©ITV Plc Donna Air revealed she is taking part in the new series of Dancing On Ice
As James’s Uncle Gary has just pleaded guilty in court to punching his wife in the face during a boozy argument, I think Donna’s skating on thin ice pales in to insignificance.
– OPERA singer Katherine Jenkins has apologised to hotel guests after making “elephant noises” while warming up her voice for her tour. One imagines they were thankful for the clarification.
INSURER The Co-op has advised that we should all avoid placing presents under our Christmas trees in a bid to deter burglars.
Alternatively, the police could try catching a few habitual thieves earlier in the year and then we could all just enjoy our festive season without having to alter our traditional, law-abiding behaviour.
– THE Cinderella-style Debenhams Christmas ad ends with Ewan McGregor saying to camera: “As for happy ever after, well, who knows?”
Ewan McGregor stars in Debenhams Christmas advert
As he’s just dumped her for a younger woman, Mrs McGregor might have an answer to that.
– STRICTLY Come Dancing pro Brendan Cole is reportedly still fuming with new judge Shirley Ballas after their on screen run-in and is rumoured to be ignoring her backstage.
PA:Press Association Brendan Cole is reportedly still fuming with new Strictly judge Shirley Ballas
No doubt she will see that as a result.
– MEMO to air stewardess Lucy Sargeant, who is suing BA for £750,000 after being “traumatised” by an engine setting on fire during a flight: Isn’t that one of the more extreme eventualities you were trained to deal with?
[boxout featured-image=”4968425″]THIS shot of former England and Chelsea striker Dennis Wise jumping out of a helicopter in the opener to the excellent I’m A Celebrity . . . reminds me of the ripple effect when I put my “of a certain age” hands in one of those turbo-charged dryers.
It’s reminiscent of the wind-whipped sand-dunes in Lawrence of Arabia.
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa slammed for attacking WWE by stunning wrestler Eva Marie
PORN star Mia Khalifa has been taken down a peg by WWE women’s division hero Eva Marie after the porn...
Marko Arnautovic in row with former boss Mark Hughes after winding up Stoke fans during 3-0 West Ham win
DAVID MOYES was annoyed with Marko Arnautovic – but not half as much as Mark Hughes must have been. Former Stoke...
Antoine Griezmann edges closer to stunning Barcelona transfer as Catalan club’s president meets with his family in bitter blow to Manchester United’s hopes of landing striker
ANTOINE GRIEZMANN has moved a step closer to sealing a stunning transfer to Barcelona after the Catalan club’s president reportedly...
Billy Joe Saunders calls out Gennady Golovkin after stunning win over David Lemieux in Canada on Saturday
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS called out Gennady Golovkin after his stunning win over David Lemieux in Canada on Saturday night. The...
Tyson Fury brands heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua a ‘carthorse’ who can’t box
TYSON FURY has branded Anthony Joshua a “carthorse” and claims the heavyweight champion can’t box. The Gypsy King, 29, is hoping...
West Ham news: Slaven Bilic hits back at Hammers owner David Sullivan over claims he made all the flop signings
SLAVEN BILIC has hit back at West Ham chairman David Sullivan’s claims that the Croatian was responsible for poor signings....
Chris Froome: Former cycling chief Brian Cookson admits he knew about failed test when he backed Team Sky
EX-WORLD cycling chief Brian Cookson admitted he DID know Chris Froome had failed a drugs test when he called for...
West Brom vs Man Utd LIVE SCORE: Latest updates from Premier League clash
MANCHESTER UNITED visit West Brom as they aim to keep their faint title hopes alive. The Red Devils are in...
Sparta Rotterdam 0 Feyenoord 7 LIVE SCORE: Dutch champions making statement with thrashing away to local rivals
Feyenoord travel to the Generali Arena unbeaten in five games and a win could see them move up to fifth in...
Verona vs AC Milan: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time and team news for the Serie A clash
AC MILAN are preparing to face Hellas Verona for the second time in a week. The Rossoneri will be brimming...
Fashion5 months ago
These ’90s fashion trends are making a comeback in 2017
News1 week ago
Mum fuming after Amazon delivers her kids’ Kinder advent calendar – ‘with half the chocolates eaten’
Tv1 month ago
Producers of BBC’s Blue Planet II tell of how they feared for their lives when attacked by SEVEN 20ft sharks during filming
News6 days ago
Terrifying moment bikini babe is bitten by a SHARK on her honeymoon
News3 years ago
The social network that you can wear
News3 years ago
Three reasons to cheer europe's economy
News4 weeks ago
Serial ‘dine and dash’ couple racked up £90 bills at Beefeater restaurants and fled without paying
Tv2 weeks ago
What is Pamela Anderson doing now, who is she dating and what has she said about Harvey Weinstein’s victims?