Let’s start with this statement: I am not going to justify women having their own spaces. Thousands of women, some I know, most I don’t, fought the fight for women’s spaces before I was born so that I, and other women in the UK today, don’t have to. Thanks to them, women’s rights, protections, spaces, and services exist to facilitate women’s participation in social life by upholding and protecting our safety, privacy and dignity. Programs and offices reserved for women seek to redress systemic discrimination against women that puts us at a disadvantage compared to our male peers.
I joined ManFriday after watching Amy’s Mumsnet thread in real time, being really impressed by her imagination and bravery. I loved the concept of highlighting the nonsense of self-ID by shining a light on how easy it was to abuse. My initial activism was a little lame – I joined the Facebook group and donated to the crowdfunder for the badges and I watched. I considered joining Amy for her first swim but the weather and an innate laziness kept me at home that day.
You probably think I’m a little bit absurd, self-identifying as a man to make a point, going into men’s single sex spaces to make them feel uncomfortable, let me tell you the story of how I became a radical feminist activist.
The first time I was sexually assaulted I was 12.