'Woke' uni slammed for telling females not to challenge trans people using 'wrong' toilets

22 April 2022, 15:52

The University of Plymouth has been criticised for the posters.
The University of Plymouth has been criticised for the posters. Picture: Twitter/Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The University of Plymouth has been accused of "repellent gaslighting" for telling female students not to challenge anyone they think is using the "wrong" toilets.

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Posters in both male and female toilets around the university buildings which say that trans, non-binary and gender-questioning students "have every right to be here", have caused fierce debate.

The pink, blue and white striped posters, in the colours of the transgender flag, ask students not to "challenge" someone who they believe to be "using the 'wrong' bathroom".

Critics have branded the posters "evil" while others have called on students to demand third unisex spaces.

However, the university has insisted the signs are there to make everyone in the community "feel safe, respected and empowered".

Read more: Trans women can be banned from single-sex changing rooms and toilets, watchdog finds

The poster reads: "You are welcome here.

"Do you think someone is using the 'wrong' bathroom?

"Please don't challenge them, stare at them, insult them.

"Instead please respect their privacy, respect their identity, carry on with your day.

"They are using the toilets they feel safe in.

"Do not make them feel uncomfortable, instead protect them from harm.

"Trans, non-binary and gender-questioning students: you have every right to be here."

The posters have been branded "woke" and "wrong", with one Twitter user claiming it "deliberately gaslights young women out of their boundaries and legal rights".

A picture of the poster was shared on Twitter with the caption: "Hey Twitter peeps thought I'd let you know that @PlymUni don't seem to care for their female students as shown by this sign that's meant to gaslight women into silence."

Responding to the tweet, Plymouth University said its campus has been designed so "staff, students and visitors feel comfortable and secure in their surroundings which includes single-sex and gender neutral facilities".

The spokesman added: "It is important to ensure that our whole University community can feel safe, respected and empowered."

Read more: British cycling bans transgender competitors as policy is 'unfair on women riders'

Twitter user mrneutral777 wrote: "Digging a big hole for yourself here Plymouth uni. And further eroding the hard fought rights of women. This is NOT the way to create equality but putting women in potential danger. Also calling someone a transphobe for objecting to this does not make people feel safe."

Others defended the move, with many praising the university for being inclusive.

"Thankyou @PlymUni Everyone should have access to suitable facilities," @irishwol wrote.

There has been fierce debate in recent weeks over the issue of trans women in female spaces and competing in female sports.

Earlier this month British cycling authorities banned transgender riders from racing as it launched a review of current policy that it says is "unfair on all women riders".

The move came days after Boris Johnson waded into the trans debate saying "biological men should not be competing in female sporting events".

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) also ruled that service providers wishing to limit services to a single sex are legally able to do so, provided the reasons are justified and proportionate.

The ruling means it is legal for a gym to limit communal changing rooms to a single sex, as long as a gender neutral changing room is also provided for trans people.