Message to all women: “your boundaries are now defunct”
Sometime in the past year, it transpired that New Zealand Post had put up “your boundaries are now defunct” signs in all toilets in all their worksites –
In plain language, the sign says that women no longer have the right to exclude any men from women’s toilets at any NZ Post worksite. They’re not alone in establishing this, though – our women’s right to establish boundaries now appears to be becoming a thing of the past almost everywhere.
The sign pictured above is in both the women’s and men’s toilets at NZ Post, but it doesn’t take much to know who will feel the most discomfort and trepidation – hint: it’s not men. Which is not to say that men will necessarily like the new ‘no boundaries allowed’ policy, either, but they won’t feel as anxious about it for the same reasons that women might.
This sign has a very slick narrative. I’m not sure who created it, or where in the world it was created, but it has been created by an expert. The wording is highly manipulative - it intentionally plays on our sense of feeling sorry for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in, and uses that to disrupt our rights. Women are asked to respect the privacy and ‘identity’ of a man (because who else but a man would be in a women’s toilet whom we don’t think should be there) and protect him from harm before doing anything selfish like wanting this for ourselves. We are softly strong-armed into putting the man’s needs before our own, giving him the benefit of the doubt, gifting our right to a safe place to him, and asking no questions. Women are requested to make a sacrifice for someone who is uniformly painted as piteous.
Considering that these signs would have been authorised by NZ Post management, complaints to them could well be greeted with hostility and veiled threats of what non-compliance might mean for an employee. Bully culture in the workplace, perpetrated by both staff and management, against those who don’t believe that men can be women if they declare themselves to be so, is rampant. This particular bully culture claims the moral high ground as justification for the bullying behaviour.
Letters from outside NZ Post which were written to the CEO criticising their toilet policy were passed onto the Chief People Officer, who replied with a template letter -
D**** W**** has passed your email to me for a response.
NZ Post is proud to be a Rainbow Tick employer with clear policies to protect the safety of all our people. As Chief People Officer I am accountable for ensuring our workplace is not a source of discrimination or stigma for transgender and non-binary employees, and I can confirm the inclusive signage in our bathrooms will not be removed.
M***** A**** (she/her)*
Chief People Officer
So, NZ Post is a Rainbow Tick employer? Fascinating how only transgender and non-binary people get a mention, almost as though lesbians – i.e. women – don’t rate in the rainbow. And it would be interesting to understand NZ Post’s thinking about how letting men into women’s spaces protects the safety of “all our people”.
I’m taking an educated guess that like many workplaces, NZ Post’s worksites have unisex multi-access toilets which could be used by anyone who may not feel comfortable in either women’s or men’s communal facilities. This includes women and men who wish to genderfy as the opposite sex, but would feel out of place in the opposites sex’s toilet. So why would any man need to use the women’s, and why would management muzzle women from objecting to that? Who benefits from this?
Most men will not hurt women, but that is no criteria for men to get entry into women’s spaces. We have very good reasons for a blanket rule that excludes all men, irrespective of character or identity. After all the centuries that humans have walked the earth, why do these reasons need to be explained over and over? I can only surmise that the sales pitch which has duped those who give away women’s rights and safeties has been nothing short of magnificent.
Bit by bit, in public buildings and workplaces, women’s and men’s communal toilets are being replaced with unisex toilets to accommodate all ‘genders’. Yes, the same unisex toilets that many workplaces already have, but which are strangely unsuitable for use by some men who need to use the women’s toilets for their privacy, identity, and to be protected from harm.
As a general rule, public communal toilets work better for women than unisex toilets. There are several reasons for this, which journalist Suzanne Moore from the UK explains well in her article below*. Considering that women as a group probably impose less cost on the world due to not causing as much damage and destruction to property and people, stop holding our more complex bodily needs against us like they’re somehow the more burdensome social and economic cost. Women’s bodies also grow and produce every person on the planet, and are worthy of a bit more respect than being considered problematic when we want boundaries to keep them safe and dignified. If women say we need boundaries and safeguards and single-sex spaces, then just bloody give them to us! We know what we need.