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The Reclining Lady Speaks


March 13, 2019
“I’m known as the Reclining Lady (plus fountain) of Crouch End – but in March 2019 I am sitting up and looking around. March is Women’s History Month and I’ve been outside the library since 1964 so here goes. Women’s History Month raises awareness and empowers women by discovering, documenting and celebrating women’s lives and achievements.

I’m pleased to recline in a borough with a female MP. I wrote to her last week (not sure how I will get a reply, I think I need a postbox…) and asked her to ask the Minister for Women to publish clear guidance on single sex spaces (as per the Equality Act 2010 – oh yes, I keep up with current affairs, the library WiFi reaches me).

Here’s the problem – Many organisations are allowing males to ‘self-identify’ as women in what should be biological ‘single sex’ spaces.

● Prisons, for example (now under review I’m pleased to note although there is no need for complacency).

● Women’s refuges and rape crisis centres. Fairplay for Women argue that this undermines the mental wellbeing of vulnerable women and I agree!

● Hospitals:‘single sex wards’ are being operated as ‘single gender’ across the country. For example, one hospital says: “People should be accommodated according to their presentation; the way they dress, and the name and pronouns that they currently use. This may not always accord with the physical sex appearance of the chest or genitalia.”  Say what!

● Toilets and changing rooms: The Football Association, for example, warns against assuming that just because someone looks like a man that they shouldn’t be in the women’s public toilets. C’mon…

● Intimate searches: The Metropolitan Police says: that “In general, a prisoner should be searched by an officer ‘of the same gender.” I say #sexnotgender.

● Communal accommodation: The Youth Hostel Association previously offered single sex dorms, toilets and showers. These have been changed to “single gender.”
I could go on. Women’s spaces and women’s services need protection. Millicent, the new lady statue down in Parliament Square (swanky, although Crouch End suits me) told me this – and I agree with her.

Women of Crouch End and the rest of Haringey – sit up, take notice, take action.”


So what now?

February 12, 2019
If you made it to the talk, thank you!  The talks were great, and the protesters were polite.

If you are interested in finding out more and taking further action, here are a few suggestions.

Find out how your school is dealing with this

Ask what resources they use, if any, to speak to children about transgender issues

Ask which, if any, external groups advise the school on this.

Check the schools equality policy and ensure that they correctly include sex as a protected characteristic

Ask local clubs and groups the same questions

If you are asked to tick an official box stating your ‘gender’, point out that the correct word is ‘sex’.

Contact us on excellent resources for parents and school a resource set up by concerned parents Blog by the mother of a desister

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