This article is a feminist response to the campaigning activism and queer and transgender theory which promotes the ‘degendering’ of public toilets. This campaign originates in the demands of men who transgender to access women’s toilets. Activists argue that sex segregation of toilets is the result of nineteenth century moralism and is a discriminatory practice. They say that degendered toilets would be safer for women because the good men would protect women from aggressors, and they show a remarkable degree of insensitivity to women’s needs and interests. The campaign is increasingly effective, with schools in the US and local councils in the UK moving to degender toilets in response. This article will argue that the safety of women as a group requires that toilet provision should remain sex segregated or take the form of individual cubicles that offer privacy and safety to all users.
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