loading...

02 November 2019 06:32

Mary Poppins Julie Andrews Tony Walton

Marks & Spencer has polarised shoppers over its gender inclusive fitting rooms. On Wednesday, feminist campaigner Jean Hatchet claimed a friend took her 15-year-old daughter for a bra fitting at the retailer and saw a man in the changing rooms trying on women's underwear. "Made my blood boil but I can't say anything or I'll be a hater," Hatchet tweeted. "No one would even dream of putting a female child's right to a safe space above a man's to get kinky with women's underwear." We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.

free battle

Marks & Spencer customer 'outraged' over gender-inclusive fitting rooms

From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras. However, in a subsequent tweet, Hatchet clarified the anecdote, explaining that her friend and her daughter "had to queue up with a man clutching a load of bras". The campaigner went on to allege that the mother daughter duo overheard the man in question discussing bra fittings. "How is this ok?" Hatchet added. London's first Trans pride Show all 32 left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. London's first Trans pride 1/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 2/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 3/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 4/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 5/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 6/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 7/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 8/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 9/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 10/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 11/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 12/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 13/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 14/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 15/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 16/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 17/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 18/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 19/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 20/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 21/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 22/32 London's first Trans Pride in September Angela Christofilou/The Independent 23/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 24/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 25/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 26/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 27/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 28/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 29/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 30/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 31/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 32/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 1/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 2/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 3/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 4/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 5/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 6/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 7/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 8/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 9/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 10/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 11/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 12/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 13/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 14/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 15/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 16/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 17/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 18/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 19/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 20/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 21/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 22/32 London's first Trans Pride in September Angela Christofilou/The Independent 23/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 24/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 25/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 26/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 27/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 28/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 29/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 30/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 31/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent 32/32 Angela Christofilou/The Independent Hatchet then began communicating with M&S directly on Twitter, asking the retailer whether it allowed "men who identify as women access to women's changing rooms for bra fitting in the same space as women and young girls". She continued: "Cubicle or no cubicle. Curtain or no curtain. Open space changing or not. Men should not have access to any of these female spaces alongside women. @marksandspencer please clarify your policy on female changing rooms." Hatchet's tweets garnered hundreds of responses, with some agreeing while others praised M&S for its inclusive policies. The retailer replied on Twitter and in a statement sent to The Independent by explaining that all of its fitting rooms have lockable cubicles designed to protect its customer's privacy. "As a business, we strive to be inclusive and therefore, we allow customers the choice of which fitting room they feel comfortable to use, in respect of how they identify themselves," the statement continued. "This is an approach other retailers and leisure facilities have also adopted. We understand your concerns and I want to make it clear that if any customer was to act inappropriately or cause intentional offence, the necessary action would be taken." Speaking to The Independent, Hatchet described the retailer's response as "dismissive of the safety and privacy needs of female customers", adding: "For M&S to talk of 'inclusivity' when they deliberately exclude women who have suffered violence at the hands of men who are too afraid to change alongside men shows utter contempt for their female customer base and I have no doubt they will be punished for that at the Christmas checkouts and rightly so." Meanwhile, many others disagreed with Hatchet's views, with one person tweeting: "Ironically the discomfort and anxiety that people are feeling about this issue is exactly how trans people feel every second of every single day. Think about that." Silent Witness actor Liz Carr called the retailer out on Twitter, claiming that her friend was denied entry to the fitting room by three members of staff. At the time, an M&S spokesperson said transgender people are encouraged to use "whichever changing rooms they feel comfortable in".