Thursday, 2 October 2008

Taking the p*ss

I'm going to have a rant.

You may have read in papers yesterday morning about the row over the toilets in Manchester University's Student Union.

If you haven't, the story is basically that the "Men" and "Women" signs on the loo doors have been changed to read "Toilets" and "Toilets With Urinals."

The reason for the alteration is explained by Women's Officer (is that not a bit sexist?) Jennie Killip as follows:

"If you were born female, still present quite feminine, but define as a man you should be able to go into the men's toilets - if that's how you define.

"You don't necessarily have had to have gender reassignment surgery, but you could just define yourself as a man, feel very masculine in yourself, feel that in fact being a woman is not who you are."

So now you know.

I had actually missed the story but it was later pointed out to me by a gay friend I work with.

I like to think of myself as fairly open minded about most things (for an Ulsterman, at least). But the reason my mate (another Ulsterman) told me was because I was sounding off down the phone at the fact that someone else I work with had minutes earlier introduced me to a new phrase and a slight variation of one quoted above: "gender realignment."

Now, I have absolutely no problems with people having a sex change. It's their bits we're talking about and if they want to have them lopped off with a big knife then fair enough. And if they want to have other bits sewn on instead, again, none of my business - I genuinely hope it makes them happy. Why wouldn't I?

It's the patronising, politically correct phraseology that annoys me.

I've heard of people having the wheels of their cars realigned. I played rugby for many years and was always to taught to quickly realign the backline at a breakdown, ready for the next attack. Vanessa has even been known to realign the CDs in our CD rack after I've decided on a whim that I simply have to dig out my Debbie Gibson album.

But realign your gender?

I'm sorry, but they're talking balls.

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