"Transphobic" posters appearing around Bristol University telling women "men know better than you" have left furious students "disgusted".
The posters are attributed to the fake MENZ+ Society, a name which is presumably designed to mock Bristol's LGBT+ Society, and parody the latter's successful campaign to reduce stigma around transgender students.
The original posters, which were produced for transgender awareness week, read: "If you're in a public bathroom and you think a stranger's gender does not match the sign on the door, follow these steps:
1. Don't worry about it, they know better than you."
The new posters, which HuffPost UK can confirm have appeared in several places across the university's campus, including in the student union, read: "Women, if a man tries to enter a womens' [sic] bathroom, please take these simple steps:
1. Kindly ignore the fact that men including transgender males rape women every 9 minutes
2. Kindly surrender your boundaries
3. Don't worry about it, men know better than you."
The poster also includes the hashtag #whataboutthemenz.
- Bristol Society's Advice On What To Do If You Find A Trans Person In The Bathroom Is Brilliant
- A Day In The Life Of A Transgender Student
- Has Your Friend Just Come Out As Transgender? Here's What - And What Not - To Do
UBU LGBT+ Society President Jamie Cross told Bristol's student paper Epigram: "I think that whoever has parodied the poster has, in every way, misinterpreted the campaign.
"In fact I think that anyone who believes that we have not considered the need for safety for all self-identifying women in public bathrooms has also misinterpreted what we were trying to achieve with the original poster.
"I’m both angry and hurt that this may have been put up by a student at the university."
Disgusted by transphobic posters at Bristol Uni. Any students upset or affected can contact @ubu_justask for free confidential advice.— Alice Phillips (@alicephillips90) January 21, 2015
Bristol University Feminist Society President Hattie Stamp stating: "I think it’s a really hateful thing to do, its intention is to make trans people feel unsafe at Uni by calling them transgender males (when they self-identify as a woman) and completely dismisses their experiences and incites discrimination."
The University of Bristol Union is encouraging anyone affected by the poster to contact them for support and advice. 0117 331 8634 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful websites and helplines:
- Beaumont Society is a national self help body run by and for the transgender community | 01582 412220
- The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
- Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0208 1234819
- LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
- Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
- Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK.