ASK ME FIRST
We Are Women…
We are Kiwi mums, daughters, survivors of abuse, students, sportswomen, and businesswomen who believe our voices matter.
There’s a growing trend in both NZ schools and public places to allow men to enter women’s spaces — female toilets, showers, changing rooms, even camp bunk rooms. As if this weren’t absurd enough, none of the people making these decisions and groups pushing these ideas seem interested in talking with us — the women who will be most impacted by these rules—to learn how we feel about it.
We are standing together to share our stories with you. Together we say, Ask Me First. We’ll tell you why these efforts are anti-woman, how they directly harm each of us, and why schools and public policymakers (including politicians) in New Zealand should never consider bringing them forward.
Our Opinions Matter
As we all consider the policy changes we’re seeing concerning privacy and safety in toilets and changing rooms, we think there are certain voices that are being ignored — perhaps on purpose. People often think this only happens overseas, but there are plenty of NZ examples (see here) – including these two below.
The decision of Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to reassign over 165 toilets to be All-Gender toilets at the beginning of 2017 has been labelled by a group of current students as ‘irresponsible’, ‘backward’, culturally insensitive and unsafe.
During 2016, Laura attended a girls-only school in New Zealand. The school enrolled a biological male identifying as a female, but required him to use the unisex toilets. When he started a petition for the right to use the girls’ toilets, Laura tried to speak up. Hear her story, her concerns, and her mum’s views also.
Here are further examples from overseas, but for each of these examples, we know of similar examples here in New Zealand:
One afternoon Kate took her children to the local gym’s swimming pool. To her great surprise she encountered a man in the women’s locker room and changing area. She was even more surprised by what happened next. When she reported the incident to gym management, she was the one who was reprimanded.The gym had a policy that allows people to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their “gender identity” even when it is not consistent with their biological sex.
Kaeley Triller Haver, grew up going to the YMCA with her family, and ended up getting a job as communications director there. So when the new bathroom regulations came along, she took a stand against it which got her fired for standing up for what she believes in. Feeling silenced, she wrote a blog in desperation which went viral and became the best running piece of 2016. Since then, she has been actively trying to make bathrooms a safe place for women and children.
Tanner is a star high school runner in Alaska. She wants every female athlete to be treated fairly. This is her story.
Kara Dansky, an attorney with Women’s Liberation Front, known as WoLF, explains why the Obama’s “bathroom agenda”, which takes away the power from schools to make decisions in the best interests of all students, is a danger to women and girls.
Maya is a survivor of sexual trauma as a school student.
How do we create a safe space for all concerned.
There are many stories that illustrate why women need to be heard.
Read more on our Stories page.