The Staniland Question
The Staniland Question was popularised on Twitter by Helen Staniland, a Welsh software developer, in order to challenge assumptions around who should be allowed access to single sex spaces and stimulate discussions around the subject of womens right to privacy. It has been taken up my a number of individuals in the discussion of the female right to privacy from males in public spaces, including (but not limited to) Graham Linehan as part of his ongoing campaign to support womens rights. You can hear about it in her own words in this video interview 'A chat with Helen Staniland' hosted by Graham Linehan.
The question itself takes the following form:
Do you believe that male-sexed people have the right to undress and shower in a communal changing room with teenage girls?
The questions effectiveness comes from the fact it demands a clear yes or no answer and as such, forces clarity in the ongoing conversations around sex, gender and womens rights.
The question itself has a tendency to polarise opinion, with Gender Critical individuals seeing it as a valid tool to highlight key issues around limiting access to female spaces. Trangender Rights Activists tend to view it as an unfair simplification of who should be allowed into female private spaces. In reality, the people the question is most effective against are males who feel that there is no inherent issue with allowing males into female spaces and who tend to be the most vociferous in their support but then shy away from admitting the real world implications of that support.
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