Charlotte Carson said ‘no’ to the question from Standing For Women Northern Ireland (SFWNI), one of two feminist groups who have challenged local politicians over the protection of women-only spaces.
The teacher, who introduced classes on feminism in schools, wrote on SFWNI’s Facebook page yesterday: “If you’re talking about someone who was born male and has undergone a medical transition, including surgery surgical to identify as female, then I would be comfortable with this person using female-only spaces.
“If you’re talking about self-identification where a fully functioning male with a fully functioning male body declares himself a woman and wants access to female-only spaces, I would say no to that.”
Ms Carson, who stands in East Belfast, continued: “I think I am very knowledgeable on this issue and some of my colleagues are founding members of Women’s Place UK.
“I think this is an issue that requires our attention but also our compassion and that we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a situation where two groups of vulnerable people are fighting for their rights.
“At the end of the day, it’s predatory men who are the problem here, not genuine trans women who want to be accepted and supported by society.”
The News Letter revealed yesterday that the tabulated results of a survey carried out by the SFWNI of all Assembly candidates revealed that all those standing for the Alliance Party, Sinn Fein, SDLP, the Greens, People Before Profit and other smaller left parties were in the ‘Didn’t Care to Answer’ category when asked about young women’s locker rooms.
Individual candidates from the DUP, UUP and TUV, as well as the nationalist Aontu party alongside a number of independent candidates, answered “no” to the question.
The survey was published at the same time as billboards were erected by Women’s Rights Network Northern Ireland between the M2 and M3 motorways asking candidates: ‘What is a woman?