Women, even at their most difficult, do not cause the same kind of problems that arise as a result of men’s presence in women’s shelters. Women do not treat other women the way men treat women. Women do not do to other women what men do to women.
As long as a man claims that he is a woman, our doors are open to him.
Some of the men who stay at the shelter seem harmless enough. They get along with the women; they’re good-natured, respectful, they cause no major problems and the women, for the most part, have no problem sharing space with them.
Other men I would not call harmless.
One man leered at women and trailed them through the shelter, his shorts manifesting the tangible proof of his interest, such that women stopped wearing pajamas outside the bed area in order to avoid attracting his roving eye. Another man would wait in the bathroom to be alone with a woman and then proposition her, on the off chance that she might be raring to give him a blowjob. We hosted a man who would stare and wink at younger female caseworkers; he would summon his target away from the desk on the pretense of helping him with some invented task, and then, when he had her cornered in a more private alcove, invite her to meet him outside the shelter for dates.
In another case, women complained that a man was watching pornography on his cellphone and visibly masturbating in the bed area at night.
On at least three occasions, men staying at the women’s shelter threatened to kill women with guns. Once, a man, enraged at female staff for insisting that he adhere to shelter rules, stormed into the kitchen during dinner, grabbed a tray of food, and began hurling handfuls of scalloped potatoes around the room while yelling that we were all “bitches” and “cunts.”
When women report harassment by men in the shelter space, or approach staff to voice their discomfort, my coworkers’ customary response is to ignore the women’s reports completely.
[I]n order to conform to the caprices of the trending ideology, to be squeaky-clean on-message good progressives, to be caring and sensitive politically savvy good feminists, it is now shelter policy that we prioritize protecting men’s delusions, even if that means we can no longer protect women. Women are well accustomed to making sacrifices for the sake of men’s comfort and feelings.
Everywhere, all the time, men come first. How foolish we would have to be, then, to expect it might be any different at a women’s shelter.