Podcast # 195: Meet the 80-Year-Old Feminist Who Got Banned From the YMCA for Protesting Male Bodies in the Women’s Locker Room

Quillette podcast host Jonathan Kay speaks to Port Townsend, WA-area swimmer Julie Jaman, the octogenarian whose efforts to keep biological men out of a changing area reserved for girls and women led to accusations of transphobia, a visit with the police, multiple town-council debates, and an ongoing Twitter campaign called #LetJulieSwim.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://quillette.com/2022/08/12/podcast-195-meet-the-80-year-old-feminist-who-got-banned-from-the-ymca-for-protesting-male-bodies-in-the-womens-locker-room/

My sympathies for Julie. That’s happens when you try to be logical these days.

IMHO, the current trans-liberation movement can be traced back to two causes

(1) Many in the old feminist movement confused “equality” (men and women are equal) with “sameness” (men and women are the same). Once you say the sexes are the same, there is no logical barrier to men claiming to be women and vice versa, and no grounds to exclude anyone from anyone else’s changing room.

(2) The organizations set up to promote women’s rights and gay rights faced a serious problem a few years ago…they had achieved pretty much all of their goals. Having succeeded, they should have shut down. But organizations, especially those with political clout, don’t do that: they have staff and budgets, and needed to justify their continued hiring and fund-raising. So they looked for new dragons to slay, and many found it in the trans-rights movement. Combine that with point (1) above, and you get the current situation.


I’m getting the sense that this fight is now lost for woman that are concerned about it. Reason being is that apparently there were pre-teen girls in the locker room and didn’t hear too much outrage from parents in the podcast. Is this actually becoming acceptable? I have on occasion heard some women reason that public nudity has been normalized in places like Germany and they manage so we should just get over it. I find that problematic but almost seems like we will be forced to accept this.

If it is then I won’t be able to enjoy Jethro Tull’s Aqualung as much as I used to…


What am I missing? Do you get to use female spaces BEFORE you transition with surgery and hormones? Why would that be? To my mind, unless and until you change your body to match your interior sense of self, you need to use the spaces (especially open locker rooms) that go with your body. Otherwise, you are pretty much a provocateur.

1 Like