Ralph Matthew Palmer—12th Baron Lucas and 8th Lord Dingwall—is one of the hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999.
Lord Lucas sits as a Conservative in the United Kingdom parliament's House of Lords.Parliament is bicameral like the United States Congress, but parliament has three parts consisting of the Sovereign (Queen/King-in-Parliament), the House of Lords and the House of Commons (the primary chamber).
During a Monday debate in the House of Lords, Lord Lucas claimed gender-neutral bathrooms need to be outlawed because women are "unsafe and uncomfortable" sharing space with men when menstruating. Why Ralph Matthew Palmer thinks he's an expert on menstruation and the thoughts of people who do menstruate is unclear.
An actual expert might know that some transgender men, intersex and non-binary people also menstruate.
Lord Lucas told the assembled Lords:
"I do not think that any woman really wants to wash her bloody underwear when she has flooded during a period in front of men."
"So, altogether, what are we doing?"
"Why are we seeking to make women feel unsafe in the toilet provision we make for them—unsafe and uncomfortable?"
Lucas' other excuses for bathroom regulations also centered solely on what women want and need. He claimed men were dirty and women deserve toilets that are clean. He also said women need a refuge from men's "serious unwanted behavior."
The 8th Lord of Dingwall didn't explain whether he consulted any of his three wives to gain his insight into what women need.
But surely women want to hide in bathrooms as a "space where they can be free of… overt male sexual behaviors" rather than have parliament work harder to address sexual harassment, sexual assault and male violence against women.
Instead Lucas focused on men's behavior as if it was an inevitable thing.
"Many men—they have even flashed me—act in such a way, and it seems reasonable that women should have a space where they can be free of that."
Yes, because hiding in "women only" bathrooms is the answer to that behavior.
Lucas added his solution to all things:
"It does not suit me to have just gender-neutral toilets."
"I see very few people who would genuinely benefit from having universal gender-neutral toilet provision."
"Pretty well all men could survive having a brave enough woman as company in the gents. I do not think it would upset them. If we are going to provide gender-neutral facilities, convert the gents; do not convert the ladies."
Yes, let's segregate women and lock them away from all the men incapable of controlling their behavior or cleaning up after themselves. It's hard to decide who Lucas insults more: the women he considers helpless, delicate flowers or the men he considers uncontrollable, filthy brutes.
Lord Lucas finally got around to revealing his transphobic motives.
"I do not personally have any difficulty with the idea of self-identification as to how we behave and act in the world."
"But that does not necessarily mean that men should have access to women-only spaces, and that I should be able to march into the ladies over there just because it is a nicer facility than the gents and I feel like identifying as a woman at the moment."
"On changing facilities, I do not think that there are any circumstances under which it is appropriate for women's changing rooms to include exposed male genitalia."
"That is going beyond what we would all consider reasonable… Stonewall should put away its kimono and baseball bat and settle down to the idea that maybe it needs to modify its rather extreme views."
Once the gauntlet was thrown, David John Maclean, Baron Blencathra—whose greatest accomplishment to date in parliament was being forced to apologize for accepting a monthly bribe from the Cayman Islands' government to secretly lobby on their behalf in the House of Lords.
"My blunt message to the government tonight is this: when will you stand up to the small, militant, transgender fascist lobby and say that the rights of 32 million real women… are more important than the rights of tens of thousands who identify as transgender?"
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Gender neutral bathrooms exist everywhere, including our own homes. Single toilet bathrooms converted to gender neutral bathrooms also allow ample privacy, eliminate long lines for one bathroom over another and address the needs of non-binary and intersex people who were never accommodated before.
What a novel concept, making a space for everyone.