Flat White

No penises in the pool? Puh-lease!

13 January 2021

12:48 PM

13 January 2021

12:48 PM

For almost one hundred years, Sydney women have been able to bathe at Coogee’s ladies-only pool, free from the prying eyes of pervy men.

But much has changed since the McIver’s Ladies Baths — reserved for the exclusive use of women and small children -– opened in 1922.

Back in those days, England had a king, Australia had a Labor Prime Minister and women doing laps of the historic ocean pool had vaginas.

Fast forward to 2021.

England has had a queen for the longest time. The Liberal in the Lodge is unassailable. And women tucking penises in their swimsuits have bomb-dived all the other bathers looking for privacy at Coogee pool.

The gals at the Randwick and Coogee Ladies Swimming Association aren’t against a bit of gender freestyling – they’re swimming laps in the twenty-first entury, after all.

So they decided that trans women should be able to dip their toe in the women-only pool; provided that their trans sisters had fully transitioned, meaning their toe was the only thing being dipped in the water.

“Only transgender women who’ve undergone a gender reassignment surgery are allowed entry,” the Swimming Association’s website stated.

Cue outrage.

This was a clear case of ladies with vaginas discriminating against ladies with penises.


Members of the University of NSW Student Representative Council released a statement describing the Association’s “outdated” definition of women as “disgusting”.

“Anyone who identifies as a woman … should have access to this space,” the statement said. “To our community, students, and staff at UNSW — your gender identity needs no validation from anyone but yourself.” 

The students did not explain how a women-only pool remains a women-only pool if women are only what the guy in the bikini says they are.

“Trans women are women,” the students insisted, in what now passes for debate on university campuses; the aggressive repetition of mindless slogans as if it were reasoned argument.

“Any statement to the contrary lacks empathy, understanding and scientific rigour and is based in bigotry.” 

There was zero empathy or understanding for the woman who wrote on the Baths’ Facebook page: “Please don’t give in to the trans bullies. Muslim women rely on places like this. Trans identifying men can go everywhere; Muslim women cannot.”

She received a curt response.

“Muslim women need to take the opportunity to learn that having the biological parts does not make you a man”

Right. Because, you know, “scientific rigour”.

But the gender-fluid cheerleaders at the Student Representative Council were just warming up.

They went on to warn that a policy stating only trans women who opted for full emersion would be considered to be female swimmers was itself a form of violence “and will only increase community violence toward transwomen”.

This cynical manipulation of people’s goodwill — ‘let us swim or you will be responsible for violence against us’ — worked a treat, as it usually does.

Within 24 hours of the complaint, the historic women-only pool had become the progressive women-are-only-an-idea pool.

The pool’s website now says: “Yes. Transgender women are welcome to the McIver’s Ladies Baths, our definition for transgender is as per the NSW Discrimination Act.”

The NSW Discrimination Act defines transgendered women as someone “who identifies as a member of the opposite sex by living, or seeking to live, as a member of the opposite sex”.

So there you have it. 

If you identify as a member of the opposite sex; and would like to swim as a member of the opposite sex among members of the opposite sex who have been trying to avoid members of the opposite sex for the past hundred years, well now you can.

And barely a ripple of protest.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.


Show comments
Close