VIDEO: Tempers boil over as Hampstead ladies pond votes to allow transwomen to swim with women and girls

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Tempers boiled over at a meeting to discuss plans to ban men who identify as woman from a popular ladies swimming pond on Hampstead Heath.

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association (KLPA) voted against the proposal causing uproar among women's right activists.

Women's rights activist Venice Allan, who supported the ban, climbed on a chair during the debate and shouted: "Let women speak!"

"The people you are so inclusive of attack and rape women and girls. I want you to remember you allowed acts of sexual violence in a sacred women's only space."

Some women's rights activists who objected to the vote at the end of the two-hour debate were met by shouts of "traitor" and "shame on you!"

The open-air pool has been a women's only space since 1926. Swimmers also have access to mixed-sex and male-only pools.

Trans-identifying men have used the pond since 2010, but a KLPA member proposed changing the group's constitution "so that only those born female in sex" can swim there.

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Women who voted for the ban argued that allowing trans-identifying men would mean women from religious communities whose can swim only in female-only environments, would suffer.

Other members insisted a ban would not be unfair, unlawful and difficult to implement.

Speaking to TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer, Ms Allen said: "The pond is a historic, iconic, beautiful place that I've been going to since my early twenties.

"When you're in a normal swimming spot, even if it's really magnificent, men change that space, there's splashing, you're conscious of your body.

"I am just really angry that women's spaces are being taken over."

Julia said the presence of trans swimmers would dissuade biological women from using the space: "Mixed changing rooms make young girl's feel uncomfortable. This proves that trans inclusion is women's exclusion."

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