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Fury as posters for ‘women and non-binary only’ gym sessions are defaced at Cambridge College

‘Men, please be respectful and do not come in’: Fury as posters for ‘women and non-binary only’ gym sessions are defaced to include ‘everyone’ at 150-year-old Cambridge College

  • Posters put up around Girton College to advertise women and non-binary gym
  • Vandals crossed out ‘women/non-binary’ and replaced words with ‘everyone’
  • It has sparked bitter row with one man reportedly protesting outside the gym

A bitter row has erupted at a Cambridge college after posters advertising women and non-binary only gym sessions were vandalised.

Posters went up around Girton College introducing one hour sessions for women and those who identify as non-binary to have the gym and swimming pool to themselves.

But the posters were defaced and the terms ‘women/non-binary’ were crossed out and replaced with ‘everyone’. 

The poster read: ‘Men, please be respectful and do not come in.’

The posters were defaced and the terms ‘women/non-binary’ were crossed out and replaced with ‘everyone’

A male student reportedly waited outside the gym during the allotted period in protest against the session, according to the student news site The Tab.

But organisers insisted the session was ‘not a sanction against men’. 

The ancient college was the first women’s college in Cambridge and was also become co-educational more than thirty years ago.

The hour was originally initiated by the JCR Women’s Officer and had the College Council support to run the session.

But the organisers have since stated they were ‘very disappointed’ by the vandalism.

A post on social media read: ‘It has come to my attention that some students find it contentious that there is a women-only gym and swimming pool hour.

In response to the backlash, Girton's Senior Tutor, Sandra Fulton, emailed students emphasising the College's support of the JCR's scheme

In response to the backlash, Girton’s Senior Tutor, Sandra Fulton, emailed students emphasising the College’s support of the JCR’s scheme

‘This is not a sanction against men. This is to serve a community that is marginalised and does not necessarily feel safe or comfortable exercising with men. 

‘I want to stress that the fact that it is only for one hour a week, leaving about 83 additional daylight hours for men to use the facilities. 

‘This does not seem like a sacrifice. 

‘I ask you to consider this time and  consider your own position and what privileges you have, and please respect this hour.’  

In response to the backlash, Girton’s Senior Tutor, Sandra Fulton, emailed students emphasising the College’s support of the JCR’s scheme.  

Girton college was the first women's college in Cambridge and was also become co-educational more than thirty years ago

Girton college was the first women’s college in Cambridge and was also become co-educational more than thirty years ago

The email read: ‘It has come to my attention that some students find it contentious that there is a women-only gym and swimming pool hour.

‘If anyone has issues with this channel they should make it known by an appropriate channel, which is via me or via your tutor.’

On Facebook, however, the conflict has only intensified as students took to social media to debate the incident.

Some Girton students questioned whether the woman and non-binary hour was an appropriate response to students’ needs while others wanted to extend the length of the session. 

The college have since replaced the vandalised poster and are to continue their women and non-binary gym sessions.

A spokesperson for Girton College said: ‘Girton College is an inclusive community that aims to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for students and staff. 

‘We do not tolerate acts of vandalism of any sort in College. We deplore the fact that a poster advertising access to the gym was defaced.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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