I spoke to the leisure centre management – and followed up with a note directly to the chair. At base, what i am getting is just downright rude – though it also has the effect of intimidating and upsetting me.
A colleague, with whom i discussed this yesterday mentioned that girls of the age in question are likely feeling insecure in their own gender identity. Agreed. Hence why, to date, i’ve tended to be fairly gentle, viewing this as being as much about their fears as their aggression towards me.
Still, though, there comes a limit and this – the point at which i start to feel acutely nervous every time i have to enter a particular changing room – has to be it.
Yes: i agree they may be nervous. However, while we might concede that nervouseness or insecurity explains sexist behaviour by boys or even racist behaviour by teenagers, we wouldn’t allow it to continue: we’d politely but firmly require them to stop. And if they still carried on, then we’d escalate.
In this case, the girls appear to belong to a club with whom, of all the bodies that exist locally, i have had most grief in the past. The club itself has had multiple chances to engage with me – and taken none of them.
It would not in the least surprise me if the girls weren’t echoing sentiments expressed sotto voce (or possibly not so sotto) in the home.
Adults have a responsibility too.
So…the club chair is engaged: and if he will do nothing, then next stop is the council and their diversity unit.