Marks And Spencer Forced To Change 'Outdated' And 'Sexist' Toilet Signs

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Marks And Spencer Forced To Change 'Outdated' And 'Sexist' Toilet Signs

It's been on our high streets since 1884, but retail giant Marks & Spencer is currently facing calls to freshen up its appearance.

Following complaints made at a store in Shoreham, Sussex, M&S has had its toilet signs branded 'sexist' and in need of modernisation.

The signs show a man in a blue tie and a woman in a pink dress holding a child.

One customer, Sharon Sawyer, found it hard to believe that signage might exist that suggested a woman could bring a child into the toilets, but a man could not.


She wrote on Facebook: "I was surprised and disappointed at the pictures for toilets. I expected, being a family store, that you understood that families very much share children's needs and personal care, not just women.

"The picture shows a woman and child. The picture in the comments just shows a man, why?"

Credit: Facebook


Credit: Facebook

An M&S spokesman has since stated that, following the complaint, the signs would now be changed.

Replying to her own post, Sawyer added: "It has nothing to do with baby changing. They are the entrances to the male and female toilets, there are no baby changing facilities in the toilets.


"It's just plain sexist for all concerned, men and women. Symbols means a lot."

Commenting on the post, Facebook user Jenni Readman said: "The signage represents an outdated assumption that women will be the only ones taking children to the toilet as there is nowhere, according to the signage in this store, for men to take children to the toilet."

The Sussex Police hate crime ambassador, Sergeant Peter Allan, also commented on the post, saying: "Well done. As you said, a surprise from M&S and in a recent refurb. I know I have had conversations with Tesco and Sainsbury's about issues of gender identity.


"This should not still be happening in 2017, but with people like you, it will hopefully reduce."

Credit: PA

However, the post did not meet with unanimous support. One poster, Marcus Riley, said: "It's almost like people walk around wondering what they can get offended at."


A spokesman for M&S stated: "Our baby changing facilities are in a unisex area and we also provide a baby changing mat in both the male and female toilet facilities."

M&S isn't the first store to be slammed for sexist branding.

Earlier this year, both Morrisons and Asda were criticised by parents for selling sexist clothing.

T-shirts from Morrisons which said, 'Little Man Big Ideas' and 'Little Girl Big Smiles' faced backlash, while Asda's 'Boys Will Be Boys' jumper also came under fire.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: sexism, M&S, Marks and Spencer

Michael Minay
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