So North Carolina passed this bill that essentially says that schools, public agencies, and employers who have multiple occupancy bathrooms on their premises must keep them single sex. The legislation is here, and yes, I’ve read it.
I like to make my own mind up about any issue, so I had to sit and think very carefully about what it would mean to pass a law forcing those who feel themselves to be of one gender to use a public bathroom that’s specified for the opposite sex – let’s leave the “disorder that we shouldn’t be celebrating, but rather healing” arguments at the door for a moment. I also had to think very carefully about how a little girl or boy would feel having to use the restroom with a member of the opposite sex present.
Complex questions pop into my mind.
Regardless of how you feel about these folks, is it safe or fair for a man who is transitioning to a woman to be forced to use a men’s bathroom, where they could get physically assaulted or worse? It’s not like grown men haven’t beaten the shit out of someone they thought was transgender. It happens, and it’s not uncommon.
Is it fair or safe to allow a person who is physically a male, regardless how they feel to use the restroom where a small child of the opposite sex might be present?
And what about predators who are of the same sex? Are we claiming they don’t exist? The hell you say! A predator is a predator, and it shouldn’t matter what sex they happen to be. I would feel just as uncomfortable with a lesbian shoving a camera under the stall in a women’s bathroom as I would with a guy in drag.
And what about true predators who would take advantage of any law that allows them to enter into facilities designated for the opposite sex? Sexual assault is about power, and those who commit rapes don’t care how they go about it. They need to rape, and they will, regardless of whether or not they’re a male wearing a skirt at the time, or a butch female wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. Would this present an opportunity for them? Would it make it easier for them?
And what about our schools, where boys do silly things like peek up girls’ skirts to satisfy their natural curiosity? Would a law allowing them to use whatever bathroom corresponds to whatever gender they feel themselves to be at the time facilitate this behavior or intensify it?
At the same time, it’s undeniable that pervs of every gender can take advantage of gender neutral bathrooms. Hell, they already do it – just by dressing in drag – but should we let them lawfully enter the facility to continue doing so?
It seems you can’t win in this situation, no matter what. There are real concerns among all parties involved.
What I really don’t like about this law is that it gives the state the authority to regulate what businesses do with their facilities. If you own a restaurant, movie theater, etc., you should be able to offer gender neutral bathrooms – or not – as you see fit. If you don’t offer the facilities, you’ll probably lose the business of the LGBT crowd. If you’re morally upright enough to take that stand, and lose those profits, good for you! But hiding behind state legislation? “Well… you know… state law says I can’t integrate my facilities, soooooooo…” — that’s just the coward’s way out.
That said, having read the bill, I’m not so sure it’s as “hateful” as some would have you believe. Bruce Springsteen recently cancelled his concert in North Carolina, and E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt called the bill “vile and evil discrimination.” The Human Rights Campaign calls it a “radical law that attacks trans students.” I think the hysteria and the immediate labeling of anyone who supports such legislation as Hatey McHaterson who hates is a bit much. The law specifically says that nothing in it will prevent any entity or business from offering single occupancy gender neutral bathrooms. That means businesses can offer you facilities you can use all on your own, no matter what gender you are, without others staring at you in horror or disgust, as some are wont to do.
It’s not a horrible compromise, but once again I have to wonder why the hell the state government is telling businesses what kinds of facilities they can or cannot offer to their customers.
Much like I’m not a fan of the government passing laws to limit what type of facilities businesses can offer to their customers, I’m also not a fan of the LGBT community trying to use government force to do the same to private business owners. (This, of course, will make both sides of the issue hate me, but whatever.) If taxpayer dollars are used to build a facility, those same taxpayers do have the right to make demands, in which case the single occupancy bathroom idea is not an altogether bad compromise.
But otherwise, leave private businesses alone to run their facilities the way they see fit.
Overall, to me, it’s not about bathrooms, but about government overreach.