Delving into the bathroom controversy

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.

tg bathroomsIs 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?

Look, there’s no doubt that transgender people face enormous challenges. They do get assaulted. They do get bullied. They do get abused.

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.


32 responses

  1. I would largely agree with the caveat that the state also has a right to set laws governing its sub-divisions (e.g., cities). I have no problem with a state dictating its general policy on all sub-divisions on this topic – otherwise, there is likely to be too much confusion on what is allowed or not allowed in a location. A statewide law for all public buildings makes sense.

    The one other addenda that I would make is to ensure that all restrooms are properly signed to distinguish the policies. If it says Men or Women (or equivalent) it should mean just that. If a company wants a more open policy, they either have to use a different international symbol and/or post the conditions conspicuously on the door. That’s just common sense of full disclosure.


    1. I just don’t like the state dictating to private businesses what facilities they can or can’t offer. Taxpayer dollars is a different matter.


  2. I don’t support people of one biological gender using facilities explicitly identified for the other….but Nicki has identified my key concern as well – the State mandating what a private business can or cannot do in regards to offering restrooms to customers. Personally, I wish all businesses and government entities that are able, offer unisex facilities. Not realistic in all cases, but frankly, I’m tired of this sort of thing being such a divisive issue when the rest of our Republic is on the express train to oblivion.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One of the complaints I hear Europeans make about the US is our restrooms…stalls you can see into because of gaps. I can’t disagree.

    Build stalls so people can’t see into them. Then make both restrooms open to anyone since no one can see your parts any more (which ought to cut into the complaints from women about not enough stalls at stadiums, etc.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s way too logical 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I see all of this boiled down to “motives” instead of just plain common sense.

    First of all, we all make this assumption that transgender people haven’t been using the restrooms that they identify with for a LONG time already without any problems or people even noticing. It is only after someone inserts an ‘ulterior motive’ into the story and preys on the fears associated with it.

    I think the common sense approach is to

    a) realize that transgender people are literally thinking, living, breathing as the gender they identify with. Most are in various stages of transition, taking hormones, and might possibly have well-formed breasts, but not the actual surgery to change … that.

    In other words, they are mostly incapable of the type of sexual assault you would associate with someone who is simply looking for the opportunity to rape.

    b) that if someone looks, acts, dresses, as the person that belongs in a particular restroom, then why is it any of OUR business? Let that person go.


  5. Sorry Nickster, I have 4 Granddaughters. If they have to go to the bathroom I’m going to stand outside and make sure no one, except a “real” female goes in after them. And if they persist or screech about “rights” I’ll gladly take the felony assault charge.


  6. In the late ’60s, in Taiwan, I remember going into a department store restroom to off-load some used beer. While I was standing there facing the wall, I looked over to my left and saw a female clerk washing her hands. She smiled & nodded and I nodded back. Upon exiting the facilities, I queried my native guide and found that unisex bathrooms were not unusual there.

    NOTE: the urinals did have privacy/splash shields and the commodes were fully enclosed with no apparent gaps.

    I have mixed feelings on the law. Your argument against gov’t passing laws affecting private businesses makes sense, but that is what governments do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is worth pointing out that governments regulate toilets in all sorts of ways. For example they often require equal numbers of male and female ones, provision for wheel chair access and so on. In general all these things are good, but the result of combining all these together is that you end up with extremely inefficient use of space. In fact in a bunch of bars/restuarants I’ve been in what you get is a single room with a single throne and a huge space that could usefully be used for something else. The result is that you have a never ending line for the room on a weekend evening and signs in the parking lot saying “no peeing”.

    In Japan (and previously in France, though I think it may have been legislatively banned there) it is relatively common to have a urinal section which is men only and a separate unisex sit down toilet. This seems to solve 99% of issues and would work just fine for the transgender people too. So obviously this must be forbidden

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt that would work here with our current laws mandating equal access for men and women. Heck, there is a hue and cry already that because men can get in-and-out quicker with the same number of stalls/urinals that women are being discriminated against.


  8. Two points;

    Gender Dysmorphis(sp?) is recognized as a fucking Mental Illness, not one single major hospital will do “reassignments” anymore because they do not work, the outcomes are almost uniformly bad. So why should we try to legally enforce what medical science says does not work? i truly feel for people who suffer from this but I do not care to participate…

    Drag queens have been using public women’s rooms for years and you never know…. so what is all the drama about? If you are discrete and don’t whip it out to piss in the sink, who’s to know?

    I truly think this is another attempt to normalize something that is not normal, to make us accept something no matter what we think. There are good answers to this problem that don’t involve the law…


  9. One of the other problems I’ve noted is that when offered a chance to have their own bathroom, the transgender doesn’t want it, and wants their way. The attempts to legislate that are what lead to the decision you’re talking about, because the forcing of the issue happened by taking it to the courts and government, regardless of who started the issue.

    Like you, I see both sides of the issue, but in my opinion it really hasn’t helped that it’s become as easy as “I identify as opposite gender, doesn’t matter if I don’t look anything like that gender at all to prove that claim, I IDENTIFY AS IT AND YOU MUST RESPECT THAT OR YOU’RE A BIGOT!” – which I do not sympathise with and frankly is the kind of attitude that encourages backpfeiengesicht, or in this case, the legislative backlash. Demanding respect without giving any in turn is what caused the issue to be looked at with contempt as time went on.


    1. Same here. Absolutely. I WANT IT MY WAY ONLY OR… SHUT UP, BIGOT!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. I started writing a reply earlier, related topic to this one but realized it was becoming a full on blog post and I’ll link it when I’m done


        1. Absolutely!

          This bathroom thing is silly, really. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. I don’t care if it’s the same sex predator or a different one. I kill them all equally! LOL

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I feel the bathroom thing is smokescreen, and over-all, the issue, I’m starting to think, is being used for more sinister reasons. I couldn’t write it as a comment, so have a blog post in reply, citing as much as I could as I went. (Sorry that it took so long. There were some truly horrifying stories there, and I had to dig to find them – these stories are, unsurprisingly, not easily google-searchable, and some of the links were found on other discussion fora.)


  10. It doesn’t surprise me that media hysteria over-reacts to anything. And while I sympathize with the intent of the law I think it was unnecessary and an over reach of authority. I want the government out of my personal life and business as much as possible, this doesn’t do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just remembered something. My Russian teacher was actually an American who had spent time in both Hungary and the USSR during the Cold war (as part of our embassies there). His wife told me one time she wanted to write a book on toilets of the world. She saw some interesting ones.

    The second most disgusting one I ever saw was in a Russian train car, ca. 1992. (First prize must go to the overflowed/flooded restroom at a gas station in rural PRK (People’s Respublik of Kalifornia) however.)


    1. Didn’t Erica Jong already write that book? I think she called it Fear of Flying.


    2. Russian public toilets are the reason I hardly ever use public toilets. I have PTSD from those.


  12. RE: At Last….

    ….something other than Trump…. 😉

    RE: Bathroom Choices

    Speaking of government overreach, isn’t it overreach on the part of government to dictate ANYTHING about bathrooms? Other than ADA compliance?

    If we apply the transgender rule to bathrooms, why not to locker and shower rooms. Imagine all those young hormonal high schoolers. The California porn industry is going to have a heyday….;-)

    And not to forget young adults living in barracks…. ;-0.

    Then again, there’s the venue of competitive sports, e.g., the Olympics. Men—who claim they are women—will be thrashing women’s competitions. Women—who claim to be men—will be getting their bodies broken in playing soccer, rugby and football. [NOTE: It’s bad enough for women in the Army. The neighbors grand-daughter enlisted. She came back medically discharged. She jumped off the back of one of those new cargo carriers that replaced the old Deuce and a Half and broke both of her ankles.]


    1. I’d offer that even ADA compliance is government overreach where it regards privately held businesses.


    2. That’s why I’m of two minds about this. There’s all the issues you mention. There are the questions I listed in the blog entry.

      But at the same time, I was deployed to New Orleans post Katrina with the 229th MPs. The situation was such that we really stopped caring about male, female, or otherwise. There were times we just slept on top of one another in the backs of our vehicles. There were times we just changed in front of one another. There weren’t any issues, as far as I remember.

      A perv is a perv – regardless of what gender they claim to be.


  13. scott2harrison

    Something that has not been mentioned is that this law will prevent civil lawsuits from being filed against buisnesses that do not allow trans people into the restrooms that don’t match their genes. This may be a good reason to have it apply to buisness as well as government facilities.


    1. I doubt that would have been necessary, because someone has to have standing to bring a lawsuit. I don’t think any court or judge in his right mind would look at someone not being allowed to use a certain bathroom as “harm.”

      Caveat: not a lawyer. LOL


      1. Unfortunately, I suspect it will turn out your imagination failed you. 😦


      2. scott2harrison

        Perhaps, but judging from (most recently) the decision in Wisconson throwing out the right-to-work law, very few judges are in their right minds and far to many of the are progrssives.


        1. From what little I read, that one was a textbook case of utterly specious “reasoning” designed to reach a pre-desired conclusion. About on the order of “apples are red, therefore unicorns exist.”

          In other words, “judicial activism” at its finest.


  14. So, no more using the bathroom of the opposite gender when YOURS is occupied. No more parents taking their opposite-gender small children into the bathroom.

    Springsteen needs to self-fornicate: Look at his concert schedules. He doesn’t play in “brown” countries, and is therefore racist as fuck, and needs to STFU about any issue of “tolerance”.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Just another example of how property rights have been destroyed in the USA. The USG will tell what are acceptable wages, condition of work, how your facilities can be used. We are just slaves.

    Think differently? Then tell those state AGs you don’t believe in climate change and we’ll see you in the gulag.

    I for one have no time or inclination to facilitate the illusions/fantasies of mentally unstable people nor do I believe the government should encourage such defectives.


  16. I’ve already encountered businesses that have made their separate restrooms into unisex bathrooms. I came out of a single restroom with a 6′ man standing outside waiting to use the facility and I felt embarrassed to have this stranger staring me down as I exited. Ladies room toilets get pissed on but a good portion of men will not lift the seat so there better be a good supply of disinfecting wipes available. And how about the poor children that get embarrassed by someone opening an accidental unlocked door. Maybe I’ll just take my boyfriend inside with me next time. At least I’ll feel protected.


    1. Why are you embarrassment? Everyone shits and pisses. If that is embarrassing to a rational adult, they need professional counseling and a long discussion with their shitty parents.

      Or do you simply need a ‘safe space’ like the fucktarded college kids running amok these days?

      And do you think that seats that need cleaning are only a female problem? How misandrist of you…..


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