Friday, April 29, 2016

Transgender People and Their Bathroom Habits

Consider these two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Your 9-year-old daughter enters a public women's bathroom in the mall somewhere in the southern United States.  As she walks in, she sees a person at the sink who, from all outward appearances, is a woman.  The woman has long hair, is wearing make-up, has on a pretty dress and shoes, has visible breasts, and has a purse on her shoulder.  She's a little tall, and maybe she's not all that pretty (depending, of course, on your personal tastes), but she's a woman.  In fact, if you could peek up her skirt, you'd find that most female of all structures, a vagina.  The only difference between this woman and all other women is that she was born male. 

Would you rather your 9-year-old daughter use the same restroom as this person, or....

Scenario 2:  Your 9-year-old daughter enters a public women's bathroom in the mall somewhere in the southern United States.  As she walks in, she sees a person at the sink who, from all outward appearances, is a man.  The man has short hair in a buzz cut, has on cargo jeans and work boots and a flannel shirt rolled up at the sleeves, has facial hair and dark hair on his arms, and his chest is flat and broad.  He's a little short, maybe a little dumpier than most men, but he's a man.  In fact, if you could peek into the stall while he was relieving himself, you'd find that most male of all structures, a penis.  The only difference between this man and all other men is that he was born female. 

THIS person???

Now, given that you MUST choose between one scenario and the other, which scenario would you rather have for your 9-year-old daughter in a public restroom?  

In some places in the south these days, scenario number 2 is the choice the local governments have given you.  North Carolina and Mississippi have both passed laws requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender at birth in public buildings - that's scenario number 2 above.  The dude with the beard.  

They have also overturned local ordinances permitting trans people to use whatever bathroom they choose.  These laws don't affect the bathroom policies of private businesses, but they do permit private businesses to disallow trans people to use the bathroom of their choice. 

Additionally, in Oxford, Alabama, a town of about 21,000, they have just passed a law criminalizing scenario number 1 above, and requiring scenario number 2 on pain of arrest and up to six months in jail.  Yes, in Oxford, Alabama, if you are a man with a penis, but you were born a woman, you are required to use a female restroom on pain of being jailed.  The dude with the beard above MUST use the women's restroom anywhere in Oxford, Alabama.    

Let me ask you: does this make ANY sense whatsoever?  No matter what your opinion of transgender people, they exist and they are going to continue existing and they have all the same rights and privileges as you do, including the right to use public restrooms.  Does it make any sense at all to require anatomically-correct men to use a women's restroom?  Or someone with a vagina to use a men's room?  

I know I'd much rather my two daughters not share a bathroom with anyone with a penis or a beard, no matter what genitals they had at birth.  

Seriously, has their ever, in our lifetimes at least, been a series of laws enacted in this country with less forethought?  I mean, did they give this any thought at all, in terms of the logical consequences, or did they just act on pure fear and misguided instinct?  

I welcome your thoughts.  


L said...

I agree. So well said. I'm glad to see you're still writing. It feels like we're at a critical time in the political circus, and this is yet another issue I don't understand what all the hullabaloo is about. Thanks for addressing it, and expressing those sentiments better than I ever could.

Scott said...

Thanks for commenting, L. Do I know you?

Laura said...

It has been a while since I followed your blog, maybe ~ 8 years ago. I can't remember how I found it unless it was through a blog called Dances With Anxiety? Anyway, when I saw you on GoodReads and saw the link back to your blog, I followed the link and was so happy to see you're still here! I think we had both read Bart Ehrman's books back then. Anyway, I just finished "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer and thought I'd mention it to you in the unlikely event that you're wondering what to read next. ha! Hope life is good for you, Scott, and I will try to remember to check back to see what you're up to.

Did you just have a book out? If so, I'm so jealous! :)

Scott said...

I remember you Laura. Glad to hear from you again. My "to-be-read" list is insane. Seriously, I have about 25 books to be read on my kindle and another 74 (currently) on my Amazon wish list. I've got a problem. :) Regardless, I'll look up The Untethered Soul.

I published my first novel in December. It's self-published through Amazon, available in either paperback or Kindle. I'm pretty proud of it, though the sales have be very modest. You can find it on Amazon if you search "B Scott Christmas."