I’m posting here a conversation I had over Facebook with a woman about laws and policies that open up the use of public bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers according to how a person self-identifies by gender, rather than according to the sex to which biology assigns him or her from birth. These laws and policies are and will continue to be a disaster, as sexual predators are and will continue to exploit them to gain access to women and children when they are most vulnerable. I don’t name my interlocutor, but instead identify her comments here by the initials FB. The conversation was inspired by my comment to a post placed on Facebook by a mutual friend who shared a “Feminist News” photo that read:
“It’s that time again to remind everyone more members of Congress have been arrested for misconduct in bathrooms than trans people.”
Bob: Which is precisely the point. The concern is not that trans people will be abusing people in bathrooms. There’s nothing that recommends that trans people abuse others at higher rates than non-trans people. The concern is, and has always been, access these laws give to women and minors in vulnerable situations to sexual predators who will exploit these laws to their advantage. Please, too, let’s be honest and remember that it’s not just about bathrooms, where ay least there are stalls to separate people. It’s also about locker rooms and showers, where such barriers are few, if existent at all. There have been several cases of sexual predators exploiting these laws.
Also, I can nearly promise this won’t be the case in schools. The hoops required to prove gender identity/dysphoria are great and involve professionals in the medical and psych fields. Not to mention that for a child who is dysphoric, the last thing they want to do is draw any attention.
Trans people want what everyone else wants and takes for granted: normalcy, privacy, safety. If we are going to allow societal anomalies and barely existent statistical likelihood of something going awry (also known as fear mongering) prevent us from providing that, then you’re correct: this IS about something else.
Bob: There are a number of problems with your arguments. First, the concern needs to be for the safety of all, not just for the few. Laws rarely satisfy everyone’s needs or concerns, and hard cases make for bad laws. The idea is to find that balance that provides the greatest level of safety to as many as possible, while not putting anyone at unnecessary risk. Laws that allow men who identify as women to use female facilities fail in this effort because they make legally available to sexual predators access to female bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. No, sexual predators rarely are concerned for the law, except when it puts them at unnecessary risk of being caught and prosecuted. The fact that access to female facilities is now law or policy in many places means that they can seek out women and girls in vulnerable situations with the protection of the law or policy. Consider the number of cases where men, some making no attempt at all to pretend to be trans, enter female facilities, have been told to leave, and insist that the law or policy allows them to be there. Stores, gyms, universities, etc… have caved to what is, in fact, their right to be there. Contrary to your claim, what many schools have done is decide to remove all gender labels from their bathrooms, opening up all facilities to all students, regardless of sex. So, any boy can go into any bathroom with no need to go through any hoops to prove gender identity/dysphoria. Also, your argument contradicts itself. You say that the last thing a child who is dysphoric wants to do is draw attention. Can you think of a way a biological boy could draw greater attention to himself than demanding permission to use the girls’ bathroom, locker room and showers? You speak of the safety of these kids. How safe do you think such a boy would be at the hands of the other boys in his school when it’s discovered that he wants to shower and change alongside their sisters and girlfriends? How safe or comfortable do you think those girls would be? Remember, too, that we’re not just talking high school. We’re talking K-12. Do we really want 5, 6, 7, 8 year olds being confronted with these matters? We’re also not just talking about schools, but hospitals, stores, gyms and any public facility. Consider, too, the triggers faced by women and girls who’ve suffered sexual abuse having to turn around and find a naked man showering next to them. Again, these laws and policies DO NOT require that men prove themselves gender identifying females or dysphoric. They simply open female facilities to any man who desires entry. If women and girls complain, they are told there’s nothing that can be done or, worse, that they’re the one’s being insensitive or even bigoted. You don’t have to trust me on this. I’m sure you have google where you live. Finally, your last paragraph demonstrates either your cluelessness on this issue or your willfulness to set aside reality to score points for your agenda. Your insistence that sexual abuse in these facilities represent “societal anomalies” or a “barely existent likelihood” is patently, ridiculously false. In fact, such facilities are one of the most common places for sexual assaults. Ask your local police department and your insurance company. At least now these criminals could be arrested and prosecuted before such laws and policies existed. Now, where they do exist, there are no protections for women and girls.http://www.washingtontimes.com/…/abuse-victims-speak…/
Bob: The insanity continues. Of course, because my wife and I don’t want our 12 yo daughter exposed to male genitalia while changing in the locker room, we are “overprotective” and “intolerant.” I suspect our daughter is grateful for such overprotective and intolerant parents. As I suspected, this issue has nothing really to do with safety for anyone, least of all women and children.https://www.newsbusters.org/…/cnns-cuomo-blames…
So, what is the solution? As for bathrooms, the obvious solution is single-use, gender-neutral bathrooms. As for locker rooms and showers, no. The only solution is to assign use of public locker rooms and showers according to one’s biologically assigned sex.