The Great (Or Not So Great) Bathroom Debate

If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies,  giving insight on various topics.  Click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Melissa chose a topic that’s been a heated debate in recent months: Share your thoughts on the transgender bathroom issue.

I’ve seen a lot of press regarding this issue. Nationally. Personally, on my social media pages. I’ve seen the pros and the  cons, according to personal beliefs and personal preferences.

I’ve always felt that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. A “live and let live” approach to life. I’ve had a really hard time holding onto that adage, however, because I feel there’s a heavy dose of fear that’s been handed out to the masses, over a controversy that shouldn’t even be in existence. Here’s why.

The transgender community have been using the bathrooms they choose to identify with for many, many years. And you haven’t known it. Or noticed. 

This isn’t new. Men who identify as women, or women who identify as men, have been using the bathrooms of their choice for a very long time. Chances are, you never knew they were transgender. The person using the stall next to yours, may have very well been someone who is transgender.

13055439_948509715270007_8355016359446877000_n-768x620
Sarah McBride. You can read about her story here

Monitoring every single person who uses a public restroom is not feasible.

How will anyone enforce this policy? Think of all the department stores, grocery stores, malls, restaurants, parks, businesses, the list goes on and on. Will there be a selective screening process? If someone “looks” transgender, will they be pulled aside and required to show proof of their physical orientation?

Bad people come in all shapes, sizes, and genders.

People believe that if the transgender community are allowed to use the bathroom they identify with (as if they haven’t already been doing this for years), that it means opening up a whole new can of worms where our safety is concerned. That creepy people who look like big, scary men but claim to have female genitalia, will be using a women’s restroom near you. Something along the lines of this comic:

12592283_10206101591920688_7341301015950358156_n In reality, bad people will do what bad people do. There have been plenty of accounts of men who pull the peeping Tom routine in the men’s restroom, and women have been arrested for the same violations, in women’s restrooms. We’re not opening the restroom doors to criminals. They’ll open those doors on their own, no matter what bathroom they’re using, if they want to.

Like this guy, caught looking at a woman in a women’s restroom. That’s right. A man (not transgender). Or this guy, spying on other men in a men’s restroom. Or how about this guy, who purposely dressed up as a woman, so he could sneak into a women’s changing room area. That happened three years ago, long before the big bathroom debate of late.

Fear and hate will cause more crime. The transgender community aren’t responsible for that.

Like this woman, who was actually using the “correct restroom”, based on her genitalia, and still got harassed by police because she “looked masculine”. What should she have done? Dressed differently? Looked more feminine, to appease the security guards? In this scenario, what if the women’s restroom is the restroom she identifies with?

For me, it boils down to this:

13164248_1078496288907071_881909746712128053_n

 

I believe we should all be treated with decency and respect. Maybe that means I’m living within some fantasy, but it’s how I try to live my life, and I try hard to teach my sons those same values. I can identify with, and understand the fear many people have regarding this issue. The last thing I’d want to do, is send my sons into an unsafe environment, at any time. But I don’t feel the transgender using bathrooms has added a lack of safety to that environment.

An interesting point:

“Q: Don’t unisex bathrooms leave women more vulnerable to being harassed or attacked by men than gender-segregated bathrooms do?

A: This argument is based on a myth: There is no evidence that gender-segregated bathrooms are “safer” for cisgender women than unisex bathrooms. And besides, there are laws protecting people from criminal conduct in public restrooms. If anything, a concern for safety weighs in favor of bathroom accessibility. Transgender people face a uniquely high degree of harassment—53% of 6,450 transgender people reported being harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation in a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

In Mathis v. Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Colorado’s Division of Civil Rights found that barring transgender students from gender-segregated bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity may out an individual as transgender and invite the very harassment that a school or employer claims to want to prevent. Providing individual bathrooms can be a solution for dealing with these concerns, as long as transgender people are not required to use them.” – lamdalegal.org

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Great (Or Not So Great) Bathroom Debate”

  1. Great post. I like how you stuck in a lot of references. That’s horrible about the woman who looked masculine and was harassed. We agree on a lot of the same things.

  2. Excellent and thoughtful. I knew your feelings on the topic, but I’m really impressed at how well you explained them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s