Sunday, May 15, 2016

Public bathrooms

Expelling bodily wastes shouldn't have to be a cultural or political act. I feel like I shouldn't have to talk about this subject on this blog, but here goes some of my thoughts on the matter.
1) Using the proper bathroom shouldn't be a matter of law, but a matter of common courtesy. Most of us are uncomfortable using the bathroom in front of strangers of the opposite sex. We use the bathroom that is most comfortable to us, and we try to avoid making other people uncomfortable. Bathroom have stalls so we don't have to see each other's genitals. If a person who looks like a man but has a vagina uses the men's room, I shouldn't feel uncomfortable because I shouldn't be aware at all of his vagina. He wouldn't share this info with me unless we were good friends.

I understand that there are safety concerns. People seem to be worried that sexual predators would proclaim their gender to that of their preferred victim, march right into the public bathroom, and assault somebody. But a man who claims to be a woman would stand out like a sore thumb. What makes predators so dangerous is that they do their best to blend in. Few people had any idea that Bill Cosby, Jared Fogle, or Dennis Hastert were monsters until we heard about it on the news.

We don't need state laws that tell us what bathroom to use. Will these laws be enforced by bouncers carding everyone who has to pee? Or can we just agree that if someone reasonably looks male or female, then we don't need them to prove it?

Ultimately, who pees where should be decided by building management and not the state or the federal government. Sometimes one bathroom is packed full or out of order, so people end up using the bathroom that they normally wouldn't use. Management should have the discretion to allow this. On the other hand, if a man decides to make an ass of himself by proclaiming his "femininity" and following women into the bathroom, management should have the option of having him removed.

Even with schools, it's best to leave restroom policy to the school boards. Schools have a vested interest in keeping adolescents with penises from impregnating adolescents with vaginas on school property, so boys and girls have been historically kept separate. If a school decides that a transgirl does not post a threat to the other girls, and the other girls are comfortable with this, then I'm not going to lose sleep over the matter.

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