I wish the world could take a lesson from two amazing women who are friends of mine on Facebook and in spite of the fact they had different opinions, they actually had a POLITE exchange recently of their thoughts about the Target transgender bathroom firestorm. This whole issue starts from one side throwing a piece of ice to the other (or just pushing the issue if you will). And when one side pushes, the other pushes back – that’s HUMAN NATURE. So the piece of ice becomes a snowball becomes a cannonball and suddenly NO ONE is talking but EVERYONE is shouting at each other.
So let’s slowly walk through it all and let’s start with the women’s restroom. The “alarm” in the public is that a sexual predator could dress up as a woman, go into the women’s restroom and do harm to a young girl or woman. Let’s stop there. A sexual predator can do that TODAY. NO LAW on the books will stop a predator from doing that IF that’s what he wants to do, that’s because criminals DON’T OBEY LAWS anyway. That’s why they’re criminals. IF a sexual predator wants to dress up and go into the women’s restroom – he probably won’t be very convincing and a mom or anyone in the area will take notice. Period. Run the numbers in your head. What is the percentage of the population that are pedophiles? What is the % that go for strangers (it’s small.) What is the % of those that would DARE dress up and risk being caught in a public place (it gets pretty silly small at this point.) And I’ll make the point again, would a law on the books STOP someone from doing it? I’ll repeat what I said earlier that assaulting a child or woman is ALREADY a crime, because the person was wearing a dress in the women’s restroom isn’t really going to change things. Women’s rooms all have stalls with doors. No one sees anything ever. We TALK a lot to each other but we don’t SEE anything. So if a transgender woman who still has male genitalia uses the restroom, no one really knows unless she starts singing the bass line from Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys.
Let’s switch to the men’s room. Yep – that’s where most of the predators are. If a transgender man who still has his female genitalia uses the restroom, he’s NOT going to use the urinal, but will use a stall. They have them – really! Again, NO ONE will know.
Personally, I would LOVE to see a single seater, gender neutral FAMILY restroom near bathrooms. There are fathers with their young daughters who are often put into an awkward situation when their little girl needs to go to the bathroom. Does he take her into the men’s room? He CAN’T take her into the women’s room. Currently his best option is to wait for a pleasant looking woman to come by and ask her to take his daughter into the restroom. That’s his BEST option. A family restroom would fix all that – and I get it that for MOST existing places that’s easier said than done, MAJOR construction (and therefore dollars) may be involved.
MEANWHILE, laws that would make it ILLEGAL for those who don’t have the anatomical features matching the description on the door a criminal if they get caught. A transgender woman (born male but presents and perhaps passes in every way as a genetic female but hasn’t had surgery) who wants nothing more than to empty her bladder in the privacy of a women’s room stall, is at risk of arrest and prosecution is she does so. To stay above the law, she would (even though she appears every bit a naturally born female) legally be required to use the men’s room. What woman would feel comfortable and safe under any circumstance walking into and using the men’s room? (OK, MAYBE at something like a ball game with 10 million women in line and ZERO men in line – so a few women go into the men’s room at the same time and one at a time take turns while the others guard the stall – I can see that.)
For me, I see BOTH sides as not taking a step back, taking a breath and trying to understand what it is the other side truly wants. Franky, I don’t think either side has done a good job of truly identifying what it wants, but runs straight to what they think is the solution and the other side is hateful or evil (choose your poison.)
I seems to me all BOTH sides want is safety for those they care about. We run into a problem when we think OUR way is the ONLY way to get what WE want. So far I see almost NOWHERE solutions that seek to accommodate both, or try to make (in a civil way) the perspectives of each apparent to the other. It’s US vs. THEM. We MUST win and they MUST lose. Why can’t we all WIN?
So let’s just breathe. Stop throwing fireballs at each other. You who are Christians are called to love, that was Christ’s command. You who are perhaps atheists and don’t believe in God, you probably consider yourself “open minded”, so be that. Find a way to make everyone feel safe. It can be done once we stop yelling and shouting and cursing each other, and sit down and actually talk about the REAL things that concern us.