“This is a bill that begins to confuse the gender differences between men and women to the point of trying to allow men to use women’s restrooms, and, of course, that means sexual predators going after young children,” Tom Minnery, senior vice president of public policy at Focus on the Family Action, said… (Source.)
There are things that words often fail to describe adequately. My reaction to the above quote was one of those things. But I will take a good stab at explaining why this is wrong using my usual flawless logic.
First of all, the onus is on the Christian fundamentalists to demonstrate using anything other than tautological bullshit that gender-identity discrimination protection empowers sex offenders. I like to think of myself as a fair minded woman, willing to walk in another person’s shoes for a while (they’re probably less painful than heels for sure). But for the life of me, looking through the eyes of these Christian radicals I still can’t see what they see apropos paedophila. All I see is that they’re scared of me.
Again we return to the nuclear unicorn thing. I am again being portrayed as this deadly weapon that is an unmitigated threat to society, restrained only by a lack of laws recognising my dignity.
To address this directly, we all know that tragically women and children have been raped or assaulted in restrooms. Yet that’s exactly the point, the absence of pro-trans legislation hasn’t in any way restrained these monsters. If such legislation exists, exactly what loophole can they exploit to do something they’re legally unable to do now? If a man walks into a women’s bathroom and starts leering and groping, he’ll get arrested. Why? For sexual assault. This bill is not decriminalising rape, assault, or sexual harassment. It only ensures that I’m not discriminated at work because I’m a trans woman and that I can use the bathroom of my choice.
Why does this matter, asks the ignorant Christian rightist? Well this may shock you, quite a bit, so prepare to have your mind blown. I use the restroom to relieve myself. I go in there to pee and if I’m really desperate, take the occasional dump. I do not go in there to draw pentagrams on the floor in goat blood and sacrifice babies to our lord Beelzebub while groping various asses that may come my way.
This is quintessential othering. Here’s one more thought exercise: if they’re so concerned about sexual assault, why would they send me- a woman- who is dressed like a woman, looks like a woman, sounds like a woman, into a men’s bathroom? They’re not worried about the catcalling, questioning, groping or leering I might experience? But of course, this isn’t about protecting women or children, and as ever it is a mere smokescreen of incredibly acrid bullshit meant to make people hate us. Yesterday I said that as we are de-voiced we are tragically made all things to all people. Well, you can add ‘paedophile’ to the list of things Christians insist on believing about us.
The fact that it never occurs to these people that I might just want to use the bathroom to pee and wash my hands tells you how deeply ingrained their sense of us as this evil alien species is, and of course they view gays and lesbians in much the same way.
Logically speaking such laws do nothing to help sex offenders. This argument has been trotted out countless times and every time so-called liberal lawmakers do not get up to bat and beat this down; we’re just trannies, why risk their careers on us? But it’s a monumentally stupid and offensive argument. In New York City we have an ordinance that allows trans people to use the sex-segregated facilities of their choice. That’s brilliant. You may also have noticed no commensurate increase in bathroom rape here. That’s because no one can reasonably use those laws to get out of an assault charge. Why? Because the law isn’t about assault.
It’s about allowing me to use the restroom and dispose of my bodily waste.
But really it’s starting to get very tiring to hear these conservative arguments on an academic level just because they’re so old and repetitive. Really, what’s next?
“This is a bill that begins to undermine American energy independence by charging so-called polluters for their waste, and, of course, that means sexual predators going after young children.”
“This is a bill that will allow poor families to access healthcare for the first time and prevent people from being denied coverage, and, of course, that means sexual predators going after young children.”
Come up with something new, guys, seriously. Also, word of advice: Don’t talk about “the children” until you stop opposing things that actually help kids like Head Start and CHIP.
This particular brand of hate meshes very well with that of the malevolent forces in the psychiatric establishment who work tirelessly against the liberties of trans people by attempting to categorise us as disordered. Recently I took this piss out of Kenneth Zucker, the lead doctor at Toronto’s infamous Clarke Institute in Toronto, part of the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and with good reason. This man embodies the precise threat of transmisogyny to not just trans women, but women as a whole.
He is a staunch proponent of the idea that “men wanting to be women” are psychiatrically injured and need to be ‘cured’ of this malignancy. Time and time again trans women are at best aggressively questioned and at worst aggressively beaten for ‘wanting to be women’ because, as most men would wonder, why on Earth would anyone want to be a woman? They’re so… frilly and inferior.
Women as a whole must recognise this and take umbrage at it.
Furthermore it’s worth noting that he also enables a particularly stupid argument that a small minority of gay men love to indulge: “Failure to intervene increases the chances of transsexualism in adulthood, which Zucker considers a bad outcome. … Why put boys at risk for this when they can become gay men happy to be men?” This was written by J. Michael Bailey, a fellow traveler of Zucker’s who cannot believe that I am happy and empowered by being a woman despite the downstairs mixup.
But the point is, folks, I’m a lesbian. I’ll defend the rights of gay men to the death, but I’m not one of them. I’m part of the GLBT movement we all share, yes. But I am not a gay man. I’m a lesbian (trans)woman. That’s just how my cards fell. What does Zucker say to that? I should also add that I’m a very broad minded woman. It took a lot of introspection to get to where I am now and most important of all, self acceptance. Given everything that trans people have to endure and the stigmas we carry (see: what started this article) I cannot fathom that any real person who has gotten to this point is suppressing gay-ness to do something that is monumentally harder, more expensive, and more inviting of trouble on one’s house.
In short, if I truly was gay, and assuming all else about my mind and personality were equal, I’d have had no trouble accepting it.
I’m a woman and it’s as simple as that.
Why should I be ashamed of that or need to be cured of it? Why must I and my experience be made invisible because of it? That’s a worthwhile question for all women to consider.