General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

Can anyone defend the "bathroom bill" ?

Asked by Yellowdog (11162points) April 13th, 2016

I regard Fluther as a fairly open minded and civil website, and I want to remain civil. Please, don’t be afraid to speak your mind no matter if it “steps on toes” because I am only wanting to hear points of view and give the varying sides a chance to respond or exchange thoughts.

To me, it seems that only dangerously narcist or predator types would be interested in using the restroom of the other sex—or those so drowned in political correctness that they cannot really understand the issue at hand. Yet the “bathroom bill” controversy has a strong and vocal following.

I could be wrong but the homosexual men I have known do not necessarily identify with the female gender. They are merely sexually attracted to their own sex. It would almost seem that they ought to prefer being in a male environment.

The same is probably true for lesbians. I have never had a lesbian friend as the few I’ve known have been kind of hostile towards men. But that is just my experience. I would assume that lesbians also do not identify with the other sex and would have no desire to be in a male restroom or locker room.

That leaves transgender individuals. As for transgender males, why would anyone want to have to partially undress and sit on a toilet? Lets face it, urinals are extremely convenient and quick. I’ve known cases where the urinal/restroom issue alone has deterred people from wanting to have sexual reassignment surgery (though I CAN indeed understand, other than that, why some identify with the other sex that they go under the knife—still sounds like it would be a regrettable mistake unless one TRULY can’t stand being their gender).

As for female transgender individuals who identify with males, well, what can I say? Men’s restrooms are filthy by comparison, as some men pee on everything. Why would any woman want to use such a restroom, considering all that she has to do (partially undress and sit) in order to use the facilities? Toilets in the women’s room are light years cleaner, and the restrooms themselves much more comfortable and lounge-like. Any female who enters a male restroom is taking her life into her own hands and risking an assault. Anyhow, it seems that lesbians and female transgenders who identify with males would prefer the comfortable, sanitary and safer facilities allotted to women.

I knew a transgender male in high school and the girls were really creeped out by him on the occasions he entered the women’s room. It would seem that anyone who DID feel it was their right to enter a restroom of the opposite sex would at least respect the needs and feelings of those whose sex is in accord with that which the restroom is designated.

This leaves only predator types and those whose political correctness has blinded them to where they cannot see the need for sexual privacy and protection from perpetrators—threats which are very real.

Other than this (restroom) issue, I am civil and sympathetic to the cause of transgender people and respect Gays, Lesbians, and Transgender individuals.

I am only wanting to understand the issue / other side. PLEASE keep it civil.

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32 Answers

Mariah's avatar

Some transgender people have fully transitioned to their desired gender and look just like they were born that way. They’d face strange looks or hostility if they went into the bathroom of their “birth-sex” yet some people think they should have to do so.

Some of them are partway through transition and look androgynous. They’d pass in either bathroom, so forcing them to use the one of the gender they don’t want to be is just humiliating and putting them at risk of hostility.

Some of them just don’t want to have to be reminded on a daily basis that they are not who they want to be.

canidmajor's avatar

Will there be cops outside the girl’s room checking genitalia?
These things are promoted to “protect the girls” but a trans M to F is in much more danger of being assaulted in a men’s room.
And really, if a man is at the point in the transition of using the Ladies, it is very difficult to tell.

Also, if a man wishes to assault women in a bathroom, the “law” will not prevent that.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

You identify as male, right? How comfortable would you be if you were forced to use the woman’s room? Just you. Would you be more ok with it if you were lectured about “political correctness”?

I think part of the confusion you may be having has to do with the way you are framing this (“It would seem that anyone who DID feel it was their right to enter a restroom of the opposite sex would at least respect the needs and feelings of those whose sex is in accord with that which the restroom is designated.”). Someone born with a penis who identifies as a woman is a woman. She isn’t entering the wrong bathroom.

Seek's avatar

This whole thing is thoroughly absurd.

It’s just a toilet.

ragingloli's avatar

Well, with this law, this guy would be forced to use the women’s bathroom.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think if restrooms all had proper stalls we could eliminate gender based bathrooms altogether. Hell, one of the few local bars that punk and metal bands can still play at here gave up on boys and girls restrooms years ago. They were “one shots” though.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The bathroom thing is only a smoke screen to get the troops riled-up. But I feel the government want all transgender people to move out of the state.

The law states that ALL discrimination, in a work place or elsewhere, must be taken to the Federal court and the state will no longer hear cases of discrimination Which means if your employer acts in a discriminatory manner you have to go to great expense and travel to sue for discrimination at Federal courthouse.

Here2_4's avatar

Apparently, the answer is “No”, because so far, nobody has.

janbb's avatar

I think there is some confusion on your part in the terminology you are using @Yellowdog. A transgender male is a male that had been biologically born a woman and is now a man; a transgender female was born biologically a male and now is a woman. So shouldn’t they go into the bathroom that is comfortable to them for their current gender and not into one where they may be beaten up?

As has been said on the thread about unisex bathrooms, the ideal is to have single stall toilets that are accessible to anyone and there are places (restaurants, etc.) where that is the case.

We are all in a time of transition and adaptation.

SmashTheState's avatar

Sure, I can defend it. The United States was founded as a republic. That means it is an assemblage of autonomous States. Hence “United States.” As part of the republic, each State has agreed to give up its autonomy in specific matters outlined in the constitution, such as trade, diplomacy, and military defence. This is the same issue which caused the US civil war; the federalists made a power grab at matters which were legally the concern of each autonomous State. And when those States attempted to exercise their right to secede from the republic, they were invaded and illegally annexed under the pretext of human rights. Here we see the same thing, only it’s trans rights instead of slavery which is being used as the pretext to take autonomy away from the autonomous State.

Seek's avatar

Gee, if only there were one of those amendment thingies about equal protection to all citizens under the law…

SmashTheState's avatar

It’s a safe assumption that the framers of the US constitution did not have transgender rights in mind when they wrote it. They did, however, give explicit protection to religious beliefs, and, right or wrong, many citizens regard gender and sexuality issues as religious in nature. Courts typically give more credence to rights explicitly set down than those divined through colour of right. The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, is on record as saying, “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.” Whether or not you agree with this statement, it is the interpretation taken by the lawfully elected representative of one of the autonomous States which makes up the republic of the United States and must therefore be given credence.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

You’d be surprised but many of the people who are most up in arms about this aren’t evangelical conservatives but actually trans-exclusionary radical feminists. (Also known as TERFs but they hate that word.)

Seek's avatar

@SmashTheState – you are the last person I would expect to support this law.

Jak's avatar

Let’s just admit that this is not about protecting children, this is about hate, pure and simple. If we really want to protect children in bathrooms we need to look at keeping priests, ministers, football coaches and other male authority figures the hell out. It’s all a load of bullshit by a load of fake Christians and haters with nothing better to do with their time. No, I can’t possibly defend this tripe, nor do I want to. And your reasoning is flawed, based on you projecting your own reasoning based on YOUR lens of perception which is necessarily different from each and every transgender person you seek to lump together. My being creeped out does not trump a transgender person from her right to use the female bathroom. I freely admit to freaking out to myself several years ago the first time I noticed, but I went home, processed it, and chalked one up for my learning experience. Still alive. I urge you to reconsider your natural instinct to resist things outside of your comfort level. You never know, someone may have something valuable to offer you if you allow your guard down.

SmashTheState's avatar

Who says I support this law? I’m an anarchist. The entire idea of the existence of states is offensive to me. The question asks whether anyone can defend it. I can and did. Does it mean I support slavery because I understand that the War of Northern Aggression was really about seizing federalist power from the autonomous southern States?

Coloma's avatar

As long as there are closing stall doors I don’t care who uses a restroom. Parents should always accompany their children into a public bathroom for safety sake as it is. It is exceedingly rare to be attacked on any level in a public restroom and while I don’t want to watch males or transgenders whip it out at a urinal as a women, if there are doors that close I could care less who is going to the bathroom next to me.

filmfann's avatar

This is an issue about providing people a comfortable place to use the bathroom. Many transsexuals are uncomfortable using bathrooms meant for their birth gender. Many people are uncomfortable using a bathroom with a transexual (regardless of which bathroom they use). Frankly, I am uncomfortable using the bathroom when anyone else is there.
The only solution would be individual bathrooms for everyone.

NerdyKeith's avatar

There is no logical or rational defence for the bathroom bill, it is blatant discrimination. A person not being able to go to the bathroom due to their gender identity, is nothing short of dehumanising. Let us not forget, there were similar policies once upon a time for black people in the United States.

Phobos_Is_Gay's avatar

Of course I can defend it. Here in Canada and elsewhere in the civilized world bathrooms are not a big deal. There are even unisex bathrooms in a lot of places which spares people the debate over this issue. But in workplaces such as Loblaws (a national grocery store chain) trans people use the bathrooms of their gender.

I don’t believe our Charter of Rights & Freedoms ever specified trans people as it was created in the 1980 but large corporations are not foolish enough to enter into the legal world over this issue. The people who opposed trans people from using the correct bathroom are scarce. I heard there were a few people at Loblaws who wanted people with penises to use the men’s and those with vaginas to use the women’s. To me and others it really doesn’t matter. No, there hasn’t been any use by these bathrooms by predators.

I was watching CNN a few weeks ago when this issue was hot and CNN was spending most of the day reporting about the bathroom wars in America. I was with my parents who are in their 70s and they just rolled their eyes and asked why this was even an issue. My parents lived in Berlin in the late 60s and early 70s. My brother was born there. My parents knew men who dressed up as women and worked quite openly in Berlin’s restaurant world. No problem. No one batted an eyelash. In other words, no one cared and this was in the 1970s.

I’d say it’s stunning to me that this is an issue in the “Good Old USA” but I’m not surprised. In a country where blacks can’t walk down the street without being shot by some short-dicked cop I’m really not surprised by anything anymore. These issues are not even on the map in countries like Canada because we have bigger problems and most people aren’t reactionary or uneducated enough to believe people who are LGBTQ shouldn’t have the same rights as straight white males.

I’m not even shocked by the people on here who oppose this. I’m betting the USA will solve this issue one day. Maybe in 25–30 years when the rest of the world has things like Guaranteed Income and Trans-gendered heads of state.

janbb's avatar

@Phobos_Is_Gay I may be missing something here but that doesn’t sound like you are defending the bathroom bill. Other than that quibble, I agree with what you wrote.

Phobos_Is_Gay's avatar

@janbb Yeah. I support Transgendered people’s rights. The OP sure doesn’t sound reasonable though. I’m not sure what “political correctnes” even means anymore. It seems to be a buzzword inserted by someone to defend whatever kind of nonsense discrimination they believe in.

janbb's avatar

So maybe you actually meant “Of course I can’t defend it” in your first sentence?

flutherother's avatar

Isn’t it simple? Men should use the gents and women the ladies and as for lawyers and politicians they should keep out of the bathroom altogether.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Did anyone else see this meme?
“More Republican Politicians have been arrested for bathroom sexual misconduct than Transgendered individuals.”
3 Republican arrests.
0 Trans.
In case you are curious:
John Hinson, former Mississippi Congressman, was arrested for receiving oral sex from a staffer in the House of Representatives’ bathroom.
Larry Craig, senator from Idaho, was found soliciting sex from an undercover cop in an airport bathroom
Bob Allen, Florida state representative, for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in a public bathroom.

I think we need a new law! :-)

Jak's avatar

But what a drag to have to hang out in men’s bathrooms as part of your job. Orange oil, anyone?

Soubresaut's avatar

Other people have already said what I would say about why people should be able to go to the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

So, on a side note—the “predator” argument… Do we really want to say that in our society the interaction of opposing genders is so dangerous that men and women can’t be in a confined space together (because it will lead to someone being assaulted)? That’s a serious claim about our society—and if we do want to say that, why on earth is simply banning genders from bathrooms going to do anything to solve that systemic issue? What about men and women in elevators—someone can stop the elevator, and the other is trapped there. In offices—the door locks, and someone else is less likely to enter an office with a closed door than a public bathroom. In vehicles—not only are the two people trapped together, but if the predator is the driver… Etc. My point—if we’re going to take this concept of separating genders “seriously” it needs to be applied more widely. But of course, we can see that the more “seriously” we take the concept, the more absurd it is. If the “problem” is sexual predation, a bathroom bill is useless. People aren’t sexual predators because they are in bathrooms, and most sexual assaults aren’t in bathrooms… But, of course, it’s not really about sexual predation. If it were—as others have already mentioned, because of the horrible prejudice against transgender people, they are far more likely to be subject to assault—if it were about sexual predation, it wouldn’t force those who are actually most vulnerable to assault into that position.

A smaller note—what happens when someone accidentally walks into the “wrong” bathroom, and walking into the “wrong” bathroom is illegal? (Because really, who here—or anywhere—hasn’t inadvertently walked into the “wrong” one before?)

Another smaller note—putting such a law in place means that when one bathroom has a line and the other is empty (usually women’s restroom has a line, and the men’s is empty), people (women) can’t be using both bathrooms for efficiency.

Which brings me to one last point: “Any female who enters a male restroom is” not “taking her life into her own hands and risking an assault”; any female entering a male restroom is going to the bathroom, period. And vice versa. Saying someone is asking for assault (or at least assuming the risk of assault) when they’re trying to pee seems even worse than saying they are asking for it by wearing certain clothing. In both cases, they are not. It was assault. It makes just as much sense to ban people from certain locations to prevent assault as it does to ban them from wearing certain clothing to prevent assault. It’s putting the burden onto the victim. Sexual assault is already illegal—it doesn’t get more illegal or more immoral by placing these kinds of restrictions. I said it’s worse, because these same restrictions will prevent others from taking defensive measures against bad situations.

Here2_4's avatar

It is not transgender persons who concern me, it it the twisted individuals who would pretend just for their weird kicks, including pranksters.

JLeslie's avatar

Let me start by saying I don’t support these bathroom laws against transgender people, but I do have qualms about both sexes in multi-stall bathrooms for safety reasons. To me, a transgender person is the gender they identify with, so I don’t see why the law should interfere with that.

@Soubresaut Elevators are an issue. Women are told to be wary. My aunt was attacked by a man who got onto a elevator with her where she worked. He stepped off of it when she got off. It was early in the morning when there was not many people in the building. Women have some control about who they share an elevator with, but once we are sitting with our pants down we can’t easily just step out of the bathroom.

@SmashTheState I had no idea religion justifies the bathroom bills? I don’t see how that could fly.

Soubresaut's avatar

Thanks, @JLeslie—I definitely did not mean to understate the seriousness or reality of assault, and if I did so in my post I’m sorry! ... My college has a problem with assault, and we get emails each time an assault was reported, and each time I get a chill down my spine; I can’t forget about it. I’ve also grown up being taught to not leave drinks unattended, to hold my keys between my knuckles as I walk to my car, to not go out alone late at night… not that any of those tricks guarantee someone’s safety. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have been assaulted, but I know many people have been.

I was trying to show that the assault is a separate issue—that it shouldn’t be illegal to get into an elevator, or to go out at night alone, or to go into the other gender’s bathroom. Assault is a problem, but making something that is (for the majority of people) an innocuous action illegal seems like the wrong way to deal with the issue (and anyway, ineffective.) At the time, this restriction prevents certain people from being able to voluntarily take preemptive measures, put themselves where they feel safe, and that is wrong too—a law should not force someone into a compromising position. So…. that’s what I was trying to argue, and it’s similar to what others have argued—the bathroom bill is ineffective at its alleged goal, and even counter to it. I didn’t mean to suggest assault wasn’t a problem—hence this response! An attempt to clear that up!

…. I don’t think I would mind having unixes bathrooms, and I know some others have mentioned them specifically, but I think this bill is a separate issue from that discussion. It’s not preventing an onslaught unisex bathrooms, it’s making a cultural custom law (bathrooms divided by the sexes) in a very specific, pointedly discriminatory, way.

JLeslie's avatar

@Soubresaut I didn’t take your answer the wrong way, not to worry. I think we agree overall.

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