Updated Dec 6
This is the media click-bait de jour, it seems.
The creepy bathroom obsession is the “thin end of the wedge”.
The people fixating on this actually have a larger goal. They want to eliminate transsexual people.
And, after that, some of them want proceed on to abuse and degrade the position of females who are not transsexual. The other end of the wedge is much thicker than it might appear.
Bullying people to use public toilets with a public declaration of, “This Is The Birth Sex Of This Person” is a way of dictating that, the person hasn’t really socially transitioned to the role or position of their adopted gender.
Then, consider the issue of enforcement. If there is a confrontation, how would you verify whether a person is or isn’t legally allowed in that public toilet? The obvious answer is to demand to see their government identification.
Next, the public bullying/outing will be to change laws to remove the ability to change the sex/gender marker on driving licenses, passports, and other government identification. The US federal government is already making efforts to define legal sex as immutable and permanently set at birth.
There are also debates in the UK and New Zealand, where hostile feminists are demanding that people should not have the right to change the sex on their birth certificates, or anywhere else. They feel personally oppressed by a letter on someone else’s passport.
This identification issue will help to enable prospective employers to spot transsexual job applicants, and discriminate against them.
Here in New Zealand, driving licenses don’t have any obvious sex/gender marker (although it might be coded into the serial number somehow, and is probably in a database somewhere). However, an immigrant who must show a foreign passport and visa may be severely disadvantaged if her birth sex is listed on those.
The connection between public toilets and government identification is all about violating people’s right to privacy for deeply personal, painful, and stigmatised medical information.
Continuing with the enforcement issue, what kind of penalties would be imposed for using the “wrong” toilet? Are people going to end up with a criminal record as a sex offender (thereby further degrading their ability to be members of society, and to secure employment)? Will there be a fine that they cannot afford to pay? Jail time? And will the birth-sex bathroom issue extend to placing post-operative transsexual women in men’s jails?
There are already severe disparities among transsexual people, some of which have nothing to do with personal legitimacy, sincerity, or decency. There are randomly assigned issues, including physical ones such as height and facial features. And situational ones, such as whether a young person has a supportive family or not, as well as socioeconomic background and geographic location. These lead to disparities in how a person looks to casual observers, along with access to treatment (especially at a young age). Which also leads to disparities in the ability to function as a participant in society, such as being treated in a halfway civilised manner by other people, and the ability to secure and keep employment.
Bathroom laws would have a more severe impact on transsexual women compared to transsexual men. Partly due to differences of hormone effectiveness (and thus “passability” patterns), and partly due to differences of paranoia level. Supposedly feminist, woman-defending laws would advantage this class of men over this class of women, when there is already a general pattern of people gaining or losing social male privilege.
There are pervasive social issues concerning transsexual people’s appearances. Some people make their acceptance based on whether the person conforms to certain physical standards, including beauty standards. Others are paranoid that, a person who looks “passible” is somehow deceiving them personally, and withholding information to which the observer feels entitled. It isn’t about having sex without disclosure, and isn’t limited to toilets. There are people who think that someone doesn’t have the right to walk down a public street with an appearance that strangers interpret as opposite to their birth-sex or current genitalia.
This is an example of the general way that many people feel entitled to police public and semi-public spaces as if it were their own private space. As well as acting victimised by things that are none of their business. It connects with people who would abuse strangers for speaking a foreign language in public, or for holding hands with a same-sex partner. I have even encountered people (always females) who claimed that I didn’t have the right to appear in public places (or to be in the same room with other human beings), because I survived child abuse, or because I worked more than 40 hours per week. Because I would somehow be offending and harming total strangers who don’t even know that information. You are different to someone, or maybe they are envious in some way, and they will assert the authority to decide that you don’t get to be a member of society as a whole. There is no limit to the bizarre pettiness, arrogance, and self-defense fantasies.
For transsexual people, the quality of one’s mentality or behaviour is considered irrelevant. You could be finding life on Mars, curing cancer, solving global warming and pollution, building schools for girls in patriarchal third world countries, defending reproductive rights (that don’t benefit you, since you are sterile), working to reduce child abuse and other domestic violence, and bringing peace to the Middle East in your spare time. And many people will only want to focus on what is in your pants, what hormones and surgery you use, a letter on your birth certificate, and where you choose to urinate.
You may even be openly assigned the status of a “rapist” and predator without actually raping anyone, or harming anyone in any way. And we don’t want any “rapists” in public toilets. Including the kind of “rapist” who never actually raped anyone, and has zero intention of ever doing so. Because that is about the most sneaky, deceptive, and difficult-to-prosecute “rapist” there is.
Toilet owners probably aren’t going to put a device on the door that checks your identification, and only unlocks if it matches. And there is nothing about those “men” or “women” signs that forcibly filters who walks in.
Someone who appears female to a casual observer, goes into a stall, urinates out of anyone’s sight, flushes, washes hands, and leaves without any interaction with (or even looking in the direction of) other toilet-users, cannot reasonably be said to have victimised anyone.
Bathroom laws would be enforced based on physical appearance, not behaviour. Thus criminalising someone merely because some stranger doesn’t like the way she looks. It also places people at the mercy of whether that random stranger does or doesn’t choose to harass and confront them.
Next, since social transitioning is being eliminated, there will be efforts to create laws and regulations prohibiting doctors from prescribing cross-sex hormone treatment or surgery. This will start with underage adolescents, for sympathy, but will escalate to adult patients, with condescension. And claims of allegedly “helping” mentally incompetent people to avoid making a mistake.
Plus, we don’t want anyone medically altering her body in a way that might deceive strangers (ranging from other toilet-users, to prospective employers, to passers-by-on-the-street) about her birth-sex or genitalia. Because she “doesn’t” have any right to privacy or autonomy. And neither do you.
The proponents of bathroom laws practically admit that they are comfortable with abusing transsexual women who have done nothing to anyone, as punishment for the for the violent crimes actually (or even just potentially) committed by men. Also, I recall some American politician publicly stating that, if he had had the opportunity as a teenager to enter girls’ school bathrooms for voyeurism, he would have done so, like he thought this was cute. Project much? But ultimately, this has nothing to do with preventing fraudulent “fake trannies” from peeping or assaulting in public toilets (both of which are already illegal).
The people pushing this stuff would be quite happy to see each and every transsexual person put a gun to their head and pull the trigger.
Meanwhile, idiot transjacktivists with too much time on their hands, go on YouTube and other sites (including Quora), ranting that they can’t get laid, and pathetically trying to guilt-trip lesbians into providing sex and validation. They demonstrate massive disrespect of boundaries, consent, and females in general. Thereby feeding into the paranoia and contempt. They are disgusting, and I wouldn’t want to share any type of space with some of them.
The loudest people on that side create serious “guilt by association” for quieter ones who just want peace and privacy. Unfortunately, things have progressed to where some creepy, fetishistic dude thinks he can put “transgender woman” on his public online profile (while doing nothing more), and feels entitled to the same consideration as a sincere, shy, decent person who used permanent medical alterations, at great personal cost and suffering, to avoid suicide. This is one of the main social and political problems for transsexual people.
In this general type of debate (whether it is toilets, sex/gender markers on documents, hormones for underage minors, terminology/labels, or the general legitimacy of transsexual people), there is a lot of black-and-white thinking, and a lot of people yelling past each other, without real communication. Neither side presents themselves or their arguments well.
There is a privacy argument that, females should be free from males looking at them in a state of undress, or from the sight of a penis. Implying that there is open nudity going on in public toilets. I have never exposed (or seen) any body part in a public toilet that wouldn’t normally be visible. The partial disrobing happens inside a stall. The last communal toilet I was in had the edge of the door made so that there wasn’t any gap between it and the partition, so someone would need to look over or under. As far as I could tell, there weren’t any feminist “toilet police” there trying to check out my crotch, unless they had a hidden camera in the stall.
There is another privacy argument that, legally allowing legitimate transsexual women to access public toilets, would enable non-transsexual, cis-male predators to “put on a dress” and openly walk in without being confronted and removed. This also links to other female-designated spaces, of various types. And that, said predators would be further enabled to peep and assault (both of which are already illegal). I will withhold opinion on this, because the mentality of such predators is, by definition, irrational, and very far removed from my own mentality. I would be open seeing crime data for every dimension of this issue, including the number of incidents, and correlation to time-frame of legislation. This isn’t a dismissal – I am actually interested in seeing the numbers.
Who is the creepy pervert? The person who just wants a safe, accessible, private, appropriate facility for a normal, daily bodily function? Or some self-appointed “toilet police” obsessed with a stranger’s genitalia, that they can’t even see, who enjoys harassing members of a highly vulnerable minority?
Do the feminist bathroom-defenders want to deputise me as an enforcer? Am I expected to get one of those miniature remote-control helicopter drones with a video camera, and fly it over the partition, to verify the genitalia of the woman in the next stall, to make sure she is legal to be there? Am I expected to stand by the door all day, checking ID documents? Or conducting strip-searches, before strangers are allowed to go in and empty their bladders? How much “collateral damage” is acceptable, when I accidentally harass females who are too tall, or who fail to meet some hetero-normative femininity/beauty standards? Remind me again who is the creepy voyeur pervert?
Personally, I have always found communal toilets to be creepy in general. I want regular floor-to-ceiling walls and locking door between me and everybody else. I’m there to relieve my bladder, not to socialise. If available, I choose wheelchair-accessible toilets, for the privacy and larger space. These are often gender-neutral, and I don’t care, because I am the only person in there at the time.
There could be a simple solution right there. Single-user, gender-neutral toilets, with full-length walls and doors.
If I need to use a multi-stall toilet, I obviously don’t want someone looking in or assaulting me (both of which are already illegal).
Would I feel comfortable with a unisex multi-stall toilet or shower? No, I wouldn’t, because I don’t trust men in general in such a situation (or in many other situations). However, if another bathroom user meets my perception of being a woman (which honestly does have large appearance and “vibe” components), and is generally acting civilised, I don’t know or care what she has in her pants, or floating through her bloodstream, or on her identification documents. It doesn’t threaten me, doesn’t degrade my own social woman-status, and doesn’t affect me in any other way.
I’ve always had a personal policy of keeping my attention out of other women’s knickers, unless directly invited. Because I actually understand boundaries.
If I want total control to restrict access to a toilet, it needs to be my own personal toilet, in my own home, entirely paid for by me. If I use public toilets, I have to share them with other members of the public, who may be different to me in some way, and who may be people with whom I would never want to socialise. It’s the same with any other public or semi-public space.
Informed feminists should be aware of the connection between public toilets and oppression of women, ranging from 19th century Britain, to modern India. Lack of acceptable public toilets restricts women’s ability to go out in public as a participating member of society. And yet, some feminists are quite willing to see that imposed on people who happen to be different to themselves.
The bathroom-defenders don’t necessarily really think that, “use the toilet of your birth sex” is viable. I seriously doubt they want to see Buck Angel in the ladies’ room. And some of them will openly state that they simply don’t care about harassment or even violence against people who happen to be different to themselves.
This whole “issue” is being used as a moral panic. It focuses on a fraction of a percent of the population, but the disproportionate media attention (including both click-baiting and liberal virtue-signalling) suggest that public toilets everywhere are being absolutely overrun. Politicians pushing this are concerned with a much larger group, which is voters, who need to be told that there is huge social problem, and that those politicians are going to fix it and protect the public.
The previous moral panic was same-sex marriage, which many people still don’t like, but that fight appears to be now settled. So a new moral panic needed to start, with a smaller and more vulnerable minority.
In America, this type of issue (starting with military servicemember policy) has provided a distraction. From things like the alleged Russian involvement with the presidential election. And from that president’s attitude and conduct towards women. And from whether he is even minimally qualified or self-controlled enough for the position.
The creepy bathroom fixation sounds very specific. However, it is closely linked to other things, such as current efforts to restrict access to abortion.
This can also be seen with the opposition to transsexual hormone treatment for adolescents, with hand-wringing about how they are sterilised by the process. This relates to the pervasive view that, everyone is obligated to have children, whether they want to or not.
It also relates to the idea that the government has the authority to criminalise the consumption of the “wrong” types of drugs.
All of this is based on a general idea that, people (whether transsexual or not) don’t really have the right to control their own bodies or their lives.
I started this answer with the phrase, “the thin end of the wedge”. And that wedge isn’t going to stop with transsexual people.
The current, easy target is a tiny minority, towards which most people’s view ranges from lack of empathy, up to extreme contempt. And whose societal group-image suffers greatly from the garbage spewed by the above-mentioned, self-appointed, online transjacktivists.
However, this seemingly-specific legal and social progression will embolden its proponents to continue steamrolling over other demographics and rights.
The logical future?
- Further limitations on sex education in public schools.
- Further restrictions on adolescents’ access to birth control, even with parental consent.
- Further limitations on funding for (or even caring about) health services (including, but not just limited to, reproductive services) for low-income people.
- Degradation of the availability of sexual assault services.
- Degradation of medical (and other) privacy rights for everyone.
- Today, shut down your local transsexual hormone clinic. Tomorrow, shut down your local contraception/abortion clinic.
- Today, pass bathroom laws and ID document restrictions (because people “don’t” really have the right to medical privacy). Tomorrow, overturn Roe vs. Wade (which was based on the right to medical privacy).
Because people “don’t” really have the right to control their own bodies.
Along with the medical angles, you can also expect degraded big-picture situations for employment, regarding both sexist discrimination, and sexual harassment (including situations with zero involvement of any transsexual people).
It’s fascinating that, the feminist bathroom-defenders and ID document micromanagers are now on the same side as the folks who want to restrict women’s reproductive choices.
It’s also fascinating to see paranoid lesbians on the same side as homophobes.
And they are all on the same side as a president whose attitude towards women is, “Grab ’em by the pussy”.
A long time ago, I thought that feminism was largely about, “my body, my rules”. And about people making their own choices how to live their lives, without social coercion or restriction based on what they were born with between their legs.
It’s not at all clear what it’s about now.