The real question for Day 13 was “your commute to and from work.” That looks something like this:
I live five miles from work. The commute takes ten minutes – three of which are spent getting out of my neighborhood – with five four-way stop intersections and two traffic circles. That’s it. Boring. Why would you want to hear about that?
Instead, I am going to weigh in on a few things in the political arena that kind of make me want to light something (or someone…) on fire.
Not the article, specifically, but the whole transgender restroom issue.
Some people have claimed that not allowing transgender kids from using the school restroom they are more comfortable using is for their safety. Because other kids would find out that they are transgender and bully them. Because teaching kids not to be monsters to one another – and punishing them when they are – could never be a viable option.
But this goes beyond public school and kids. This is all public restrooms everywhere. Because apparently transgender people are just perverts looking to prey on children.
Except here’s the thing…
Okay, so a friend told me a story of being in the ladies’ at a concert venue. One of the guys from one of the bands popped in and apologized that the sinks were broken in the men’s and he just needed to wash his hands. And you know what happened? Women screamed and ran from the room for fear of being violated en masse because a strange man was in their restroom.
Most of them barely acknowledged his presence.
And this was one of the guys from one of the bands these women had paid money to watch perform. Someone who would ordinarily garner at least a second glance and he didn’t even blip on their radar.
So, why, if this guy in a band who should have made a scene just by existing didn’t get noticed, would a pervert looking to prey on women and children need to pretend to be a woman to gain access to the ladies’? The answer is he wouldn’t. Men walk into public ladies’ restrooms like they own the place and no one bats an eyelash. They don’t need to make up a story about being transgender.
And the opposite is also true. A woman can walk into the men’s room without anyone even saying boo. There might be some whistles and cat calls and general lewdness but it would likely be coming from the men she walked in on. Even if she was in there to prey on little boys.
A mtf transgender person, however, is going to try her damnedest to fit in. Chances are she is going to look more like a woman than not. She is going to walk in, mind her own business, the same way any other woman would, duck into a stall and do what needs to be done. She will walk out, still minding her own business – hopefully – wash her hands and leave. And you probably wouldn’t be able to say with 100% certainty whether she had indoor or outdoor plumbing.
You probably don’t even know now how many trans women you have shared a restroom with. And do you know why that is? Because you were never raped or violated by a single one of them. Not one of them pulled up her skirt and showed you what was underneath.
Nor did any of the cis women you have shared a restroom with.
The idea that someone would put on such an elaborate façade to “infiltrate” a women’s restroom is so absurd it hurts. I feel like we are living in a sci-fi movie. Except the scariest part of the movie is when you find out it was a documentary.
But humans have this problem. When the People don’t understand something the People ask the Authority for help, for explanation, for guidance. When the People ask about something the Authority doesn’t understand, the Authority makes up horror stories to keep the People subverted. That’s why Zeus was an asshole and that’s why transgender people can’t pee where they feel most comfortable peeing.
So the United States Supreme Court decided that same sex marriage was an okay thing that people could do. After that, individual states started trying to undermine that in any way they could think of and one of those ways was to say a biological male living life as a female, who is in every publically visible way, a female, who wears dresses and high heels and make up and curls her hair, should be forced into the men’s restroom (in The South, no less because those are the most tolerant people in the history of tolerance).
Some big names in entertainment – Bruce Springstein, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr – have chosen to show their support for the people affected by these laws by canceling performances. On the one hand, this pulls revenue from the state and makes a statement. On the other hand, who gets punished? The fans.
Others like Kevin McHale and Laura Jane Grace have chosen to use their performances to do some good. McHale donated what he made off his North Carolina show to support LGBT charities. Grace is using her show to increase the visibility of transgender people and the issues they face, including encouraging everyone at her show to make the restrooms of the venue gender-neutral.
I appreciate the idea behind a boycott. Unfortunately, when an entertainer chooses to boycott a state because of a controversial law, the state suffers a loss of tax revenue but the people who really suffer are the fans who were looking forward to that temporary escape from their lives and the chance to see someone they admire do the thing that they are admired for.
So that was a lot of words but admit it. It was far more interesting to endure my sardonic rant than to hear about how I get to work in the mornings.