Let’s talk about these new proposed law that would make it illegal for Trans* people to use the restroom associated with their gender identity. That is to say, I would be forced to use the women’s bathroom. I cannot fathom why this is even an issue. The arguments for these proposed laws are as ludicrous as the laws themselves.
“I don’t want a man using the women’s restroom with me/my daughter/my wife, it would make me uncomfortable”
“If you have a vagina, you need to use the women’s bathroom. If you have a penis, use the men’s bathroom.”
“If we allow Trans* people to use the wrong bathroom, what’s to stop a man from pretending to be Trans* to rape women in the bathroom?”
“Bathrooms are designed for specific genders genitals, if you have a vagina you can’t use a urinal so why would you want to use the men’s room?”
“I don’t want little boys waving their penis around at my little girl in the bathroom at school! She shouldn’t be exposed to that.”
“Maybe we should have four different bathrooms: male, female, MTF, FTM. ”
These are just a few of the things I have read/heard regarding these proposed laws. I don’t have the time or energy to address every absurdity that has come up over this issue and these are the ones I’ve heard the most so let’s break them down.
1. “I don’t want a man using the women’s restroom with me/my daughter/my wife, it would make me uncomfortable”
Ok, for starters no one is suggesting we let men use the women’s bathroom. Although, frankly I don’t really care who is using either bathroom. We are talking about Trans* people. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. Chances are you have shared a bathroom with a Trans* person at some point in your life and never even knew. Unless you are peeping through the cracks in stalls or looking into occupied urinals, you would really have no way of knowing what genitals other people in the bathroom possess. And if you are doing some extra looking, the issue isn’t the Trans* person in the bathroom, the issue is the pervert peeping at the Trans* person!
2. “If you have a vagina, you need to use the women’s bathroom. If you have a penis, use the men’s bathroom.”
I have no idea why people concern themselves so much with the genitals of others. But here’s the thing…the signs on the doors say “men” and “women” not “penis” and “vagina” and if I identify as male, look like a man, dress like a man, and am fully accepted by society as a man, then I am damn well using the men’s room. Vagina or not, I need to pee and I’m doing so in the bathroom that fits me best.
3. “If we allow Trans* people to use the wrong bathroom, what’s to stop a man from pretending to be Trans* to rape women in the bathroom?”
I never know if people are being serious when they present this as an argument in support of these horrific laws. With or without these laws, what’s to stop a rapist from raping? The threat of a misdemeanor (being in the “wrong” bathroom) is clearly not going to stop someone who is planning to commit a felony. Stopping Trans* people from using the proper restroom will not stop predators. It will not reduce the incidence of rape but it will increase the number of violent attacks on Trans* people when they are forced into the wrong bathroom. No rapist is going to think “well shit… I can’t put on a dress and do the bathroom idea… I guess I just won’t rape anyone ever again.” If you want to stop rape, then stop promoting rape culture, start raising kids to respect all other genders, and stop making boys believe that sex is a conquest, an important rite of passage. Raise your children to believe that no gender should have power over another. Rape is a societal issue, not a gender identity issue. Stop making excuses to discriminate against the Trans* population.
4. “Bathrooms are designed for specific genders genitals, if you have a vagina you can’t use a urinal so why would you want to use the men’s room?”
I have a vagina and I have used urinals many times, it is not only possible but convenient. I’ve also noticed over the years that every single men’s room I have ever been in also has a regular toilet so this is really a pointless argument since anyone who prefers to sit when they pee can do so. It is also equally invalid to say MTF’s shouldn’t use the women’s bathroom because of a lack of urinals. I don’t know too many people who have urinals in their home. They all seem to make do with the same toilets you will find in a female restroom. So stop using porcelain waste receptacles as an excuse to be an asshole.
5. “I don’t want little boys waving their penis around at my little girl in the bathroom at school! She shouldn’t be exposed to that.”
What the hell do you people think is happening in bathrooms?! I have never once seen a person showing off their genitals in a bathroom. Never. What your child shouldn’t be exposed to is the type of bigotry this argument presents. Most (certainly not all) Trans* people don’t really want anyone to see their genitals. They don’t even want to see them! Why on earth would you think they’d be strutting around, pants off, in a public restroom?! Have you done that? Have you ever walked into a bathroom and decided to show off your junk? If you have, I’d like you to refrain from using any public restroom, regardless of the gender it’s meant for.
6. “Maybe we should have four different bathrooms: male, female, MTF, FTM. ”
This isn’t exactly an argument for (or against) these laws but it’s something I see a lot in discussions about them. It’s asinine and offensive. For starters, there are more than just those four gender categories, and the marginalization of all the other identities covered by Trans* is intolerable. The second issue is that this statement says MTFs and FTMs are not female and male, respectively. I am a man. There is no need for an FTM bathroom. What we need are unisex bathrooms. We also need people to stop whining about the genitals of other people.
Look, this is all very simple. I have to relieve myself, I’m going to do it in the bathroom I am comfortable in. Any law that would require me to use the bathroom associated with my assigned at birth gender is ridiculous. If I were to use the women’s room looking like this what would happen?
I’ll tell you exactly what would happen. I would, at the very least, be told I was in the wrong bathroom and at worse, I’d be accused of being a pervert, possibly assaulted, and may even have the police called on me. I would certainly make women uncomfortable. If an MTF is forced into the men’s room, the same dangers apply except the risk of physical assault is likely even higher. There is absolutely no logical basis for any of these recent proposed laws, these laws come from bigots, from a dark and hateful place in society. They are not about protecting women from predators as they are often described, they are about making the lives of Trans* people harder unnecessarily. It is an attempt to take away basic human rights and deny us the ability to take care of a simple biological need. These are bathrooms, it’s a place to eliminate waste, it doesn’t matter who is in there with you. Let us piss in peace!