BATHROOM POLICY REGARDING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
The ruling class is using this issue to divide-and-rule
[The URL of this article is https://www.pdrboston.org/bathroom-policy-re-transgender ]
by John Spritzler
As somebody once wisely said, "Sometimes that which goes without saying goes better said." In that spirit let me say, before getting into the topic indicated by the title of this article, that I believe that transgender people should have full civil and human rights, just like everybody else. Nothing I say below is contrary to this belief. Politicians, as we all know, sometimes claim that the law they passed or advocate is about doing something good--like defending human and civil rights or the "right to work," etc., when in reality it is no such thing. When somebody objects to such a law, that does not mean, of course, that they object to the good thing that the law PURPORTS to be defending, does it?
Until 2016, the custom for a very long time has been that when it comes to public-access locker room and shower facilities, people with male genitalia (whether born with them or not) use one set of facilities and people with female genitalia use a different set of facilities. As for public-access bathrooms with private stalls, the custom has been that people who appear to be female use the women's bathroom and vice versa; genitalia are irrelevant because they are not seen by anybody else. This made virtually everybody happy, including transgender people. The rare transgender individual with one kind of genitalia who insists on using shower or locker room facilities where everybody else has the opposite kind of gentalia is viewed by most transgender people as wrong, as motivated by ideologically driven exhibitionism that denies the right of people to the kind of privacy they are accustomed to in gendered public-access facilities.
But now the Left/Liberal establishment is telling sensible ordinary people they are just a bunch of bigots.
The Left & Big-Money-Funded Liberal Organizations are Wrong and Are Being Used by the Ruling Class to Divide and Rule Us
Some LGBT organizations allied with Big Money* (which is using this issue to divide-and-rule us) are claiming this rare kind of transgender person is typical of transgender people, and therefore the long standing custom for public-access bathroom, locker room and shower facilities is "oppressive to transgender people." This is a lie.**
When liberals hear NPR tell them the lie that transgender people are oppressed by the long standing custom, they reflexively support the new "bathroom" laws that liberal politicians claim are necessary to end the oppression of transgender people. These new laws, however, are terrible and have nothing to do with ending the oppression of anybody. President Obama was behind these terrible laws (he began his activism on this issue as far back as October, 2015). He insisted that any person with male genitalia (born with them or not) who says "I feel like a woman today" has a legal right to enter the public-access bathrooms, locker rooms and showers designated as for women (and vice versa), and anybody who disagrees is a bigot. Hardly any ordinary people agree with this, not even transgender persons. And yet liberal politicians are passing laws that say this.
In some states, the politicians are refusing to go along with this nonsense.
North Carolina's new HB2 law*** (signed into law in March of 2016, in response to the liberal attack on the status quo) says that public-access bathroom, locker room and shower room facilities designated as for women are only for people whose birth certificate says they are female, and vice versa. North Carolina (like many other states) lets a person change the gender on their birth certificate by providing "a notarized statement from the physician who performed the sex reassignment surgery or from a physician licensed to practice medicine who has examined the individual and can certify that the person has undergone sex reassignment surgery."
North Carolinal's HB2 law thus simply codifies what has been the perfectly reasonable custom for decades: people with male genitalia (whether born with them or not) use one set of facilities and people with female genitalia (whether born with them or not) use a different set of facilities.** HB2 is a perfectly reasonable law and in fact ordinary transgender people are fine with it too.
The liberal establishment (NPR, etc.) media don't tell their listeners/readers a very key fact: that one can change the gender on one's birth certificate in North Carolina (and most states). Why not? The reason is that when people don't know one can change one's birth certificate gender, then it seems as if the HB2 law requires a male-to-female transgender person with sex-change surgery to use the men's facilities, and vice versa, which would be oppressive. The liberal establishment media want their liberal audiences to believe that non-liberals who support the HB2 law are "transphobic" bigots; and so the liberal media censor the key fact that prevents their audience from seeing that HB2 is perfectly reasonable and not at all oppressive.
Attacking people who support HB2 as bigots is the way that the ruling class uses this manufactured issue to divide-and-rule, to pit the liberal NPR listeners against the rest of the population.
When a woman is naked in a public-access shower/locker room and a stranger enters displaying male genitalia, the woman has every reason in the world to assume the stranger is a man, and she has no ability whatsoever to confirm the stranger's claim (if he or she makes it) to the contrary. The woman in this case has a perfect right to tell the stranger with male genitalia he is not welcome in the women's shower/locker room.
This has nothing to do with women necessarily fearing that the man will harm her; it's simply that she doesn't want to be naked in front of a stranger who is a man in a public-access place. The LGBT organizations lined up behind the liberal politicians are deliberately confusing the issue by asserting that a transgender person is not likely to sexually assault a woman and if they did so that is already a crime, "So what's the big deal?" These LGBT organizations say this in order to deflect attention from the actual and totally reasonable concerns that women have: they don't want to be naked in front of an unknown man in a public-access shower room.
The disingenuous nature of these LGBT organizations' defense of the terrible liberal "bathroom" laws reveals how phony the entire "bathroom" issue is. The ruling class claims there is oppression where there is not oppression, in order to use divide-and-rule to implement the REAL oppression: class inequality so obscene that 3 American individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of all Americans combined.
SOME LAWS AND COURT RULINGS, ETC.
This court ruled that a person has a right to use a girls bathroom in a school merely if they say they are a girl: https://gazette.com/news/transgender-6-year-old-wins-civil-rights-case-against-fountain-school-district/article_46676c4e-077a-5867-9bf4-08c061202e1f.html
The Obama administration formally supported a transgender person's right "to use restrooms corresponding with their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex: https://mashable.com/archive/obama-administration-transgender-lawsuit#DFYhKNg2b8qE
"In 2016, guidance was issued by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education stating that schools which receive federal money must treat a student's gender identity as their sex (for example, in regard to bathrooms). However, this policy was revoked in 2017." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathroom_bill
"In February 2016, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, adopted an ordinance which, it said, was intended to allow transgender persons a right to access bathrooms according to gender identity. The preexisting ordinance, in § 12-58 prohibited discrimination race, religion or national origin. In addition, the preexisting ordinance in § 12-59 banned discrimination based on sex but specifically exempted bathrooms, changing rooms and other intimate spaces from sex discrimination prohibitions, thus allowing separation based on sex. The ordinance did not ban discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. By the February 2016 amendment, the City Council added gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and marital status to the protected categories. It also deleted this provision that allowed separation based on "sex". In so doing, it essentially eliminated the word "sex" from the city ordinance, leaving the term gender." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathroom_bill
"On July 7, 2016, “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination” (Senate Bill 2407) was passed by a voice vote in the Senate and 117-36 in the House. It was signed by Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker the next day. It took effect on October 1, 2016. It amended Section 92A of chapter 272 of the General Laws to cover "gender identity" in "any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement that lawfully segregates or separates access...based on a person’s sex" such that all individuals shall be treated "consistent with the person’s gender identity." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Gender_Identity_Anti-Discrimination_Initiative
Section 92A of chapter 272 of the General Law is online at https://malegislature.gov/laws/generallaws/partiv/titlei/chapter272/section92a .
The "Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination” (Senate Bill 2407)" is online as a downloadable PDF file available at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S2407/ . It says (read it for yourself; I cannot copy and paste from the PDF file):
"An owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement that lawfully segregates or separates access to such place of public accommodation, or a portion of such place of public accommodation, based on a person's sex shall grant all persons admission to, and the full enjoyment of, such place of public accommodation or portion thereof consistent with the person's gender identity."
"Boston, Human rights, chapter XII, s.12-9
Includes in its protections, "Gender identity or expression shall mean and include a person's actual or perceived gender, as well as a person's gender identity, gender-related self-image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression whether or not that gender identity, gender-related self-image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression is different from that traditionally associated with a person's sex at birth."" https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-law-about-gender-identity-or-expression
SEX VERSUS GENDER
Just because a person born biologically male decides to live life as a female (or vice versa) does not mean that this person changed their sex, only that he/she changed their social gender identity, which is different from their biological sex. Please watch this video by a transgender woman (born biologically male) explain this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyzZ3J6IG6s .
* MassEquality is one of the big LGBT organizations in Massachusetts that "Applauds Passage of Transgender Anti-Discrimination Bill by MA House" and it (as the "MassEquality Education Fund" [same url as MassEquality itself]) received $60,000 from the Tides Foundation in 2014, which is a conduit for Big Money from the Ford and Rockefeller and Heinz foundations, and the billionaire George Soros, and similar ruling class sources, as discussed in great detail here.
** There are some transgender persons whose genitalia are the opposite of the gender with which they identify, either because they are too young to have their genitalia changed surgically or because for some reason they don't wish to do that. Such individuals may, for example, have male genitalia and wish to use the public-access women's shower/locker room instead of the men's facility. Their wish conflicts, however, with the reasonable expectations and desires of women not to share the women's facility with any person with male genitalia. It is not "oppression" to honor the perfectly reasonable expectations and desires of women by not allowing the transgender person in this example to shower with women. Any law that gives the transgender person in this example the right to use the women's public-access shower or locker facilities would, in practice, also allow a man who was born male to enter the women's facilities. Nude women are not able to confirm a nude stranger's claim that despite having male genitalia she (?) is really a female, are they? It is not bigotry to object to such an absurd law!
The transgender person in this example could very reasonably ask to use a private (for one person only) facility and if one does not exist they could ask for one to be created (even if only by the use of a temporary curtain or some such method) and they would likely get as much support in this request from people identifying as "conservative" as from those identifying as "liberal." But to accuse the women who don't want to shower with anybody having male genitalia of being "transphobic bigoted" oppressors is just plain wrong. Regarding ordinary bathrooms (as opposed to locker rooms or shower areas) any law about who may use which facility that directly or indirectly references type of genitalia is, in practice, irrelevant because as long as a person appears to be of the appropriate gender there's no problem since nobody else sees a person's genitalia if they use a bathroom stall and wish to be discreet, as any transgender person would naturally wish.
*** The HB2 law has parts in it that have nothing to do with "bathroom" facilities or gender (such as whether cities can pass their own minimum wage laws, etc.) The liberal media, however, is condemning the law as "oppressive, transphobic bigotry" for its "bathroom"/gender content, specifically, and not for its other content. It is only the "bathroom" content of the law that this website page is, therefore, concerned with.
Postscript August 21, 2022
The following is from an email I sent to some people who disagreed with me on this topic.
Here are my thoughts on the "who is right" question about the woman in the shower when a person unambiguously of the male sex enters it.
Consider a scenario in which a naked thirty-year old person named Pat of the male sex (whatever one might say about Pat's gender) with male genitalia and a beard and large muscles enters the women's shower room where there is a naked 30 year old woman named Mary who says to Pat, "You're in the wrong place and should leave" and the Pat says, "No, I'm a woman and have a right to be here."
This scenario is designed to get at the core principle, of social right, without any distracting details. Thus:
1. Pat is clearly and unambiguously of the male sex and shows no physical signs of transitioning to a female physical appearance.
2. Mary has no reason to doubt that Pat is of the male sex, regardless of what gender Pat claims to identify as.
3. Mary, like most women, knows the fact that very many 30 year old people of the male sex are likely to be sexually aroused by the sight of a naked 30 year old woman (see discussions of this well-known fact here and here) and that lust is a real phenomenon and therefore it is not unreasonable for her to be very uncomfortable (due to fear of possible rape) in the presence of Pat in the shower room.
4. Mary also knows that she cannot tell what Pat is likely to do or not do based merely on the words he utters to her. As far as Mary can tell, Pat might be a voyeur heterosexual male intent on ogling her or molesting her or even raping her.
The policy of "people with the same genitalia, and only people of the same genitalia, shower together (with possible exceptions for very young children) and that there should be private one-person-only showers for those who may not feel comfortable showering with others present" is designed to spare people like Mary from suffering great discomfort (fear). I support this policy and think Mary is in the right in this scenario.
Now let's consider the contrary opinion, which is that Mary's behavior in this scenario is morally wrong (fascist) because it is morally indistinguishable from her racist behavior if, when in a second alternate scenario a black 30 year old woman named Stella entered the shower, she (Mary) told Stella, "You must leave because you are black and this is a whites-only shower."
Here is why the two scenarios are not morally analogous.
In the first scenario, Mary has good reason--based on fact--to feel very uncomfortable (fearful) in the presence of Pat. In the second scenario, in contrast, Mary does not have good reason based on fact to feel very uncomfortable (fearful) in the presence of Stella; Mary might indeed feel uncomfortable (fearful) in the presence of Stella but only because she believes racist liesshe has been told about black people, not because she has factual reasons for feeling uncomfortable (fearful.)
What do you think?
By the way, I have heard three people (one a trans woman I know personally, and one (the woman who authored this letter), and one a trans person on a web chat all say that trans women with pre-op genitalia are extremely averse to displaying their genitalia to women in a public shower; the trans person on the chat said that such a display amounts to wrongful "ideological exhibitionism." I believe that most trans people support the policy of "people with the same genitalia, and only people of the same genitalia, shower together (with possible exceptions for very young children) and that there should be private one-person-only showers for those who may not feel comfortable showering with others present" and that it is the trans people in Big Money-funded organizations who support the contrary new "bathroom" laws that, in Massachusetts, would subject Mary to a $50,000 fine and a year in prison for telling Pat to leaves. I think these bathroom laws are being enacted purely to divide-and-rule the have-nots and not at all to make life better for trans people.