Sunday, May 1, 2016

Just How Stupid Is the Transgender Bathroom Debate?

Pretty stupid. But that's not the point.

Nobody would think to stop this guy from using the ladies room. Nobody.

What exactly is the point, then? Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry of The Week takes a stab at it:
First of all: These laws [against transgender bathroom use] are only symbolic. They serve no functional purpose. Presumably, post-transition transgender people look like the gender they identify with. Who, exactly, is going to stop someone who looks like a woman from walking into a ladies' room? Or someone who looks like a man from walking into a men's room? The American nanny state may be out of control, but we still don't have bathroom police. As such, post-transition transgender Americans likely already have access to the bathrooms of their choice, even without these new laws.
As for the conservative claim that these transgender rights laws give sexual predators license to attack people: This is nonsense. There are surely transgender sexual predators, just like there are cisgender sexual predators, just like there are straight, bi, and gay sexual predators. The problems posed by bathrooms and sexual assault (the access, the relative privacy) are the same with or without the transgender element, and with or without these laws.
Conservatives just hate icky stuff they think is weird and -- in their world -- against their religion. As much as they like to think they're in favor of "religious liberty" as guaranteed by the Constitution, they don't actually think it works both ways. Only their religious beliefs hold sway.

So Gobry has it right: Allow the symbolic -- transgender people have rights -- and their world falls to shit, a place where icky people get to do what they feel is right even if there is no practical way to police the icky behavior (behavior, by the way, that some people don't think is icky).

But they shudder to think! Tough break, conservative tribe. You may get your way, for a while at least, in your territory, but it'll cost you. Ask North Carolina...

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