Transgender, Women’s Rights & Public Bathrooms

There has been a wave of ultra-conservatism seeping into unsuspecting arenas of American society. Machines of conservative organizations peddling out propaganda thinly veiled as as intellectual debates that are presented to us via Facebook memes. Because Facebook is the bastion of intellectual conversation and the comment section shows how far we have progressed as a human race.

We have delectable breakdowns of how Margaret Sanger believed in eugenics, therefore Planned Parenthood is out to kill Black babies, and by inspiration so is Hillary Clinton. Nevermind the province of the right to accessible preventive care for poor women that Planned Parenthood protects. Ted Cruz, the Texas State Senator turned GOP Presidential candidate who might be the Zodiac Killer, has spent a hefty portion of his political career attempting to disembowel Planned Parenthood. Because abortions are a horrible horrible thing, that no woman should have the right to. Cruz is politically trying to bring down the hand of his god, to restrict women’s access to their own bodies. Nary a concern to the 43 year old Supreme Court ruling of Roe vs. Wade, that made abortions legal in the United States. Cruz is backed by a bevy of ultra conservative politicians who have been elected by their communities.

Now these conservative politicians have turned their concerns to how and where you poop. They’ve foretold of the dangers of allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms that they gender identify as. In that a trans-woman being allowed to use the woman’s bathroom, would put you at great risk for sexual assault. Because humans born biologically male are deciding to transition to female, in order to rape unsuspecting women.

Remember Jim Crow? Maybe you do not remember it first hand, but you’ve heard of the system of laws that were put into place to keep Black people in their place. Oh no, that scary “super predator” Black thug, who is out to rape our women. I do believe we as a people have collectively fought against Jim Crow and the perilous stereotypes that accompanied the justification for those laws. Why would we then turn around and cast those same stereotypes on to another people? We need to be considerate of everyone’s comfort levels. I can understand why people think that is a viable push back. But do remember Jim Crow was implemented to keep the majority comfortable, we pushed back against to establish the human dignity and rights of less than 20% of the population.

What legislation that polices the bathroom based on gender identity does, is increase the risk for everyone. A trans-woman who presents as a woman walking into the men’s bathroom is at a higher risk for sexual assault. Trans-women are at the highest risk for assault in general. To cast them as the predator is misanthropic to people whose gender identity is not binary. And what precarious position does this put women who simply dress masculine? The windfall is that while this endangers trans people, it also endangers anyone who does not follow the subjective dress code of what a woman “should” wear.

We now have men following women into the bathroom to tell them they don’t have a right to pee into that toilet. So if the concern is keeping men out of the ladies’ room, how is this really helping? When you decide to run to Walmart post-gym workout or you just look rough in general, how would you feel if someone accosted you for trying to take a tinkle in the ladies room, because by their standards you are not presenting as a woman? Why is no one talking about protecting men? Look at the tangled webs we weave….

pee-pee-danceWhat’s not being explained to the general public is what gender-neutral bathrooms look like. For most people who live outside of progressive cities like Los Angeles or New York City, they don’t understand how a gender-neutral bathroom actually provides more privacy. For women, public restrooms are rarely a soothing and private experience. They stink, they’re broken down, they are facilities you use, touching as few surfaces as possible and get out quickly. When the doors to the stall close properly they can still be peered through. A gender-neutral bathroom, figuratively and literally closes a lot of those gaps. You now have stalls that cannot be peeked through and that are large enough to bring a child into or change diapers in.

If a man wants to do bodily harm to a woman, he does not have to put on a dress to do so. We live in a culture that does not want to address the rape culture that is pervasive in our society, so men who decide to be predators have much more convenient means to do so.

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Jouezly is celebrating the diversity of women of color through discussions on complex cultural and lifestyle topics. Intersecting history with pop culture, to brighten the future. Empowering #SmartBrownGirls to find the power in their voice and define their own success stores. 

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