The “Terror” of Gender-Neutral Toilets

All Gender Splendor_Where Excuses Go to Die

Not since the Satanic Panic of the 1980s have we seen as much moral alarmism and fear mongering as we’re now enduring, with today’s terror over gender-neutral toilets.

Texas and 10 other states filed suit last week challenging the U.S. Justice and Education Departments’ issuance of an Obama directive instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

Supporters of the lawsuit, filed in a Texas federal court, say the move is designed to protect women and children (presumably from “unemployed homosexuals, deviants, rapists, transgenders, and other sodomites from every state”). Though the actual threat from these jobless homo-nazis is practically nonexistent, according to the Justice Department and others, Texas says it will forfeit $10 billion in federal funding for education rather than carry out the so-called “bathroom law.” BTW, asked if he knows of any instances in which a child’s safety has been threatened by transgender bathroom rights, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has replied, “there’s not a lot of research.”

But foot-stomping is so much more fun (and vote-garnering!) than adaptive social functioning, isn’t it?

MOBILIZED MORAL ARMY_Where Excuses Go to DieJust ask those groups that tend to be miserly in their allocation of civil rights (naturally named for truth, justice, and family values), such as the American Family Association. In response to Target’s embrace of the new guidelines, the AFA has encouraged “Boycott Target” pledges that have reportedly been signed by more than 1.2 million people. Faith2Action, a “pro-active launching pad for the pro-family movement,” is going a step further and organizing a “Don’t Target Our Daughters Day” on June 4 (4 days before Target’s annual shareholders’ meeting). Not surprisingly, they’re calling it “a moment to stand together” and warn shoppers, via sidewalk protest, about Target’s policy of allowing “predators and sex offenders” into women’s restrooms and fitting rooms. But safety seems to be little more than pretext for these folks, whose real message is that civil rights are just not for everyone.

Lili Von Shtupp_Where Excuses Go to DieThere’s also the fact that Euro-Western science has traditionally viewed sperm as determined, forceful, and self directed: a treasure the male body cranks out by the millions. (Every sperm is sacred…) Not so much with their counterpart, women’s eggs, described passively in textbooks as laying there like Lili Von Shtupp from Blazing Saddles, waiting for purpose to be provided by men.

Even after sperm were exposed for the bad swimmers they really are, this thinking persisted. Despite the molecular magnetism of sperm and eggs being very much equal, the biochemistry we’re taught is predisposed to belittle and objectify femininity (how womantic). So we wind up attempting to educate and enlighten, but only after climbing the walls of absolutism, aggression, and assumption that men and boys are taught to build around the “weaker” sex.

Gender empowerment and equal rights for transgender students means pushing past such a culturally conditional education. Transcending compliance-based teachings is a hard lesson for everyone, yet here we are.

Scuse me while I hike up my skirt_Where Excuses Go to DiePersonally, I don’t care who uses which restroom, ’cause when I’ve gotta pee, I’ve gotta pee! That’s my priority. My job is to be courteous, not critical, and quick, not controversial (or conversational, for that matter). I wanna get in, get it done, and get out. If eliminating urinals makes someone feel better about the whole thing, be my guest. But Fox News-inspired Twitter chatter of the day has me wary of Potty Karate Dadbods patrolling toilets and deciding who’s too girly lookin’ (i.e. weak) to use a men’s room. And why? Has someone encountered waves of teeth-grinding sodomites? Are packs of perverts in mini-skirts organizing right now to prey on straight dudes and kids? Please. You watch: before these vigilantes find their evildoers, a number of ’em will “accidentally” find blow jobs.

PERVERTS ARE WAITING FOR YOU TO DROP YOUR GUARD_Where Excuses Go to DieAs for those who fear the hordes of rapists in maternity wear who’ve just been given license to haunt ladies’ rooms in search of unsuspecting victims: I’d like to redirect your attention to a social problem that actually exists: perhaps sexual assault or domestic abuse. Childhood poverty’s a good one too. My point is, there are so many to choose from that I wonder why anyone would need this trendy new outrage by which to draw attention to him or herself.

THE JAWS OF HOMOPHOBIA_Where Excuses Go to DieIn terms of education, the reality is this: The best school there is requires only that students put their feet in other people’s shoes. Class over.

At the heart of the matter – be it transgender, LGBT, or any other individual – everyone just wants to feel “a part of” our human community. What’s so terrible about greeting social uncertainty with kindness? There’s no real terror in gender-neutral toilets if we can get over ourselves and our trained prejudices.

I, for one, vow not use superficial unease as an excuse to declare someone else’s gender empowerment evil, distasteful, biologically wrong, or against the Bible. Who am I to say? And no, I don’t care if transgender persons are breaking Jesus’ heart: I’m not wasting my brainpower on the sidewalk court of moral justice.

Because I’ve gotta pee!

Media Matters

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