by Lil Tuttle
Bathrooms have always been women's most safe space. It's where we run to get away from "that guy." Or to cry our eyes out when someone hurts or humiliates us in public. Or where gal friends go to talk out of earshot of their guy friends. The restroom was a retreat like no other. Sacrosanct. Non-negotiable. Males didn't dare walk through THAT door. (In total fairness, it worked in reverse, too. No woman would dare invade the men's restroom either.)
Not anymore. Not if the Obama Administration has its way.
By edict last week, the Obama Administration's U.S. Department of Education issued new rules "requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom and locker rooms that correspond to their chosen gender" [emphasis added]. Schools failing to comply with the new rules will risk the loss of millions of federal funding for the educational stuff that really matters, like books and teachers.
"Chosen" gender? Last time we looked at ourselves in the mirror, what we saw wasn't a matter of "choice." It was a matter of biology and scientific fact. Has gender now become a science-denier problem?
Dignity? For Whom?
Mr. Obama said the new transgender bathroom rule was "was a matter of dignity" in the treatment of transgender students.
"They are vulnerable, and I think it's part of our obligation as a society to make sure everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved and protected, and that their dignity is affirmed," [Mr. Obama] said.
Dignity for whom, Mr. President? The entire adult LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) U.S. population is estimated at a mere 3.8 percent, according to Census Bureau data. So the transgender population is far significantly less than that.
But for the "dignity" of a fraction of the 3.8% of the nation’s residents, your Administration will sacrifice the "dignity" of the other 96.2%?
And why pick on little kids in public schools? How does this new rule treat non-transgender students fairly? How does it protect them? Couldn't you at least have aimed such a reckless social experiment at adults, who are better able to cope with the fallout from it all?
Neither Liberal nor Conservative
Cartoonists have had a field day with this issue, but it isn't a laughing matter. Nor is it a liberal-conservative matter, as some have tried to make it.
It is, however, now a legal matter. Lawsuits have already been filed. "Ultimately," Mr. Obama is quoted as saying, "depending on how these other lawsuits go, courts will affirm or reject how we see the issue."
Thanks so much for your care and concern, Mr. Obama. Thanks for throwing the whole nation into chaos while the lawsuits wind their way through the courts.
And thanks for throwing women to the wolves and to the creeps who won't hesitate to "choose" to become female for a day so they can follow us into what has always been – and should forever be – our safest space.
For an “invasion of privacy” perspective on this issue, read The Bathroom Battle and the True War on Womanhood, by Stephanie Holmes.