Use whatever bathroom you want.
I’m not talking to transgendered people––I’m talking to all of you and because I’m a man, even more so to the male of our species…
Haven’t you ever been frustrated when someone seems to have taken up residence in the men’s room?
As I move ever further beyond age 50 I experience this frustration more than ever. I wait and wait in genuine discomfort while the women’s room goes unused. Still––I won’t violate the sacred boundary. My mother taught me not to.
No more. If I need to go––I’m using the women’s restroom. Why not?
I’ve also decided that I’m going to join the shortest line at the ballgame. I’m going to use the closest facility at the highway rest stop. And if the men’s room is filthy, I’m trying the women’s––I don’t care how many stalls there are or who can see me or who may be uncomfortable with my presence.
In the hyper-emotional battle over transgendered use of public restrooms we’ve lost one coldly serious and important fact:
Our Constitution does not protect any group. It protects individual rights.
If you believe that people should be free to choose the facilities that best reflect their chosen gender identity––so be it. I’m tempted myself to cite gender fluidity as a convenient justification to use the girl’s room when I find myself in desperate straights.
I’m getting too old to stand on ceremony––I don’t have a problem announcing that I’m now gender fluid, non-binary, genderqueer or whatever it takes to save me the the pain and potential embarrassment associated with pissing my own pants.
Yes––my tongue is poking my cheek and I am purposely trying to instigate trouble here––but think about it…
Those on the open borders side of the gender identity restroom debate maintain that you can’t deprive a person of his or her or others civil right to use the public plumbing of his or her or others choice simply because his or her or others chosen sexual identity does not correlate with his or hers or others biologically plumbing.
That’s all fine too––but we don’t protect the “group,” and we don’t grant special privileges to particular groups––not in theory anyway. We’re not supposed to be creating protected classes of people or legislating privileges for a chosen few––on any grounds.
Our system is built on protection of rights for the individual.
The gay marriage issue turned on that very point. You simply cannot say that one individual citizen can enjoy a privilege recognized by the state while another individual citizen is denied the same privilege.
Racial discrimination is illegal on the same grounds. We did not create a special privilege that suddenly allowed black people the right to vote, for example. We simply got around to recognizing that once black people were considered citizens (another terrible injustice that needed correcting by the way) that there was no way their right to vote could be denied. The 15th Amendment does not grant a special privilege to the “group” of black citizens––it prevents the government from using it’s authority to deny the right of an individual based on race or color:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
In the same way, we’ve recognized that if an adult citizen can be “married” under the law, then every citizen has the same right.
It seems only right that if we choose to legally recognize the right of a particular citizen to use a public restroom based on his, hers or others identity––or even feeling of identity on a particular day, then each of us has the right to use the public restroom of our choosing––regardless of the reason.
Seem ridiculous? Well, think of the problem from all sides.
To protect a right, you must consider enforcement. If you’re granting a privilege to a particular group, you must provide a practical means of enforcement.
In the case of driving on the public roads, we issue a license. Is this the solution to the trans-fluid gender restroom issue?
Should we issue special ID cards to transgendered and gender fluid people? Should they be required to show these cards to authorities when someone challenges their presence in a gender segregated area?
That would certainly be a solution. That would prevent me from using the women’s facilities––assuming I don’t qualify for a card.
Well, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Ireland have beaten us to the punch…
In each of these countries the official stand is that gender is nothing more than a declaration of choice and “neither male nor female” is a legally recognized option. And the official ID is anything but a joke, it’s a reality!
Ireland recently celebrated remarkable progress in the state sanctioned free-gender area according to TheJournal.com:
“…Ireland’s trans community celebrated a “historic day” when citizens were given the legal right to gender recognition based on self-declaration.
“It means that people who wish to have their change of gender recognised by the state – in birth certs, passports, driving licenses – will simply make a formal declaration to that effect.”
Still, even Ireland lags a little behind the times. TheJournal.com article continues:
“In this case though, individuals still only have two options; male or female. ‘M’ or ‘F’.”
Well––it’s a start.
We don’t live in Ireland or India and we’re still talking about restrooms and to this point, we’re not, as far as I know, issuing state gender ID cards.
Nor should we.
I don’t really have a solution––frankly, it’s not something I ever bothered to think about much.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve always cherished the one remaining “safe zone” where I could retreat free from the onslaught of the opposite sex––naturally endowed or otherwise. I suppose those days are gone.
Yes, I’ve been annoyed when women jump the line at a concert to pee in my men’s room. Yes, I’ve strained every muscle in my body to keep from losing it waiting for the men’s room to open when the women’s room went unused. On one occasion I was caught off guard when I noticed the young woman washing her hands in the next sink was anything but––a young woman that is. I even dealt with concerns from the members of my martial arts center when it became obvious that a new student’s gifts of nature were inconsistent with her––I mean his choice of locker rooms.
We simply didn’t make much of an issue of it. But lets not flush the main point of this discussion down the toilet.
As I said––our system protects the rights of the individual, not the group.
If gender identity is a choice––
And if that choice is subject to the individual’s feelings on a particular day––
And if there is no requirement to obtain or produce any official documentation of one’s gender…
Then shouldn’t we all just pee wherever the hell we want to?
Another look at it…
Photo of transgendered many courtesy of Frankie42 and FreeDigitalphotos.net