What is it with bathrooms?
Many years ago there was the ERA Amendment to the Constitution. It was very brief, around 18 words. Just very simply said that rights should not be abridged because of gender. Had that amendment been ratified huge swaths of American life would have been changed. It did not pass. The MAJOR sticking point was that we could have gender neutral bathrooms. You would have thought the advocates for this amendment were in favor of open sexual activity in public places. Forget that many Western countries have managed gender neutral bathrooms without falling into moral ruin. We even have a few gender neutral bathrooms now that masquerade as “family bathrooms”.
Now come the the LGBT movement and transgender youth. These kids have enough going on but a number of states have taken issue with the fact that these kids should be able to use the bathroom of their identified gender not the gender on the birth certificate. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have weighed in on the issue and indicated that discrimination in this way is a violation of Federal law and could put federal education funding at risk for these states.
Could we look at this rationally? There are by best estimate 700,000 transgender people in our country. Of that number the estimate is that there are 74,270 transgender young people between the ages of 5 and 19. These are the kids in our schools. We have a total of 13,648 school districts in the U.S. IF transgender youth are evenly distributed (ok, I acknowledge probably not possible), that would give us about 5.4 transgender kids per school district. How crazy can this get?
One state wants all people to use the public bathroom based on their birth certificate. Exactly how will this foolishness be enforced? Will all law enforcement be assigned bathroom duty?
Female bathrooms are basically all enclosed stalls. Once a person is in the stall, no one gets to view their anatomy. Male bathrooms do have urinals. But they also have stalls. I personally know a number of men who are not transgender but who ALWAYS use the stalls in a public restroom out of personal modesty. So if a transgender person uses a stall in a men’s bathroom, just who would be the wiser.
It seems to me with numbers this low it would not be a big deal to create some gender neutral space for bathrooms if that were necessary. There are similar issues over locker rooms. Transgender kids are not the only ones who have body issues. My cousin was obese and he quit high school rather than use a boys’ locker room where the other boys made fun of him. The school could not or would not create a work around. What is wrong with us here? We should be providing options for ALL kids who have body image issues. Frequently in our history of providing civil rights to one group of people we have also empowered other minority groups of people.
Too bad Freud isn’t alive. He would have a field day with our bathroom pre-occupation.