Apparently Target has recently allowed transgendered individuals the right to use the restroom of the gender the individual identifies with. North Carolina has passed laws making this illegal. My social media sites are plastered with ideas and opinions on the matter. I probably shouldn’t get involved in the conversation, but here are my two cents, for what it is worth.
First, I am a Christian. I might not be the conservative-traditional church approved version, darn my feminist tendencies, but I am an avid church goer, passionate prayer warrior, and frequent Bible reader. Needless to say, I am a practicing and devoted Christ-follower.
Second, I am a mother. I am a mother to a daughter.
I think the above statements can add “validity” to my stance.
I try to be tolerant and loving of everyone. Sometimes I fail, especially when it comes to relations with my sister or mother, but overall, I really do try to understand people’s motives and give them the “benefit of the doubt”. I do think we are born with a particular gender and our genitals define whether we are female or male. [Exceptions stand for hermaphrodites, but that disease case is RARE.] Perhaps I am wrong, but I think society’s recent emphasis on gender roles and interests/ actions defining your gender has damaged basic notions of biology and has caused an influx of individuals who identify as transgender because their interests/actions/mannerisms don’t fit stereotypical assumptions of what is “boyish” or “girlish”. Regardless, there is sin in the world and I think altering the genitalia God gives us is sinful.
Anyways, this isn’t really addressing my stance on the bathroom laws directly is it? I’m just giving a back story, a history, to my worldview.
Since I am a Christian mother to a daughter, you might be assuming that I’m rallying for anti-transgender bathrooms. Hint: I’m not. In fact, I tend to side the other way.
1.) I love family restrooms. These generally feel more comfortable to me anyways. I don’t have the fear of someone coming in and commenting on how it stinks in the room while I poop. There is such peace to that. Now, mind you, since I am a mother with a daughter frequently in tow, she will most likely be in the room with me commenting on how my poo is disgusting, but she is my daughter, not a stranger who doesn’t understand my diet and bowel movements.
2.) Women’s bathrooms have stalls. I have privacy in the stall. Unless someone is in sandals, I can’t tell by their feet what gender they are.
3.) I haven’t had an adult peep in on me. Sure, someone might check the crack to see if it is occupied, but I haven’t had any adult stare in at me through the crack or stare up at me under the stall. I have had little children, boys and girls alike, stare up at me from under the stall. Little kids can be quite the perverts apparently.
4.) I generally don’t strike up conversations with strangers in the bathroom. I am a woman and we are known to travel to the bathroom with our friends in packs. If you go with other people, you aren’t likely to have something happen to you.
5.) Most molestation and rape is actually not performed in a public restroom by a stranger. In fact, there is greater danger of a child being hurt or sexually abused in the hands of a trusted caregiver or parent than by a male posing as a female in a public women’s restroom.
6.) A HUGE PET PEEVE: We are discussing the need to protect our daughters. Yes, I want to protect my daughter just as much as you do. However, don’t you place as much value on your son’s life? Don’t you want him to be protected to? What are we teaching our children when we say that we don’t want men who are posing as women coming in to the woman’s bathroom? If we don’t want “men in women’s bathrooms”, don’t we want the same standard about “women going into the men’s restrooms”? [Keep in mind when the urge to expel waste was strong enough, I have used a stall in a man’s restroom. I actually haven’t seen a “man looking man” use a woman’s bathroom. Ever.] When little boys hear that girls are to be protected from perverts and adults, we are essentially teaching these boys that if they are vulnerable and hurt that it is shameful. It’s like we are telling kids that girls get hurt and boys don’t. Boys can be raped and molested too. When boys are sexually abused, there is a very high risk of depression and suicide because they are too ashamed to admit they were violated. We teach boys they are to fight off attackers. We use language that insinuates girls are weak, not boys. When a boy is wrongfully touched, he assumes he should have had strength to fight an attacker. He sees himself as less of a man. Why do we want to teach our boys to be ashamed and silent should anything happen to them? They are just as vulnerable as our little girls.
7.) I understand we don’t want pedophiles not using the laws in their favor. However, just like criminals will find access to guns illegally, I don’t think pedophiles much care about the institution of a law. Most creeps will probably sneak into the restroom when it is unoccupied, wait, and attack when an individual comes in. It is highly unlikely that a pedophile will go through an effort of cross-dressing to sexually assault kids.
8.) There is no way I’m letting my 12 year old girl go to the mall on her own. If she is using the restroom on her own, she is likely at school (I hope to home school so this would be a moot point) or out with a babysitter. I’d think the babysitter would bring my daughter into the bathroom and wait outside the stall. If I have a boy, I’d think that the sitter would walk my child to the bathroom and wait outside the restroom, frequently yelling in to see if the kid was okay. In any other case, I’m likely to be going to the restroom with my child. When they are old enough, I’ll teach my sons (if we have any) and daughter (s) self-defense. Both genders need to know how to protect themselves. They’ll go to the bathroom alone when they are around 10 probably, but I’ll still be accompanying them to their location. When they are 15 I might let them do things alone with friends, but not much before then. They are kids! (Now I am an advocate for letting my kid play out in my yard alone and I don’t believe I need to be a helicopter parent. However, going to the mall alone with friends is something for a mature teenager to do, not my budding toddler to adolescent.)
9.) If an individual identifies as the opposite gender than what they were born as, they have most likely gone through painstaking efforts to look like the gender they identify as. They aren’t going to be discernible. You most likely won’t notice a transgender woman using public facilities. You will probably assume someone who looks like a girl is female. There are some individuals who cross dress that you can’t distinguish any difference. Some cross-dressed men look more feminine and pretty than some naturally born women!
10.) In talking with a co-worker, she brought up some good points. How would we even enforce such a law? It isn’t even like bathrooms are monitored. If they were, it might create jobs but then that invades privacy, no? What have we done when a man was caught loitering in a woman’s bathroom before? This won’t change matters. A pervert is a pervert and governmental laws which are difficult to enforce won’t change how these issues were addressed in the past. Target allowing this to happen won’t be earth-shattering different. Right?
If you look like a woman, whether you have a vagina or not, use “my” female bathroom. If you are a man that accidentally wandered into the women’s bathroom and used the facilities, don’t worry. (My dad has done this and he isn’t a pervert!) Regardless of who you are, if I started off in the bathroom alone and someone comes in, male or female, I am on higher awareness. Even at home, if my shower curtain is closed, I will look behind the curtain to see if someone is hiding, ready to attack me. It might be paranoid, it might be weird. I can be attacked by a male or female, in private or public. This holds true for my daughter too.
Let’s just try to keep our kids as safe as possible. Laws in favor of allowing transgendered individuals into “your child’s bathroom” aren’t really going to change an incident of rape from the frequency or likelihood of cases past, from before the laws were instituted.
Really, let us be grateful for indoor plumbing, potty-trained adults, and clean facilities. We have so much to be thankful for in America. Those of us who are Christian, let us trust God with ourselves and our children. Stop being so paranoid that laws are going to allow your child to be endangered. In fact, I’ve noticed that laws have actually prolonged adolescence and prevented us from growing up when we should. Laws have over-protected our kids.
If I’m for government legalizing prostitution (notice I’m not okay with sex-trafficking and the illegal or non-consensual distribution of sexual services) and marijuana. I’m really okay with bathrooms merely being a place to expel waste and I never really understood gender specific waste disposal places anyways. If they all have stalls, does it really matter? However, if we are really looking for a compromise, install 4-5 of the family restrooms anyways. I like those. They also tend to have a diaper changing table in the same room of the toilet I’m using, not out in the open where any creep can watch me wipe my kid’s soiled butt anyways.