If you ever want to get an outraged earful from a trans woman, simply go up to her and say, “But, you don’t use the ladies room, right? That would be immoral!” Honestly, I want to smack myself just for having written that. The bathroom issue, as so known, is one of the top 100 issues trans people are a bit prickly about. If you can’t understand why, take advantage of the endless refills at McDonalds and try to imagine not knowing where to pee without risking a beating. The issue has little to do with us just being fussy.
You might be surprised to learn that I’m not the first person to bring this up, nor did I coin the term “bathroom issue”. In fact, this has actually been done almost to death. ‘Almost’, because if it was taken all the way, it would no longer be an issue. I want to take a moment and give my spin on why it is an issue to begin with, and then why that thought paradigm is wrong in some very basic assumptions. I doubt this is new, but you can’t have too many search results in our favor when Sully down at the Department of Public Works goes and tries to get himself informed.
Why should trans women be discouraged from using the ladies room? The oppositions answer seems to make sense. People feel universally unsafe performing, um, elimination activities. Women feel particularly unsafe doing such in the presence of men, particularly because on a historical basis, unclothed vulnerable women have a much higher risk of something heinous happen if men are within grasping distance. While it is acknowledged that trans women also feel vulnerable and unsafe around men for the same and very different reasons, there are way, way more cisgender women than trans women. Why should cisgender women be made uncomfortable to accommodate a population miniscule by comparison? This almost seems to make sense, but really doesn’t.
The logical fallacy of the above is in the wording and a glossing over of a key piece of information. Yes, some cisgender women may feel at risk with transwomen in the bathroom, but trans women actually are at risk in a men’s bathroom. Given that there is no record of a trans women assaulting a cis woman in the bathroom, and countless records of trans women being assaulted, it’s fair to say that only one of the groups is actually at risk. The group that is at risk, I think anyone would agree, is the one that should be offered protection, even if it makes some uncomfortable.
In case this isn’t clear, let’s look at an example from our recent past where some pretty ridiculous notions prevailed. White society objected to minority use of common rest rooms under the unfathomable notion that they were less sanitary. Since then a modicum of wisdom prevailed and declared this separation moronic and obscenely inane. The trans bathroom issue is the same, except the general public hasn’t yet been educated enough to understand that we not only pose no threat, but in fact, are under grave threat.
“Whoh there Michelle! Won’t bathroom access just encourage would be rapists to put on women’s clothes to take advantage of the situation?” In a word, no. Anyone who has taken any interest in the subject, which really should be all women, or even watch non-Fox based news knows that rape is way more often a crime of power than it is about sex. Be that the case, stick any non-CD cisgender man in a dress and see how powerful he feels. Probably not so much. Like wearing you Weight Watcher’s tee shirt to the Old Country Buffet, what you have on is going to affect performance. In the event that someone, and I’m sure he’s out there, does have a particular fetish for doing this, he’s probably going to do this anyway and pick somewhere seldom frequented to avoid notice, and not the loo at the Regal Cinema.
To sum it all up: We who consider ourselves women are extremely unlikely to pose a risk; if we are on HRT, we likely can’t even if so inclined, which we are not. At worst, we make some people who are uninformed feel uncomfortable. In the wrong bathroom, however, we are at grave risk. Men feel just as antsy and uncomfortable when peeing, and far more likely to meet a perceived threat with violence. The notion that legal and socially condoned access would encourage potential rapists to take advantage fails to take into account the malevolent mindset of such perpetrators. Putting on a skirt set and make-up is not how they are going to enact their need to dominate and subjugate women. We need the protection, pose no risk, and with a little social adjustment, everyone is safer and happier in the long run. One would think this would be simple.