Bathroom bigotry: where real meets stupid…

…and pops out the back for a crafty fag

I have, of late, had difficulties with some posts. That is because i suffer from a very dry sense of humour and that which i find funny, that which i spoof is often mistaken for real.

Nowhere has that been more apparent than in respect of the latest wave of bathroom bills to hit the United States, where Poe’s Law, which states that “without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a fundamentalist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.”

So true. So true.

If you doubt it, just think about the implication of the latest incident to hit the news in the ongoing bathroom battle.

The bathroom invader: in this one, the stupid is strong!

This is the story, reported in Friday’s Dallas Observer of a man who heroically barged into a women’s restroom at Baylor Medical Center in Frisco on Thursday to make sure that Jessica Rush, who manages a local health-food takeout place, was peeing in the proper place.

As the paper somewhat amusedly observed: she was. Jessica, by her own admission, “looks very much like a girl,” but – shock! horror! – she wears her hair in a bleached blond fauxhawk and dresses androgynously. On the day of the incident, she was wearing a T-shirt from her alma mater, Texas Tech, with basketball shorts.

Clearly this was just too confusing for the guy, who later explained: “Yeah, it was kind of confusing.

“You dress like a man”.

Later, elaborating further, he explains he was worried about his mother who was apparently in the bathroom at the time. He adds: “The point is I was helping my mom. I was confused when I see someone entering the woman’s bathroom looking like a man.

“Each one of us is man or woman so … I wanted to make sure she was going to the right place.

“Because in times like these, you can never be too careful.”

To protect women’s privacy – we must eradicate it

Ho ho! Very droll: the guy was clearly a ciggy short of the full gender sensitivity pack.

But seriously. Very seriously.

Think what this is telling us about the state of the bathroom debate in some parts of the US. Much of the running in the recent legislative round has been by men who seem to see themselves as knights in shining armour riding to the protection of women. Or, as the rhetorical ante has recently been upped, to save little girls (apparently small boys don’t count in the hierarchy of potential victimhood).

At which point we would be well advised to pay heed to a brief, submitted to the Supreme Court earlier this year, that warns: “Be skeptical of laws protecting women that are written by men”.

And not just the laws.

For behind this silly little incident sits a very real, very terrifying threat to women’s privacy: and it comes not from trans people, women or men, but from non-trans men.

For increasingly they have it in their heads that women’s spaces need protecting – and how better to protect them than to invade them and, essentially, to destroy them.

If you think otherwise, think on this. The first two instances of people being removed from women’s bathrooms for the crime of alleged transness were of non-trans women whose gender presentation was ambiguous or at least non-standard.One, it would appear, identified as lesbian: the other might have.

In both cases, women’s privacy rights were enforced by security personnel invading the women’s bathroom and being confrontational and, in one case, using physical force.

Now we have the freelance bathroom invader: the vigilante white knight.

It will get worse: and the more it does so, the harder men will protest that it is being done for women’s own good, for their safety, for…whatever excuse makes sense this week.

It is not. It is as much about policing women’s gender expression as about “protecting” them from the non-existent trans predator.

It is stupid. It is creepy. It is wrong.


About janefae

On my way from here to there
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