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Transgenders and bathrooms -- is there a solution?

#21 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 11:09

All I can say is a quote I saw last week: "It's not just about the bathrooms, just as it was never just about the water fountains."

And yes, I can, in fact, remember the gay hysteria over "my son sharing a locker room with those [insert slur of your choice here]". Quite well, in fact, as it hasn't completely gone away (cue a story, again I read last week, where someone was the only straight guy in a locker room of the local gay hockey league (they needed a goalie). Why is there a gay hockey league?...)

[Oh, and it was never their daughter in the gay panic, same as it's never their son in the bathroom panic. It's always about male predation. I wonder why?]

You can trace the history of equality in the (southern) United States by which demonized group the conservatives are supposed to fear this week. Once one group becomes (ether legally or societally) not acceptable to fear, they move on to the next (frequently finding things that they can hark back to the previous ones in a dog-whistle way, like the demon crack (1000 times more addictive than cocaine!) when it was the drugs and the gangs that were the fear-of-choice). Transgender issues (in the scouts, athletics, bathroom...) started popping up about 6 months after it became clear that the united states had finally lost the gay marriage fight federally. Funny, that, isn't it?

Many places small enough for a lockable, single-use bathroom (well, two), are making them unisex because why not? However, finding out people's reaction to that as a solution frequently is a good reader on what the person's actual issue is.

To my knowledge I have never shared a public bathroom with a trans person. Of course, I wouldn't have noticed, would I? Almost certainly I have, multiple times - as has everyone.

Note that the problem from the trans person's perspective is that no matter which bathroom they're in, they will get flack (as well as those that track the gender line but are cis - note that I know several guys who "look better in my dress than I do", the odd occasion that it was tried (RHPS, makeup party, goth night,...)). I don't remember anything sexual ever happening in a bathroom, but I do remember the violence in the school (locker room/bathroom, mostly, but still). Bullying will always happen, especially in school; but anything state-sponsored or adult-approved will just be so much easier for the bullies to justify/get away with. It's so bad that a survey is reporting that a third of trans students (I think? people?) will not eat or drink in public, just so that they don't have to go to the bathroom in public.

[Edit to add from Vampyr: It's also frequently about the children. Who, if you actually talk to them about things, rather than deciding for them what's "normal", are able to deal. How many "No, that was his mom. [Friend] has a mommy and a mom." cueing panic from the kid's parent do we see? And children are smarter than we are, or than we think they are. If someone saying "how dare you use that language around my child" seems ludicrous, that child probably knows just fine about trans issues, (and gay issues, and...) too.]
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#22 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 11:33

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-February-27, 10:33, said:

Today, February 27, is the anniversary of the 1933 Reichstag fire in Berlin. This is also the day Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress for the first time. Let us fervently hope that history finds this moment in time to be like the word "orange".

Actually, the State of the Union address is tomorrow night.

#23 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 11:41

View Postmycroft, on 2017-February-27, 11:09, said:

All I can say is a quote I saw last week: "It's not just about the bathrooms, just as it was never just about the water fountains."

And yes, I can, in fact, remember the gay hysteria over "my son sharing a locker room with those [insert slur of your choice here]". Quite well, in fact, as it hasn't completely gone away (cue a story, again I read last week, where someone was the only straight guy in a locker room of the local gay hockey league (they needed a goalie). Why is there a gay hockey league?...)

I also remember the hysteria over gay teachers, parents were worried that they would try to "indoctrinate" their children.

And I've heard that conservatives are now mounting efforts against allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, despite mountains of evidence that children raised by same-sex parents do not suffer. It's like we're back in the 60's or 70's again.

Why is there a gay hockey league? Because gay hockey players wanted to be able to play without having to deal with teasing by the other players. Or maybe just because playing sports is also a social event, and people like to socialize with like-minded people. There are also LGBT bridge tournaments, for a similar reason.

#24 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 15:01

View PostPhil, on 2017-February-27, 09:49, said:

However, I do favor states having a say so in the matter because what is right for California may not be right for Oklahoma.

What is right for California is probably not right for anybody else. It might not be right for California, either. B-)
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#25 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 15:14

View Postbarmar, on 2017-February-27, 10:27, said:

To respond myself to a question I asked in the OP, there may be a reason why liberals feel that the comfort of the trans people should take precedence.

If a bill was passed that prevented red-haired people from using public bathrooms, probably liberals would also give the comfort of redhaireds priority over the comfort of those who are disgusted by redhaireds.
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#26 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 18:37

View PostTrinidad, on 2017-February-27, 08:04, said:

I fully agree. Let's not make a big deal out of nothing.

Well, NC Republicans decided otherwise. This is not a fight the LBGTQ community chose.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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#27 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 19:09

View Postmycroft, on 2017-February-27, 11:09, said:

[Edit to add from Vampyr: It's also frequently about the children. Who, if you actually talk to them about things, rather than deciding for them what's "normal", are able to deal. How many "No, that was his mom. [Friend] has a mommy and a mom." cueing panic from the kid's parent do we see? And children are smarter than we are, or than we think they are. If someone saying "how dare you use that language around my child" seems ludicrous, that child probably knows just fine about trans issues, (and gay issues, and...) too.]


In my experience, children do not know about these things, and how they react will depend on which adult explains it to them.

Of course, people are more open now, and LGBTQ is portrayed more on TV and in movies, and more sensitively (who remembers Three's Company?), so kids and adults may expand their definition of "normal". But bigoted adults raise bigoted kids, so it may take a while.
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#28 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 22:11

Replace "Women" and "Men" with separate rooms dedicated to "WC Stalls" or "Urinals", appropriately labelled.
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#29 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 11:34

View PostPhil, on 2017-February-27, 09:49, said:

However, I do favor states having a say so in the matter because what is right for California may not be right for Oklahoma.

Why? Are Californians and Oklahomans different species?

This is essentially what the Civil War was fought over: the southern states didn't think the federal government should be dictating whether slavery is right or wrong, it should be up to the states to decide.

The general trend regarding human rights is that they're considered universal, not for states to decide. That's why SCOTUS declared that same-sex marriage is legal everywhere.

#30 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 11:58

View Postbarmar, on 2017-February-28, 11:34, said:

Why? Are Californians and Oklahomans different species?

This is essentially what the Civil War was fought over: the southern states didn't think the federal government should be dictating whether slavery is right or wrong, it should be up to the states to decide.

The general trend regarding human rights is that they're considered universal, not for states to decide. That's why SCOTUS declared that same-sex marriage is legal everywhere.


No, but cultural norms should dictate on a state by state basis in the absence of TG individuals being a protected class in the eyes of SCOTUS. Sexual identity is a far cry from race, creed, color or even sexual preference.
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#31 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 12:29

View PostPhil, on 2017-February-28, 11:58, said:

Sexual identity is a far cry from race, creed, color or even sexual preference.

One might argue that gender identity is more fundamental than any of those. It's difficult to even talk of a person without identifying their gender.
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#32 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 12:41

View Postgordontd, on 2017-February-28, 12:29, said:

One might argue that gender identity is more fundamental than any of those. It's difficult to even talk of a person without identifying their gender.


Sure this is the crux.

Is sex the same as sexual identity? If no, then how different they are dictates your viewpoint.
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#33 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 13:37

I remember playing in Lille in 1998 (I had written 1994, but it was 1998) and the convention centre toilets shared the same entrance, but women then turned to the right and men to the left. An old woman sat on a stool inside the men's and one was supposed to pay her a small amount of money. She had a clear view of the urinals, as I recall, but didn't seem at all interested:)

So the need for completely separate toilets is clearly cultural. If one has any doubt, consider that toilets, in terms of flushing facilities, etc, are a very recent invention in terms of human history, let alone pre-history. Do dogs and cats worry about this? No.

We are therefore dealing with fear and bigotry. Fear is useful, in that a rational fear prevents us from assuming too many risks. Fear can become a barrier, however, when the topic we fear doesn't actually threaten us with harm. Indeed, fear is a powerful psychological tool, used by politicians and religious leaders for millennia.

Bigotry is a frequent companion of fear, and is equally a tool of the powerful.

The best defence to bigotry is the same as to fear of a non-dangerous topic: exposure to the subject. Opposition to gay marriage dropped precipitously once gay people were favourably portrayed in the media and once closeted gays began to feel safer about coming out...more and more people realized that gays are just people, and much of the fear diminished, tho obviously anti-gay sentiment is still very strong in some parts of the world, including in the US and, I admit, in Canada (tho I think far less so here).

Trans people are becoming more and more visible, and the medical/psychological professions are more and more understanding and able to assist. But intolerance persists.

One point I want to make, and this is almost a universal proposition. I see concern expressed that the problem under discussion is difficult to solve because we have to consider the comfort of the bigots. Bullshit.

Affirming the right of the bigot not merely to feel uncomfortable but also to cause others to suffer in order to avoid that discomfort is counter-productive. Attitudes will never change so long as the right of the bigots to feel comfortable by discriminating against those they (irrationally) fear is paramount.

Wilde once said that he could resist everything but temptation. I suggest we should tolerate (almost) everything but intolerance.

In addition, if one is going to give in to trying to create an equivalence between the discomfort of the bigots and the plight of the trans people, consider this:

When was the last time anyone heard of a significant rate of suicide, self-harm, homelessness, under or unemployment being suffered by these bigots as a result of the showing by the community of tolerance and acceptance to a trans person?

Now ask yourself that question about those outcomes amongst the trans population.

QED.
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#34 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 15:12

View Postmikeh, on 2017-February-28, 13:37, said:

One point I want to make, and this is almost a universal proposition. I see concern expressed that the problem under discussion is difficult to solve because we have to consider the comfort of the bigots. Bullshit.

I certainly don't want to justify bigotry. But my point in raising this issue in the first place is that I don't consider someone to be a bigot if they don't want to share intimate spaces (bathrooms, locker rooms, showers) with someone with different anatomy in the genital area. It's an incredibly ingrained cultural taboo -- if someone accidentally walks into the wrong restroom, they're really embarassed because they know it's wrong.

As you point out, not all cultures are the same, so it's not pure human nature, and there's room for change. There are some cultures with even more taboos: orthodox Jews don't allow men and women to pray together.

#35 User is offline   Elianna 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 15:41

View Postbarmar, on 2017-February-28, 15:12, said:

I certainly don't want to justify bigotry. But my point in raising this issue in the first place is that I don't consider someone to be a bigot if they don't want to share intimate spaces (bathrooms, locker rooms, showers) with someone with different anatomy in the genital area. It's an incredibly ingrained cultural taboo -- if someone accidentally walks into the wrong restroom, they're really embarassed because they know it's wrong.


Okay, this I kind of get, somewhat (but don't necessarily agree). If bathroom stalls were completely open, or showers in locker rooms had no curtains, I would definitely feel uncomfortable using them in a mixed gender environment, but to be honest, I would definitely feel uncomfortable using them in a single gender environment, too. As of now, I won't change in a locker room, I'll go somewhere private to change.

Where I disagree with the tenor of your post is that I don't think that my discomfort should be catered too. Just because I refuse to change in an open locker room doesn't mean that the world needs to change locker rooms, it means that I need to adapt to the world and either get over my discomfort, or else arrange my life so I don't have to change in front of others.

I can't imagine what would be the problem of going to the restroom and using a stall next to someone else who is also using the stall as long as I can close the door for privacy, and that it matters to me what is going on with the other person's body as long as it remains confined to their stall. And if it bothered me, I would arrange my day to minimize using the bathroom in public. That's what I did in high school.
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#36 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 20:57

Don't forget that bigotry is often associated with unfamiliarity. People who fear the "other" are not necessarily evil, and often change their attitudes when they stop thinking of a person who is different from them as "other". I am <mumble mumble> years old and live in one of the great capitals of the world and I know two trans people (well, there could be others but I don't know they are trans). The two I know of for sure have changed identity while, or just before, I knew them. That is not a lot, and I am sure some people in rural areas don't know any trans people at all. So it is probably up to the mass media to familiarise these people with the "other".

There was a show on television called "I am Jazz" about a transsexual teenage girl. What might surprise people is how normal a teenage girl she is. This kind of thing can help dispel people's fears.
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#37 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-February-28, 23:31

I live in the town where this whole BATHROOM issue gained media attention.


I CAN TELL YOU NO ONE...NOT ONE PERSON I KNOW TALKS ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
BTW THE ONE ISSUE PEOPLE DO TALK ABOUT IS SCHOOLS...FOR SOME REASON SCHOOLS IN GENERAL.
DTHE SECOND ISSUE IS ABOUT RACE...HOW THE COPS KILL/HATE BLACKS...SEE REASON ONE ABOVE


MY BEST GUESS IS THIS WHOLE ISSUE, BATHROOM ISSUE IS ABOUT THE FACT, THE TRUE FACT CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE SEX WITH YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS NEVER GO TO JAIL

ONE BIG EXAMPLE , NOT THE ONLY ONE, IS THE UK WHERE 1400 BOYS AND GIRLS WERE RAPED OVER AND OVER AGAIN....SOMETHING CLOSE TO ZERO CUSTOMERS ARE IN JAIL
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#38 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 00:40

Friends don't let friends post drunk.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#39 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 01:09

View PostVampyr, on 2017-March-01, 00:40, said:

Friends don't let friends post drunk.



Vamp...this is your response to the fact that perhaps tens of thousands of rapists of young, very 1400 young children are not in jail in 2017 in the UK,,,,..not that 1400 are the only children today


Not that the response is any better in the rest of Europe or Asia or the USA at this moment.


see the response to the bathroom issue compared to this issue
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#40 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 04:07

View Postmike777, on 2017-February-28, 23:31, said:

NOT ONE PERSON I KNOW TALKS ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

Exactly.

Obviously this is a non-issue. If there were lots of men who somehow (for example by wearing a burka?) got access to women's bathrooms in order to enjoy the sight of women washing their hands then maybe I could imagine that some people would feel a need to clarify the rules at the local level. But here we are talking about a very small minority, most of whom are probably seen as women by most other bathroom visitors.

I wonder if this is just a random non-issue that has been escalated in order to divert attention from other issues, or if t* people have been targeted specifically because they are seen as mascots for the evil liberal elite?
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