When did America cease to be a serious country? When did the world start looking down at us rather than up to us?
It may have been when the current president decided to prostrate himself before the rest of the world. But it might also have been when the nation got caught up in a debate about gendered restrooms. Our young generation might not be able to compete in math and language skills against their peers around the world but they will go to the barricades to ensure that Jim can pee in the ladies room.
The world is engaged by questions of Islamist terrorism, questions of mass migration, questions of nuclear proliferation, questions about economic growth and foreign policy. America has gone into high dudgeon over gendered restrooms.
The state of North Carolina set off a firestorm by mandating that individuals were obliged to use restrooms that correlated with their at-birth gender. If you were born male and decide tomorrow that you are female or neither, you will still be obliged to use the male restroom. Apparently, this is an unspeakable indignity.
Most especially, the state has forbid local governments from passing laws that allow people to use the restroom most suitable to their self-selected gender.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo is so offended by the North Carolina law that he has banned New York officials from traveling to the state on non-essential business. Washington and Vermont have done the same. Production companies have threatened to stop filming in the state.
There is more to the law than the bathroom provisions, but those are apparently the most offensive. Some provisions are designed to allow bakery owners to refuse to bake cakes for weddings of same-sex couples.
The Washington Post’s Monica Hesse argues that the public restroom is the latest battleground in the struggle for civil rights. First, it was the bedroom and sodomy laws. Second, was the kitchen and same-sex marriage laws. Now, the country is engaged in a debate over public restrooms. Next on the list, high school locker rooms.
True enough, in some parts of the world, there are no gendered restrooms. In many parts of the world at different times there were no restrooms: people relieved themselves in outhouses. When the Industrial Revolution brought us indoor plumbing and toilets they were individual use, as they are in most homes. Thus, they were gender neutral, if one likes that term.
When restrooms are designed to be used by several people at once, the consensus has always been that they should be divided by gender. The reason is simple: to protect women who might find it threatening to be relieving themselves, placing themselves in a vulnerable position while in the company of men who are doing the same.
It could be called a right to privacy, but, apparently the right to privacy has limits.
One notes that the invention of gendered restrooms had nothing to with the transgendered. It was about protecting women. Naturally, feminists do not believe that women need to be protected because if you say that they do you are suggesting that they are weak and vulnerable. On the other hand, the feminist hue and cry over rape culture suggests that we need to protect women from the white male rapists who are apparently running wild on college campuses. And we need to do so even if we deprive anyone accused of such a crime of due process of law.
Hesse explains the reason for separating the sexes in the restroom:
The restroom is a place of deeply vulnerable, deeply personal, deeply private acts, played out in a public space, among strangers. There’s always been an association of seediness to the public restroom — a place that plays out, if only in imagination, as a den of sneaked cigarettes, heroin needles, forbidden lipstick, forbidden liaisons. Some of those fearful associations have been more prevalent than others. When bathroom laws change, we are trying to adjust to new behaviors and evaluate new fears in a location in which we are literally caught with our pants down.
And what, pray tell, would a superficially private act be?
Of course, feminists believe that gender is merely a social construct. And they have found enough idiot social scientists to conduct pseudo-experiments that prove their point and underwrite their confusion.
Many social scientists now consider gender to be on a spectrum, with some people identifying as a mixture of both, or neither. But the bathroom remains binary. It forces people into categories. “It doesn’t surprise me at all that people who are fine paying lip service to trans rights in other places are not fine in the bathroom,” says Laura Noren, editor of “Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing.” “The bathroom lays bare all of the fears that people might be able to gloss over with social niceties, like clothing.”
By extension, we should dispense with social niceties, like clothing and just walk around naked and afraid. One wonders whether editor Noren appears clothed or unclothed in her author photos.
More seriously, all human creatures at whatever level of social development wear articles of clothing. Minimally, these cover the genitalia, the better to allow people to be identified by their facial appearance and not their sexual organs. The face can also express different emotions. The genitalia can only express a limited range of human feeling. Noren does not understand it, but from the time of the Garden of Eden covering up one's sex has identified a morally responsible social being.
As you can see, this debate is bringing out the stupid in some academics.
It ought to be obvious that, by the logic of this argument, high school boys who consider themselves to be girls must be allowed to share the shower room with girls. And vice versa. Though, come to think of it, there has not been a hue and cry about allowing girls who think they’re boys to shower with the boys. I wonder why?
Wanting to plumb the depths of this apparently difficult issue, Hesse trots out a female become male who has grown a beard. Aha. Should he or she now use the women’s room, knowing that he will terrify the women who see him walking through the door or should he use the men’s room, which would be against the law in North Carolina?
‘Tis a puzzlement.
Perhaps we can make some sense out of it by referring to science. You remember science. Recently, the American College of Pediatricians reported the science of transgenderism.
According to The Daily Caller:
The American College of Pediatricians issued a sharply worded statement warning against any policies that condition children to accept transgenderism as normal.
“Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse,” the statement said.
One of the statement’s three co-authors is John Hopkins Medical School professor Paul McHugh. The former chief psychiatrist at John Hopkins Hospital, McHugh has long warned that sex-reassignment operations ignore and even worsen a patient’s underlying problems. Monday’s statement made a similar point: “Facts — not ideology — determine reality.”
“When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such,” the doctors went on to say.
Citing findings from the American Psychiatric Association, the College pointed out that “as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”
The College, whose stated mission is “to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being,” noted that “Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT-affirming countries.”
“What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?” the doctors asked.
In the end it’s not about the miniscule number of people who consider themselves transgendered. It’s about the feminist ideology that refuses to believe that gender difference is a biological fact.