Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Visual Bodily Privacy

You know all about the right to privacy. On this hoary principle the Supreme Court erected its abortion jurisprudence. But, that is not this post’s topic.

It turns out that there are limits to the right to privacy. An Illinois judge recently declared that high school girls do not have a right to “visual bodily privacy.” This means that they do not have a right to modesty; they do not have the right not to be espied in an undressed state by a member of the opposite sex. 

The issue, of course, concerns the presence of biological males in the girls locker room. Courts, along with the Obama administration, had previously declared that transgendered girls, that is, girls with penises and with XY chromosomes, had a right to share the girls locker room. Regardless of whether the girls themselves were discomfited or even triggered.

Said high school girls do not have a right to their privacy. The psychological and emotional sensitivities of transgendered students trump their rights to privacy and even their modesty.

Under normal circumstances we would be happy to declare that transgenderism does not really affect anyone but the transgender individual and his or her family. And yet, when children using school facilities are subjected to harassment and are deprived of their modesty, we must say that the problem goes beyond any single individual.

Three years ago the Township School District, bowing to a judge’s order, allowed a male student to use the girls locker room. Now a group of parents is suing the District. And the judge in question is allowing the suit to continue, on rather limited grounds.

The plaintiffs stated:

If our government is powerful enough to command innocent school children to disrobe in the presence of opposite-sex classmates, then there will be little it will not be powerful enough to do.

How did this come to pass?

Township High School District 211 did not initially choose to let biological males look at females in a partial or total state of undress.

The Obama administration’s Department of Education threatened to take away federal funding in 2015 unless the school district changed its policy. It received $6 million in 2014.

Though the district already allowed the male student at the heart of the complaint to shower and dress in a private area of the girls’ locker room, federal officials said that accommodation “subjected the student to stigma and different treatment.” The district changed the policy without telling parents or students, and girls found out “when they walked into their restroom and came face-to-face with Student A,” the male student who identifies as female.

Another piece of arrant and abusive nonsense from the Obama administration. Tell me you were not surprised?

The school had tried to comply with earlier court orders by setting aside a section of the girls locker room for the “girl” in question. And yet, it changed the policy because the student in question felt stigmatized. And we can’t have that.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys argued thusly:

The Alliance Defending Freedom argued the case on three factors: the financial coercion from the Department of Education was unlawful and the revised policy violates both constitutional privacy rights and Title IX.

The revised policy caused girls “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation, and loss of dignity,” according to the lawsuit.

The judge is allowing the case to proceed on religious freedom grounds:

It was enough that the students claim to have “sincere religious beliefs that they should not undress or use the bathroom in front of members of the opposite sex,” and that the parents claim to have “a sincere religious belief that they should teach such modesty to their children,” Alonso said.

The plaintiffs have adequately alleged “a substantial burden to their exercise of religion” for several reasons, the judge continued. Students are required to take physical education and swim classes, which require them to disrobe between classes, and the swim facilities in particular do not have “private changing stalls or private showers.”

They also claimed the school district has “conveyed to students” they are “bigoted and intolerant” if they object to the school policy. Some have suffered “actual heckling” from other students, which dissuaded them from “asking to use a private locker room,” while the district has blocked some from using private facilities.

This “bigoted” allegation is why the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim under the free exercise clause is also moving forward. Alonso called it the kind of “subtle departure” from “facially” neutral laws that the Supreme Court has frowned upon.

Think about it, girls who do not want to undress in front of a boy or who do not want to see a boy undress have been heckled and bullied for being bigoted.

Girls do not, the judge ruled, have the right to their modesty.

Perhaps most troubling for high school girls who are anxious about their developing bodies, the judge said they enjoy no right to not be seen naked by the opposite sex.

The student plaintiffs argued they had a right to “bodily privacy that protects their partially- or fully-unclothed bodies,” but Alonso said Supreme Court rulings on this right refer to “physical bodily integrity” – being touched – “not visual bodily privacy.”

Next, stop Pornhub. Why would the same principle not prevent people from practicing revenge porn? Or from sharing sexually explicit selfies with the hockey team. And, what about voyeurism... do we need to legalize it? This is a sign of a culture in collapse. At least, it will generate business for lawyers.


JPL17 said...

If there's no longer any right to visual privacy, then the judge can't possibly complain when some enterprising prankster plants a video camera in his chambers bathroom and posts the resulting videos on YouTube.

Two can play this game.

Anonymous said...

A Peeping Tom secretly filming under women’s clothing, upskirt or down blouse photography, has been found to be legal in many places. The rationale appears to be since the woman is out in public she has no expectations of privacy! Some jurisdictions have had to create special legislation to prohibit this obvious and freaky violation of privacy. The school here seems to be taking the side of the Peeping Tom.


Sam L. said...

As Charles Dickens wrote in "Oliver Twist", "The law is a ass--an idiot."

Anonymous said...

The problem is that they were accepting money from the State. In Canada organizations were required to sign a statement agreeing to progressive principles as a condition of funding. These principles went directly against several religious groups. Groups who were quite happy to receive this State funding otherwise. There was an outcry and the federal government backed down. But that's just round one. The game, of course, is to push this again, and again, and again until they win. It's the progressive game plan that's obvious enough now.

Now think about universal basic income. Every individual gets $10,000 or $20,000 a year above and clear of their own individual income. Can you imagine the element of social control such a thing would allow? And in this age everything is online, we're all online, and our activities day to day are recorded, categorized and analyzed. And the threat of withholding $20,000 would be a decisive factor for many people in their choices and decisions. I know how I would like to imagine people to be but I also know people.

Never let the government in. Never let them in.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this idiocy will finally end when a Muslim girl/woman complains about being seen by a biological male?

jfmoris said...

The transgenders are a pitiable lot, the last thing they need is (D)irtbags calling attention to them, by using them as political pawns. The people who are propagandizing the young into joining this fad should drink hemlock and make the world a better place.

'Rights' laws are lawyer feeding grounds, they've used their political power to infantilize and stupidify society into a MOCKERY of freedom and justice.