Monday, May 16, 2016

Two incidents put 'bathroom bill' nonsense in perspective

Last weekend put this "bathroom bill" junk in perspective.

We've had bizarros marching through Target screeching because of its trans-inclusive policy:

Believe it or not, she is probably the least controversial. And we've had defenders of these bills not even being able to defend them on national television:

The only folks who are maintaining a semblance of sanity, decorum, and dignity are the transgender community, i.e. the supposed freaks.

 So what exactly is the problem in the first place?


Anonymous said...

I know a relatively progressive member of a school board here in Ohio. He's mentioned that a number of parents have called him expressing concern about the Obama administration's recent statements on schools and transgender students, and he's said he simply doesn't know what to tell them at this point.

Here's the problem: we don't have a clear and consistent definition of what it means to be "transgender". If someone says they are, they are, and no one's permitted to really apply any objective, external standard for it outside that person's own claims.

This is a problem, and mentioning it at all seems to get folks very defensive.

My honest feeling is that bathrooms shouldn't be an issue if they are properly enclosed. In my high school, though, there were no doors on the stalls. What about showering after gym or soccer practice?

In Europe, these things may not be a big deal. In America, however, people have chosen to segregate facilities by biological sex. It's just our culture, and people get itchy when having to share these facilities, particularly when it involves their kids. I get that.

My fear is that refusing to rationally discuss these things and find a compromise is going to ultimately hurt the real transgender community when people start getting angry (or angrier) about their kids having to share facilities with someone of the opposite biological sex.

We shouldn't let the extremists against the transgender community prevent us from realizing that there might be another side to this issue.


James Bradshaw

BlackTsunami said...

I disagree. I think a lot of us have the mindset that there is clear definition because throughout this controversy, very few in the media have consulted or interviewed medical professionals with expertise in this field. The confusion comes from sloppy journalism and people deliberately getting things wrong. I'm sure the process of being trans encompasses more than simply declaring yourself trans.

Anonymous said...

Let me rephrase.

Being transgender is considered a personal identity for which there is no universal or consistent outward application that is observable by anyone other than the person. A transgender person may wear clothing common to the opposite sex. Or not. They can have sex reassignment surgery and be taking hormones. Or not. They can have mannerisms similar to that of the opposite biological sex. Or not.

Of course, some more famous adults examples look so like the opposite biological sex of their birth that they are totally inconspicuous. The model who is on the cover of Men's Fitness comes to mind. There's no way they'd be noticed in a men's room as anything other than a male.

With teens, however, this is going to present a unique issue considering most do not have the means or are simply not old enough to have undergone these treatments.

Again, this isn't saying that there is any "risk" from transgender individuals. That's not the point, and I think most reasonable people recognize that. The problem is that as a matter of public policy, all transgender people are seen as equal in kind. That doesn't seem to be the case.

- James B

BlackTsunami said...

I think in that case, you are talking about a totally different dynamic and not necessarily one regarding transgender people, but ideas of what men and women should look like. I know several individuals, all women, who have been accosted in the bathroom because they "look male." I think specifically because of situations like this, the mantra "do your business. mind your business" applies.

Connie said...

My Facebook feed blew up this weekend over the story of the lady who received a severe beating because she "looked like a dyke". The lady is more Femme than me so I'm a bit concerned about safety right now.

In my opinion, this issue isn't about bathrooms. As always it boils down to power. The theocrats want to use their holy book to legislate who is to be considered an 'approved' citizen (hint - if you are cisgender male and the lily white variety of human you are approved). Humans have lived through more than 2000 years of this crap. Time to move on.

We are a rainbow of colors, genders, and sexaul identities. Refusing to accept this reality leads to the current cognitive dissonance expressed in the second video. The question was easy - and the theocrat tried the techniques which have worked before - deflection and false equivalency - only the host wasn't accepting the old talking points.

I believe the Dominionists aka the FRC are an evil bunch as evil never serves it's own purpose. Good! They tried to block equal marriage and failed and they will fail here too.

Anonymous said...

Connie, I'd have to agree with the FRC and Dominionists. Many of them are extreme in their views, and many would certainly roll back many basic rights for gays and lesbians.

What I don't want to see is for this complex issue to be reduced to a simple "us versus them" mentality. There are some questions that I think are valid that are not arising out of simple-minded animosity.

Here's a good one: what kinds of sports should transgender students be permitted to participate in? Should a transgender male be permitted to play football with biological males? It may not have come up yet, but it's probably only a matter of time. So what do we do?

The International Olympics Committee has very clear guidelines regarding competitive sports. Transgender individuals can compete based on gender identity, but they must have been taking hormone therapy for a certain number of years and, I think, must have undergone sex reassignment surgery. These are both unlikely for a teen student in junior high or high school.

Biological boys have certain physical advantages over biological girls. This is science, not religion. Schools have a responsibility not just to transgender students but to all their students.

- James B

BlackTsunami said...

Well anonymous, this is an us versus them issue. Don't be fooled and don't help out the religious right by covering up their intent. They aren't talking about sports teams. Their entire goal is to foster fear and ignorance in this issue. They aren't asking critical questions, they are sowing seeds of fear. Much like they did when they were loudly accusing gay men of being pedophiles based upon a distorted defintion of homosexuality and pedophilia. Its not that you shouldn't as the questions you do. Its that you ask yourself are you seeking genuine answers or are you attempting to muddy the waters and give the liars on the right a credible veneer. Distinguish, my friend. Distinguish.

Pennarin said...

@James Bradshaw: At the base you appear to be concerned by a lack of visibility from, let's say, the north american medical associations and their consensus opinion on transgender issues, and how that consensus is continuously being updated for the better every year, or how people - in an information age - appear to refuse to research for themselves the definitions to the simple new words they now face daily such as trans, cis, and twenty others, or that people don't really care if you are of one gender or another as long as you're clearly one and only one, and fuziness in your appearance messes with their heads?
None of what I just listed is specific to transgender people. It was true and is still true of pretty much everything in life except maybe...product launches, like a new game, where it's theoretically possible to release a perfect product and cover all angles.
But the vote for women, the emancipation of slaves, gay marriage, status recognition for trans individuals, all are organic endeavors that are barely guided, if at all.
Your concerns are nothing special, they are generic repetitions of the same concerns people have had for two hundred years of industrial revolution. Cookie cutter concerns, I'd call them.
I can only tell you you'll have them again in twenty years for something else. Maybe the draft, or voting at age sixteen, drinking at eighteen, paid time off for all parents. The list of societal disruptions is endless, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just somewhat flabbergasted that people think the fears behind their concerns are anything new.