Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Can't we all pee in peace?

Ran across an interesting discussion on Facebook early this morning.  Someone I knew when we were both in high school shared this article about why letting transgendered people choose which restroom they want to use could be a bad idea.  I am not actually friends with the lady who shared this, but because we grew up in the same town, we have a lot of mutual friends.  The town we grew up in is pretty conservative and many of our peers remain politically and socially conservative.  My old high school acquaintance now lives in Texas, which I daresay is even more conservative than Virginia is.

I'll call the woman who shared this post Tara.  She's pretty close friends with one of my legitimate present day friends-- a woman I'll call Elaine.  Elaine and I knew each other in high school and college.  I wish we'd been better friends back in those days, since I think she's pretty cool.  Back when we were young, a lot of people thought I was batshit nuts.  I had friends, but not so many who hung out with me regularly.  Complicating matters was the fact that one of my former friends was also a mutual friend of Elaine's and she did her best to prevent her mutual friends from becoming friendly with each other.  That's another post for another time, though.  ;-)

So anyway, Tara shared the article written by a rape victim speaking out against transgendered people using the public restroom of their choice rather than the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex.  The rape victim and apparently a number of other people fear it will give rapists a green light to falsely claim that they're transgendered.  Then they can pose as female and prey on hapless women and girls while their pants are literally down.  Many of Tara's friends agree that there ought to be laws against transgendered people using public restrooms that don't align with the reproductive equipment with which they were born.

Elaine, being intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate, was among a few who reminded others in the discussion that criminals don't care about laws.  That's what makes them criminals!  Sure, we can hang up a sign that says that people with penises aren't allowed to use the ladies room and people with vaginas can't legally use the men's room.  But if a person is not inclined to obey the law, those signs won't make a lick of difference!  A rapist intent on raping someone is going to rape regardless.  We have laws against rape, but it still happens all the time.  Moreover, rape isn't about sex anyway.  It's about power and abuse and it often happens between people who know each other, not necessarily between a woman and a stranger who jumps out of the bushes (although that certainly does happen sometimes).

Another commenter, someone I don't know personally but who strikes me as being very sensible, reminded everyone that the proposed laws would be difficult to enforce.  And while they won't have any effect against actual criminals, they could have a terrible effect on transgendered people who simply want to be able to pee in peace.  She pointed out that there have been no accounts of transgendered people attacking people in restrooms, but transgendered people have been attacked while simply trying to relieve themselves.  And yes, while there have been cases of men who have dressed up as women and peeped or assaulted women, the fact is, they were not transgendered!  They committed those crimes without any laws in place regarding who gets to use which bathroom.  People who are deviants are not going to change their behavior simply because it's against the law.  That's what makes them deviants!

I had to laugh when I noticed one woman commenting that political correctness has gotten out of hand.  I agree, a lot of PC stuff is bullshit.  She mentioned that people nowadays are so afraid of offending others.  I agree with that, too.  But then she followed up with the comment that if her daughter was still little, she'd never let her go into a public restroom alone if transgendered people were allowed to use the restrooms of their choice.  In parentheses, she added "not that I let her do that when she was little, anyway".  So now who's afraid?

We have kids growing up not being able to go anywhere and do anything on their own because their parents are petrified that their child will run into someone who might hurt them.  Yes, we have become much more politically correct since I was a child and we are a lot more conscious about peoples' feelings, maybe even to an unreasonable extreme.  But we have also become a fear obsessed nation.  Frankly, I think being fear obsessed and constantly worried about being a victim is much worse than being overly afraid of offending other people.

The final point made is that if we hang a plaque on the door that says the restroom is open to anyone identifying as male or female, that it becomes an "open invitation" to rapists and molesters.  I disagree with that notion.  A plaque that declares a restroom open to transgendered people who identify with the gender opposite to the sex they were born with is NOT an open invitation to rape, assault, or molest other people.  The idea is simply inviting people to pee or poop in peace in whichever restroom makes them feel more comfortable.  If someone chooses to commit a crime based on a plaque on the door, they are still going to be guilty of committing a crime.  They will still be subject to prosecution, whether they assault someone in a private home or in a public restroom.

I highly doubt anyone will be able to enforce any laws regarding who uses what public restroom.  It's not like we have guards standing by the restroom doors doing package checks.  But maybe, since we have so much controversy about people using bathrooms "they shouldn't be using", people are starting to pay more attention to what kind of equipment the person next to them in the bathroom has?  If that's the case, then all this needless controversy and horseshit about who goes where to pee may have already had a bad effect on people's privacy.

The VAST majority of people who use public restrooms simply want to take a whiz or a dump in private and in peace.  And if you are in a stall that has locking doors, what the hell difference does it make, anyway?  I think our legislators need to get to work solving the much bigger problems that affect our society as a whole, like helping people find and keep jobs that pay enough for them to live comfortably and making healthcare affordable and accessible to everyone.  Enough of this bullshit about transgendered people and public restrooms!


Using this in a public restroom should not be so damned complicated.
     

8 comments:

  1. What kind of a bathroom is that, anyway? is it a well-maintained outhouse, or is it an actual flush commode?

    I think the bulk of the hype about gender and use of toilets is much ado about nothing. I don't have really strong feelings about any of it. Then again, I also think we do worry too much about someone possibly being a bit uncomfortable, whatever the reason. I don't really care what gender equipment God gave anyone. I would prefer that the people in a restroom with me have female equipment, whether the person was born with it or it was created surgically. Then again, as long as a person does his or her business behind the closed door of a stall, I'm not very worried about it.

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    1. That is a public toilet I stumbled across at Mount Stuart House in Bute, Scotland. Unfortunately, a lot of ladies tried unsuccessfully to hover over this commode and left a big puddle of pee on the floor. Frankly, I think we need to focus more on getting women to sit while they pee rather than focusing so much energy on who uses which toilet.

      I think a lot of this stuff gets argued about by politicians who probably don't give a shit because it keeps them from solving actual problems that affect everyone.

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  2. Yep. Sitting while one pees is a good thing. You can aloways cover the seat with tissue.

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    1. Yes... In many places in Europe, they actually give you cleaner.

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  3. I have traveled by airplane ever since I was a kid Lavatories on airplanes are not gender specific. And I know both men and women use them to pee and poop individualy, and even go in together to have cramped sex to join the mile high club. Personally, the closest I've come to anything that exciting was peaking to the Byrds "8 Miles High."

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    1. Hi Burl!

      Airplane lavatories are universally disgusting, but it's hard for anyone to peep in them. Maybe the answer to this problem is making all bathroom stalls with doors and walls that allow for total privacy. Then it won't matter who uses which stall.

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    2. Individually is the key word. Emirates planes have showers, according to Jennifer Anniston.

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    3. Yes, I believe their first class section is ridiculously fancy.

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