On toilets and the law

I want to chime in a little bit on the North Carolina HB2 ‘bathroom bill’ issue.  My take on this is a little different than the ones I’ve seen espoused on the media and  I wanted to get my feelings on this off my chest.

Here is my problem with the entire situation: THE. LAW.

See, both sides of the HB2 debate have made good and legitimate points.

Anti HB2:

  1. There is no epidemic of transgenders using public bathrooms to harass women or molest children.
  2. Right now, there are transgender people using public bathrooms that are for the gender they identify with (no born as) and nobody has noticed or had a problem with it.
  3. Sending some transgenders into the public bathrooms for the gender they are by birth will be more awkward for them since they made their transition.

Pro HB2:

  1. There are documented cases of men abusing gender identity bathroom laws or policies to be perverts and peep or take pictures/video.
  2. These men may have dressed as women but there is no evidence that they ever really identified as trans.
  3. There is an expectation of decorum in public bathrooms.  Privacy is not the right word.  It is the idea that you should not be ‘perved at’ when in a public facility.
  4. Having a person who is obviously of the opposite gender (a man) in a gender specific public bathroom (ladies’ room) will make other patrons (women) uncomfortable.
  5. Why should a large number of people be put in a position that may make them uncomfortable to appease the needs of 0.3% of the population.

So how do you address these very valid but contradictory points?  Well, a law like HB2 is probably the worst way to do it.  Why?  The law is not a scalpel.  It does not parse things finely.  The law is a sledgehammer.  It crushes everything indelicately.

Let’s be honest.  If you look like Laverne Cox, RuPaul, or even Chaz Bono and you use the bathroom of the gender you identify with, no one will care because no one will notice.  You are – and SJW’s hate this term – passing.  No harm, no foul.

If you look like a one of the GAP GIRLS, guess what, you are going to make some women in the bathroom feel uncomfortable and possibly even threatened.

So how do write a law that says “you can use the bathroom you identify with as long as you pass and/or don’t scare the other patrons.”  You can’t.  The law can’t be that fine.  It is an all or nothing proposition.  But it is that gray area in between the all or nothing that all the protests are about.  When you see the anti-trans/pro-HB2 supporters, what they fear isn’t a Laverne Cox – because they’d never notice her anyway – what they fear is the 250 pound man in a dress with stubble and lipstick.

The gray area is where social convention should rule, because the law does so poorly a job at that.

Want another example?

Gay weddings and bakeries.  Should religious bakeries deny gay couples wedding cakes?  No, probably not.  But let’s say that they do.  Some baker is so offended by the idea of a gay wedding he wants no part of it on religious principles.  What should the gay couple do?  Find another bakery.  This is the type of situation that SHOULD be solved by social convention and not law.  Social convention says that in a free market system, if you don’t want to take my money, the only person you are hurting is yourself.  I can always find somebody else to take my money.  Using the law and civil courts means that somebody’s toes are going to get stomped on by the government.  It’s just a matter of whose.

Think about the absurdity of that for just a moment.

“Take my money or I will have you arrested and fined.”  What!?!

“ But what about the gay couple discriminated against?”

I’ll answer with a question “if you know somebody disproves of your lifestyle, why would you want to give them your money?”

Here is another wide gray area of potentially hurt feelings that could be better solved by the free market and a couple of f*ck yous.  Instead, some legislators wrote a law that ignited a firestorm of controversy, and caused more harm than good, because the law is a blunt tool.

Update: Based upon one comment, I wanted to clarify a position.  Allowing the free market to solve these types of issues is something I do believe in, with one exception: jobs that require professional license – e.g. doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, etc.  Most other jobs, even some that require a license (like a hair dresser) are easily filled by the free market.  A job that requires professional licence to practice, which requires years of study, advanced degrees, and passing exams, is much harder for the free market to fix quickly, as a licence is a form of government sponsored monopoly.  Anybody with a camera can photograph a wedding.  Not anybody with a saw can be an orthopedic surgeon.  If the government gives you permission to practice to protect the safety of the public (if your hair dresser makes a mistake, you don’t die in the chair), you cannot discriminate.  If you cannot abide by that, find a different career path.

This is the problem with trying to legislate behavior and the minutia of life.  One size fits all doesn’t, just ask any fat guy who has ever won a free t-shirt at a public event.  The more one tries to fix social issues like these with laws, the more consternation they cause.  This is the ultimate lesson that people who fall back on demanding that state power intervene learn.  Liberals are usually the first to run off to big nanny government to “make things fair.”  In North Carolina it was the other side that legislated their desires into law first, and now the liberals are protesting.  And of course the NC law was written in response to liberal transgender bathroom laws passed in other states.

Don’t invite the government in to meddle in personal matters.  It never ends will.  Like George Washington said: “Government Is Like Fire, a Dangerous Servant and a Fearful Master.”  Now people are getting burned.

P.S.  A message to Target stores.  My gun in my waistband is like Laverne Cox’s d*ck in a dress; if you don’t know it’s there, than it shouldn’t bother you at all.  If she can deep conceal in the ladies room of a Target without upsetting people, than so can I in the grocery aisle.

14 Replies to “On toilets and the law”

  1. Bakeries aren’t scarce businesses. If one bakery refuses your money, go to the next one. The only time I’d concede the law should penalize discriminatory behavior is in mission-critical businesses, i.e. hospitals, the power companies, etc.

    As for the bathrooms, there was zero issue with TG people in them until this year. The law made a mess of a situation that was largely fine and “regulated” by social mores. Trans people peed wherever they wanted, no one really said much.

    On paper, an easy solution is to make private gender-nonspecific bathrooms. Stalls with floor-to-ceiling doors.

  2. My stance is that the bathroom doors should apply to your physical sex. If you have a sausage, go to the mens’ room. If you’re concealing bacon, ladies’ room. Easy to tell which is which, and transgender individuals who get surgery still get to go to their “preferred” bathroom.

    If you’re going to try to apply any other interpretation, I don’t see any reason for segregated bathrooms at all, because you’re basically saying that anybody can use any bathroom based on how they feel that day, so just make all bathrooms unisex and be done with it.

    1. At first I blanched at the “birth certificate” requirement (i.e. that the person must use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate). What’s a trans-woman — who’s completed the change, complete with surgery — to do, if her BC says “male”?

      Then I remembered, if she’s completed the transition, she’ll have an updated driver’s license and BC issued that both say “female”.

      I admit that as a father of young daughters, if this restroom thing has become the issue du jour, I’m infinitely more comfortable with double rows of stalls — with floor-to-ceiling dividers and doors — in a single, large, “unisex” restroom than I am with men who claim to identify as women being allowed into the ladies’ room (or vice versa) where I, being a straight, non-trans-male, am not allowed to be to keep my girls safe. (Yes, I know it’s rare, but “rare” doesn’t mean “can’t happen”, and as long as the chances are non-zero it’s my duty as a father to consider and mitigate that risk.)

    2. I don’t favor unisex bathrooms because I don’t want to share them with a bunch of disgusting women. The horror stories I’ve heard from my brother and father who are both custodians… Let’s just say I’ve yet to see that level of filth in a men’s room and as a person with GI issues, I vist many public men’s rooms.

    1. “They’re places to pee & poop, not sex, not sexual.”

      Agree with that statement, but my agreement does not negate the hundreds, perhaps thousands of fetish webpages, blogs, books, movies, etc… Which tells me that even if you or I do not find the elimination of bodily waste sexual, there are a lot of people who do.

  3. While called the “Bathroom bill” it also applies to locker rooms, dressing rooms, and showers.

    It’s actually an almost ideal rule I think. While it does not grant trans people the legal right to use their preferred facilities. It leaves individual property holders the ability to allow whoever to use whatever.

    1. I’m not ignoring it. I don’t believe that boys should be allowed to use the same locker rooms as girls. But again, my point is the problem is in writing law. The same law that deals with locker rooms in school is deals with bathrooms in Target. Those are different enough that one law doesn’t fit both situations.

  4. The most dangerous statement isn’t, “we’re from the government and we are here to help.”

    The most dangerous statement is, “there should be a law against X.”

    The latter begets the former and all of its attendant ills.

  5. In my opinion, the NC law requiring folks to use the bathroom of their actual sex fits perfectly within the anti-discrimination based upon sex laws. It simply supports that premise that TGs are treated the same as all others.

  6. I see a crap-ton of double standards with this issue mainly to do with using “it makes me uncomfortable” as a legitimate argument.

    Don’t argue guns should be banned cause they make you uncomfortable then turn around and tell people uncomfortable with trannies in the “wrong” bathroom to suck it up and deal with it. The reverse applies as well. Freedom isn’t free and the core principles of freedom are universal whether you personally agree with what’s being protected or not.

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