MONDAY MADNESS: Writing on the Bathroom Wall


Restroom symbol

Men/Women
Boys/Girls
Cowboys/Cowgirls
Lads/Lassies
Roosters/Hens
Dudes/Chicks
Guys/Gals
Gents/Ladies

As humans we share the need to relieve ourselves and  must resort to seeking out public facilities when away from home.  What is a normal function has become controversial.  One state, North Carolina, has passed HB2 requiring people to use the restroom (in certain public entities)that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.   Conservative Republicans and activists in Texas  are urging the Texas legislature to pass something similar in the next session nine months from now.   Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick agrees and has declared that it will be a priority;  Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has promised his support.  It seems some cisgenders are afraid to share these bio breaks with transgenders.  Why?

One argument is that men should not be allowed in a women’s restroom because they might attack/rape women and girls.  There is  no evidence of dangerous predators pretending to be transgender in American bathrooms  What about their safety?  Dressed as a female, are they expected to enter a men’s restroom and feel safe?  Are the cisgender males who are pushing the issue the ones who are afraid but cover up by claiming they are only protecting women and girls?  Women can and do stand up for themselves.

Things have been working fine so far without government restroom rules, and transgenders have been using the facility of their choice without any fuss.   Transgenders are ordinary people with careers in  business, government, broadcasting, fashion and movies; they are students and volunteers; for those in the military, policies are changing too.  Some transition young and some later in life.  Passing unnecessary legislation simply stigmatizes them, makes them feel that they do not belong and harms the entire LGBT community.

While I don’t fully understand gender dysphoria, it is real and important to those who experience it.  I also believe that ignorance, fear, bigotry and even hatred drives some of these attitudes against transgenders.  Perhaps some are pushing this for their own political and personal ambitions while fueling prejudice, fear and suspicion.

Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality in Texas expressed his feelings this way, These proposed gender-police laws are a solution in search of a problem, and actually it’s pandering and it’s dangerous.”   I AGREE!

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47 thoughts on “MONDAY MADNESS: Writing on the Bathroom Wall

  1. It has been confusing. If someone looks like a woman (or a man for that matter), how would we know what is on their birth certificate? We wouldn’t. Seems like the law offers an opportunity to persecute “known” transgender people. Are there not more important issues to be dealt with?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s quite stunning what upsets some people. We are living in a time when the younger generation is much more open about sexuality, race, and religion, and yet it’s the older folks who hang on to old ideas and won’t let them go. They’d rather fight about them than embrace diversity with love in their hearts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are right, Diana! Most young people are much more open about these things and embrace new ideas. As an older person I try to be open and not judgemental about how people look or dress or where come from. Diversity is here. Those who are upset are simply insecure…in my opinion. Cheers to you for sharing yours. I have not read about any place in Canada passing similar laws. I would be ashamed it Texas passing anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When beliefs based on outdated written words become law … humanity itself is lost.
    Whether it’s in South Carolina and Texas or in Israel and the Arab world, it’s all the same.
    Insanity.
    xo

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I agree, very well stated. I wonder why is this just now an issue? The women’s restroom is already private with the partitioned stalls, why can’t they just do men’s restrooms in the same design? It really does seem like we are going backwards with all this instead of moving forward. Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Why don’t we simply have restrooms with are not gender specific? Men don’t have to have urinals; they’re not a necessity. All both genders need is decent, entirely enclosed cubicles. Continental Europeans seem less precious about all this illusory privacy, as they do with nudity also. As an English person, it always seems odd that lavatories are called ‘restrooms’ in the States. It feels as if there’s a denial of the purpose of the place. Who goes there to ‘rest’? Then again ‘lavatory’ has its etymology in ‘washing place’, which is hardly the whole story. Yes, for me, generic loos is the way forward.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, thanks for bringing the English and Continental viewpoint to us! The US is far behind the rest of the world in many ways I am sad to admit. Loo seems very a very polite title. I must admit that I have used the men’s room in an urgent situations a couple of times, but it was a single use one and I did not care and would do it again. Often i have stood in line for the ladies room while the men just walked in and out. We threatened to use the men’s but we were not that brave as it was multi-use.

        I will never forget when I was in London and went to Harrod’s, I had to pay a pound to pee. Thank you so much, Hariod, for giving us the male viewpoint. Cheers! May this insanity end soon before we are the laughing stock of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, L.T.! Exactly! Most women are only concerned about getting in and taking care of business and worrying about how they look in the restroom mirrors with that horrible lighting! We are not chatting or making friends. And we are grateful when we do not have to stand in line!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “…ignorance, fear, bigotry and even hatred…” BINGO! When our country is facing so many serious challenges and people of a certain political party choose to focus on trite matters, we have an even bigger problem. I trust an informed (and rational) public will address this in November’s voting booths.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eric, it is good for me to see that there are others who think it is driven by ignorance, fear, bigotry and hatred. The focus on this issue just does not make sense to me but some people will follow anything that comes from that side of the fence. Even some that claim to be Christian. It has been an unreal election period which has been like a reality TV show and has gotten worse every day. Let us hope a rational public will get out and vote in November! Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts. I must visit your blog soon!

      Like

  7. There seems to be a current of extreme denial that crosses international border and pools up in different cultural groups. The Climate change deniers are one group ( let them go fight the fires now threatening Fort McMurray, Alberta—home to 83,000 people ); the extreme Islam/Christian Fundamentalist, and the anti-gender equality fudge-pots are all prime examples. While extremist views in societies where education and democracies of are restricted can be seen as a consequence, it is befuddling to see such views in parts of the world where education and democracy supposed to held in high regard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well stated! Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. No, it does not make sense in democratic countries where education, communication and ideas are free to thrive and grow. Let us hope that those pools of cultural groups are in the minority. Unfortunately, they seem to be the most vocal. Yesterday I read of the fires and evacuation at Fort McMurray; I hope your are not near there. Your input has been greatly appreciated! We are all in this together.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent post Jo Nell. It is comfortable to be here and comment because we are obviously all of like mind…but, beware and do not underestimate the power of the small minded. Trump that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, I am grateful for the positive feedback so far, but I fully expected some negative. Looks like have mostly like-minded blogger friends. Or perhaps those that disagreed simply chose not to comment. While I usually stick to non-controversial posts, I had to write something about this because I feel strongly about it and think the fuss is ignorant and destructive.

    On Facebook I see so much that is ugly about this issue as well as politics. There seems to be little civility. Perhaps they are just more vocal. As you said we must underestimate the fervor of the small minded. I shared this post on my FB page and only got two likes and no comments so far. Perhaps I surprised people as I don’t usually get involved in FB arguments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I can’t Trump that!

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  10. I’m so glad you wrote this post – with well-written words that express the views of so many of us. Bravo! I have a wonderful writing friend whose daughter is transgender, a sweet wonderful 20-year-old who suffered through high school with her identity and how to be her/himself. My friend and her husband are so supportive of their daughter as she now is going through the process of being a son. Difficult in so many ways, and then with these new ‘laws coming out, the family feels targeted in a sense. Urgh. No need for laws that are not needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Your words are special coming from a writer like you. It was hard for me to write about it but I needed to express my feelings. Good for your friend and her husband for being supportive – that is what you do for someone you love. It is difficult and I have seen it. Ignorant laws simply foster fears and makes feel them feel needlessly targeted. I will continue to speak out. Hugs and cheers to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been known to sneak into the man’s bathrooms when the lines were long at the ladies . Thank you for this post . It is so ridiculous and stupid to make laws like this. What’s happening in politics, I certainly don’t understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Today I just read that someone has introduced an anti-discrimination law for LGBTs that would replace the insane one about bathrooms. Let us hope that sanity prevails this time and no other states try this! Good for you, Gerlinde! A real gentleman would not mind helping out a lady! I have done the same. Thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts!

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  12. ignorance is running amok right now, but I fear it was ever thus. We humans often react badly to things we don’t understand. It seems we are hard-wired to react from a place of fear rather than seeking to understand. Perhaps that is where our better angels must come in: in our search to understand and empathize, we evolve, and are better people. My best to you and thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True! Ignorance does seem to be running amok these days. Even the presidential campaign has been crazier and crazier! But you would think we would have evolved into a more humane species by now yet some of that old hard-wired traits persist. Yet I have to believe that we are making progress and most of us are better people. Thank you for your support and sharing your thoughts. We can only try to stand for what is right and strive for even small changes. You are always an inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think we all have to use the bathroom and just let people use the one they most identify with! I agree with you that ignorance is a major reason for this even being an issue. Thanks for bringing the topic to the blogging community here!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Makes simple sense, doesn’t it? Thank you for taking time to comment and share your thoughts. I had not seen anything about this issue on the blogging world so I was not sure of the reaction. So far it has all been positive. But then in general I find most bloggers positive and supportive. But perhaps those who disagreed chose to remain silent. I enjoyed visiting your inspiring blog just now. All the best to you!

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  15. Things happen. A few years ago I visited a paid lady restroom in Dublin bus station, and realised ( too late) that in the booth next to mine there was a couple having sex ( a man and a woman). I don’t know their political leanings.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. i appreciate the comments you made about my poem “perversions,” and now i see you have written about some of the same issues. i am amazed how fearful we are in “the home of the brave.” yet in our town we’ve had transgender restrooms in the public schools for a couple of years. the school administrators report NO problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is encouraging to know that in your town there have been no problems in public schools. The “home of the brave” in Texas shows ignorant fears. Texas should be better!!!!! Thank you for sharing as it gives me hope!

      Like

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