As someone who tries to keep up on current events, much of what I read makes me stop and question the state of our world. I used to routinely express my disgust by posting snarky Facebook posts and ranting about whatever the latest story was. But that takes away my peace. That was lots of fun, but I’m trying hard to not do that anymore.
I still get mad about the stories . . .
The bills that are passed (or not).
The misrepresentations of my faith.
I still rant in my head, or sometimes with friends. But I generally try to not post rants online because I don’t think it helps people understand my beliefs. I don’t think it opens the door to conversation. And I know complaining about things I can’t change isn’t helpful.
But that’s led to me not addressing a lot of current events. And I’m not okay with that. We’re supposed to be in the world. Not of it, completely. But as a Catholic wanting to spice things up and show people the awesomeness I’ve found in my faith, I can’t do that by keeping quiet.
So things are going to change! The plan is to use this space to share how I approach different issues in light of my Catholic faith. I want to think through how to respond to the issues we’re facing. Will you join me? Ask questions that come up, and always feel free to contact me if you’re not comfortable commenting publicly.
Today I’m talking about allowing people who claim to identify as opposite the gender they were born as use the bathroom of the gender they choose.
Many states have “gotten with the times” and passed bills that allow people who are genetically male or female from birth to use whichever designated public restroom they choose. If they were born genetically male, they can use restrooms reserved for women. If they were born genetically female, they can use the restrooms reserved for men. They just have to “identify” as the opposite gender. I’ve also seen this apply to locker rooms and changing rooms.
To some people these are duh bills.
But I just don’t buy it.
Why? Because I don’t think people’s feeling are what we should base laws on.
“I was born a man but now identify as a woman. It hurts my feelings if you don’t let me use the women’s locker/changing/bathroom.”
Their feelings may legitimately be hurt. And it’s not that I don’t care about their feelings. But do we stop to ask, “hey, what is this person actually going through?” What does it even mean to “identify” as the opposite gender? We don’t have extensive research on the science of a person who claims to be transgender. So why should we acquiesce to a single group of people’s desires while potentially putting everyone else at risk?
We can’t blindly accept this without seriously considering the consequences.
For example, I recommend reading What really happens when transgender person uses locker room. In this case, a man walked into the women’s locker room at a public pool to change. There were many women and girls inside, in various stages of undress (naturally because that’s what happens in a locker room). The man said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here”. But because he did not state that he identified as a woman, he was asked to leave. HOWEVER, “the man would not have been asked to leave if he had simply verbally identified as a woman“.
That is all it would take for any man to be let into a women’s locker room (in states where this is the law). Please let that sink in.
This paragraph struck me as well:
“But would the man’s statement have made the previously “alarmed” individuals suddenly comfortable with his presence? Would the man’s body have looked any different to the young girls as he undressed had he merely professed to be a woman? Would such a statement eliminate the dignitary, emotional, and psychological harms a woman suffers by having her unclothed body viewed by a man against her will? Of course not.”
This powerful piece from a rape victim tells us:
“[it’s] nothing short of negligent to instate policies that elevate the emotional comfort of a relative few over the physical safety of a large group of vulnerable people.”
And that’s where I’m at. I don’t think this conversation has to get to a philosophical or religious level, because it seems so obvious the abuse that can result from it. Do I have the perfect solution? No. Maybe we should think about making unisex restrooms. And we definitely need to have research done on what it means to be “transgender”. Because right now anyone can decide to identify as whatever gender they want. And that doesn’t seem like a reasonable foundation for our laws.
How do you answer this? What is your thought process?