A Bathroom Of One’s Own

imageIn the latest chapter in the push towards, or away from, all-inclusive bathrooms, the National Parks Department has announced this last week that both transgendered and non-transgendered people are free to relieve themselves anywhere in the woods they choose. I salute this magnanimous gesture. Spokesperson for the Parks Department, Earnest T. Bass, goes on to note that the National Parks Department has always maintained a position of inclusiveness when it came to bathroom related subjects. Apparently, however, this came as news to a considerable number of residents who live in states that have National Parks as the announcement ignited further outrage from many Republicans as well as a family of bears living in Utah.

And so the battle continues. I have mixed emotions about this whole issue; I have to say I’m equally split between not caring and not caring a lot. But I realize one can’t be an innocent bystander here. However, if the whole thing was never introduced in the first place, I’m pretty sure everything would have been just fine. Unfortunately, in a tit for tat retaliatory gesture last March following the Charlotte, North Carolina City Council’s decision to treat everybody equally, with a healthy amount of encouragement and lack of poor judgment from his colleagues, and the governor, North Carolina State Representative Dan Bishop moved forward to sponsor what we now know as the HB2 Bill wherein it states that people have to use the bathroom that coincides with their physical gender. This proposal came after he was unable to generate support on his initial bill which would have made it illegal to bring a raccoon into an opera house.

In response to the bathroom bill, President Obama issued “guidance” in the form of a papal bull to all American public school systems that said all states must allow transgendered people access to the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choosing. Immediately Texas and ten other states seceded from the Union. They said that this demand was beyond the president’s authority and thus illegal. Which it sort of is. But I think the president’s intentions are good, and since he wasn’t the one to start this nonsense, I’m willing to let it slide. And for this specific legal issue I’m sure the Supreme Court will be able to figure it all out once it’s decided if the ninth justice to replace Scalia will be Susan Sarandon or one of the Koch brothers—all of whom are worthy candidates since we’ve all become well aware that neither wisdom nor understanding of how the law works is a prerequisite for making decisions on the Supreme Court. Hence everything in the last several months being deadlocked in a four to four tie despite the extraordinary unlikelihood of this happening based solely on random probability.

But I digress.

I’m not against people using bathrooms according to their psychological and/or sexual identification (I don’t think. Actually I never thought about it before. Wait a minute. Mm. Yeah, I don’t care. Go for it). What I’m against is chaos. And signage. Probably chaos more than signage but signage leads to chaos. What is becoming evident is that now that the whole thing has become an issue, there is a backlash of actually advertising bathrooms as being all-inclusive. It’s not tacit approval, it’s billboards. And my concern is that we will be quickly faced with roving gangs of 14-year old “transgendered” boys who will be able to—or encouraged to, egged on, or dared to—now satisfy their curiosity as to what lies beyond the mystery door. My concern isn’t with transgendered people, but with all the juvenile delinquents and adult weirdos who will play icka-bicka soda cracker with the public bathrooms because they think it’s funny. As there are no repercussions. Because the sign says there aren’t.

Of course, however, to prevent the above, Federal authorities say that there will be penalties for anyone they catch pretending to be transgendered. Well, that’s good. But it does raise one question: catch how? I’m sure we can all agree that the “Okay, Missy, drop ’em!” technique would be excessively medieval. So are we going to put special machines at the bathroom entrances that are able to determine the preferred gender identity of the people who walk in? Because we don’t have any of those machines. And if we want to make one then we first need to invent a machine that will bring Steve Jobs back from the dead because that’s the only way the other thing is going to get built.

Probably the most high profile news on this subject is the Target retail chain coming out a couple months ago in favor of providing all-inclusive bathrooms. I saw many people giving a hip-hip-hooray to Target and saying how they will be making every effort to patronize the Target stores rather than other similar stores. Of course, Target’s decision can’t really be that much of a surprise given that we all know major corporations have historically been at the forefront of progressive social change. Right? Maybe not. I can only imagine the fly on the wall observing this conversation that occurred in a small room of a closed-door meeting at Target headquarters:

Guy 1: “We’ve prepared a statement for release to the press on Tuesday stating that the company is fully supportive of people using whichever one of the restrooms they wish depending on their gender identification.”

Guy 2: “I’m somewhat concerned that our female customers–”

Guy 1: “We don’t have customers, we have guests.”

Guy 2: “I’m somewhat concerned that our female guests will be uncomfortable using the women’s restroom if we allow men to use it too.”

Guy 1: “Screw ’em, they can pee at home. What’s important is that we do the right thing here and show we support the LBGYN community. I don’t want our butt in a sling five years from now because we have to deal with some half-ass civil rights lawsuit.”

Speaking of lawsuits, I can also foresee the time when some yahoo sues for discrimination because transgendered males are allowed to use the female bathroom but non-transgendered males are not. This will probably be the same guy who sued Hooters for rejecting his application to be a server.

What we need here is less bickering, less anger, and more genteel and casual conversation so that we can get this matter resolved and we can all return to the time when nobody actually cared about it or thought it was a problem, since it wasn’t. So let’s discuss. And once we get it all figured out, I would then like to discuss why women get nice private bathroom stalls to pee in but men are expected to stand together facing the wall like a moronic, obedient herd having a communal whiz while waiting to become inert participants in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. It’s weird. And the inevitable sports chat initiated by the person next to you doesn’t help. So put this on the agenda too. Actually I’d like to discuss this before the other thing. Maybe we can have two groups.

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