This seems to be the story that simply won’t die, and while it’s really a long gamble here, perhaps what is needed is some “one-stop shopping” on what is really going on here.
It is important to note that at the heart of these laws is a reactionary movement. Conservatives are quick to blame the transgender activists for starting this, but they certainly don’t want to have a meaningful conversation about the “issue” either. Make no mistake, the laws have absolutely nothing to do with public safety. While there is a great deal of talking about the dangers of transgender people in bathrooms, there hasn’t been any talk about any transgender people actually committing sex crimes in restrooms. There’s a very simple reason for that – there aren’t cases to cite.
There are cases of men going into women’s restrooms to commit crimes, but that happened before any of these laws surfaced. They didn’t dress up as women to do it, either.
So, what this is really about is a fear of the unknown – different people. Comparisons have been made to “separate but equal” facilities of the past to maintain racial segregation, and that might be close to accurate. However, there is a problem with the numbers here. The bottom line is that it’s completely likely that people could use public restrooms all their lives and never share the space with a transgender person.
The most frequently cited numbers on how many transgender people there are in the US are 700,000 or between 0.2 and 0.3 percent of the population. Some state that it could be at least a little higher percentage than that, but no one is willing to make the leap to anywhere near one percent of the population. What does that mean? Theoretically, it means that people have well under a one percent chance of ever encountering a transgender person, let alone finding one in a public restroom. There are millions of public toilets in the US (perhaps somewhere between 75 and 125 million of them, not counting urinals), and there is actually a group of people on Quora who are trying to figure out if there are more toilets than people in this country.
When you start adding in all those zeroes that reduce the probability of any person sharing a public restroom with a transgender person, it starts to look rather silly that anyone is remaining fixated on this faux-issue. Of course, that has lead to quite a lot of ridicule on social media.
Amusing as that may be, it doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the people who are screaming the loudest over who can or cannot be in a restroom with them are the ones who probably know the least about what it is to be transgender. It’s fair to guess that many of them have never knowingly met a transgender person, but thanks to the internet, they could educate themselves. It’s not likely they’ll do that, though.
Maybe people just need a dose of the hopefully “unintended consequences” of all this hand-wringing. What happens when a female is accused of being transgender in a restroom? Like anything else, perhaps people need to see a real person’s reaction to this, on video, as opposed to just in memes and vitriol.
Of course, this doesn’t take into account the fact that these laws are all highly insulting, especially to women. I talked about that briefly on a Facebook comment:
Personally? I find it all insulting. Seriously. No, I don’t need lawmakers to protect me from pervs in restrooms, the street, the store, or anywhere else. Yes, I do know how to drop a man to his knees, and not just by going below the belt. And yes, I am the mom who has walked into a men’s room to get a kid – also am the woman who did the same when in pursuit of a perv on the run. (In case you’re wondering, the other men in that men’s room showed what real men are made of once they found out why I was following the creep!) I’m sorry, I’m not sorry – this is the biggest joke ever. The politicians who keep beating this dead horse really do need to be voted out of office as soon as possible.
Sorry, but we already have laws against sex crimes no matter where they are perpetrated. No, you don’t have proof that transgender people are more likely to commit sex crimes than anyone else. This isn’t about public safety – it is about intolerance, hatred, and institutionalizing those sentiments. It’s also about ruling by fear and divisiveness. No thanks.