Trans people in public bathrooms is a big thing right now, and all the arguments about it bug me.
I mean, yes, obviously I'm in favour of letting people use whichever bathroom corresponds to their stated gender, (there's clearly a right and a wrong side of history on this one and I'm not an idiot), but the rhetoric used on both sides has a lot of unspoken assumptions about gender and violence that really rub me the wrong way.
First and foremost, obviously, is the fact that, as with most discussion related to transgender issues, everyone's focusing on MtF people, with virtually no focus on FtM and zero attention on nonbinary or intersex or agender people. That's just the state of trans-related discourse at the moment. Sorry, NBuddies.
But what really gets my proverbial goat is the assumption - by both sides - that a gender-segregated public restroom needs to serve as some sort of rape bombshelter. This world, evidently, is populated exclusively by future rapists and future victims, and the only disagreement vis-a-vis transfolk is whether they belong in the first or the second category.
Pro-trans SJW types like to point out that trans people are vastly more in danger of being assaulted in bathrooms than of committing assault. Fine. Yeah. Of fucking course they are, that's kind of how being a visible minority of any sort works. Y'know what stats I'd like to see? How about stats on how many assaults there are in unisex bathrooms? 'Cause I don't remember that plotline in Ally McBeal.
If people cared AT ALL about security in bathrooms, if that were even a blip on anybody's radar, we wouldn't even be talking about the minority population of transgender people. We'd be discussing things like... oh, I don't know... doors that lock properly. We'd have people advocating for stall dividers that extend all the way to the damn floor. Y'know those emergency call buttons they have in some handicapped stalls? We'd be advocating for those to be standard everywhere. Or hey, how about legislation to ban people from bringing goddamn weapons into the bathroom, or to ban them from bringing in cellphones that can take pictures, or to ban them from going to the john in groups larger than three? How about extra jail time for any assault that took place in a bathroom, or a requirement for security cameras at the entrances and exits?
Are there women in history who have felt the need to duck into a bathroom to avoid men's attention? Sure, and I'm sure it worked, but that's not what bathrooms are for. Bathrooms are not public panic rooms. Bathrooms are for pooping.
Okay, bring it back, Williams, bring it back.
I guess the real question is how much the possibility or probability of violation... or, for that matter, how much one person feeling uncomfortable... should be allowed to dictate what another person can do. I have no doubt that there are cis women who really, truly, do feel uncomfortable about sharing a bathroom with transladies. I'm sure there are plenty of women who'd feel uncomfortable about a store employing a man whose job it is to wrap a measuring tape around their bosoms. I'm sure there are plenty of white people who were legitimately uncomfortable about Negro germs on their water fountains.
False equivalence? Sure it is. There's a big difference between getting your bra fitted - or declining to do so - and pissing next to a trans person - or declining to do so and relieving yourself in the potted plant in the hallway instead.
Just... can we all stop pretending that the trans-bathroom debate is about anything other than making a big public statement about how you believe gender works? If you cared at all about security in bathrooms, you'd be advocating security in bathrooms.