Trans People take on The Bathrooms!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
After discovering the TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) take on the "trans people using bathrooms" debate, I wrote this to educate people on why everyone should use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Submitted: May 01, 2016

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Submitted: May 01, 2016

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When employers, schools, and courts are faced with the question “Which bathroom should a trans person use?” the answer is the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The equal treatment of trans people under anti-discriminatory laws is based on moral principle that people of certain minority groups should not have their mental health infringed upon because of baseless fear—in this case transphobia.

People are afraid right now faced with the idea that trans women may be allowed to use the restroom with a skirt on it. They say violence or rape will more often be inflicted on women and children because a law permits them to walk into the bathroom with a skirt on it. The truth of the matter is, that bathroom was usually unlocked long before this made mainstream news. If a man or a transwoman wanted to rape (a felony) or harm someone (aggravated assault or a misdemeanor crime), don’t you think they would not be held back by a law that says men aren’t allowed in that bathroom?

Children are raped 46% of the time by someone close to them.  And if the bathroom were so appealing of a location of a crime, this could happen in your bathroom at home, which is usually unisex and open to everyone. That’s almost half of rapes inflicted on children, making it almost indecipherable which crazy rapist will be at home or a stranger in public.

50% of trans woman report being victims of sexual violence—almost the same percentage of children that are raped, but a percentage of a much smaller group of people. Only an estimated .3% of the US population is trans, of over 700,000 adults aged 18-64 surveyed.

A baseless stance I’ve heard in opposition to trans women using the women’s bathroom is that a trans woman is not a real woman and is just a man in a dress. But it isn’t like that at all. The transgender brain is much different from cisgender women and cisgender men (people who are not transgender) and transvestites—people who cross dress—because, in women-bodied people who felt they should be male-bodied, they have relatively thin subcortical areas, which tend to be thinner in men than in women. Not surprisingly, male-bodied people who feel they should be female-bodied tend to have thinner cortical regions in the right hemisphere, which is a characteristic of the female brain (Russo).

I’ve heard that there’s no such thing as being “woman-brained,” but all I imagine that false logic is derived from is that many people have it so ingrained in them to call masculine traits “male” and feminine traits “female,” and these people have less of an inclination to open their minds to something so different from what they’ve believed since childhood. People are rigid in their ways. But a trans person is commonly dysphoric, leading to depression and suicide, because they can’t often happily live in a society that calls them freaks and sees their facial/physical features as characteristic of the gender they don’t relate to. The brains of trans women cry out, “Let me be female!” because they feel they’re literally inhabiting the wrong body or could ideally make their body “more female.”

I can’t imagine having a body I can’t stand because literally everyone labels it wrong and treats me accordingly. On top of television, movies, and internet posts using trans people’s lives as the butt of a joke, I’d face discrimination every day because people can’t do a little reading about how the trans brain works and what would be respectful to me—a minority who faces much more hardship than they do daily. It would hurt and affect my mental health, which is why young trans kids are coming out and expressing their gender identity freely in school, because a trans woman would likely say “I wish I could have been free to express myself as female sooner.” Trans women of all ages are protected by the law to not face such discrimination that is usually inflicted by TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) and bigots. They need to be given equal opportunities in safe places like work, where they need to make an income. They’re protected because it would be immoral and oppressive to tell a harmless person that they shouldn’t have equal rights to cis people. That’s telling them that they can’t be, that they shouldn’t be, and they should not be in the bathroom with a skirt on it.

Of all places, a place where people need to go number one or two and it should be a quick matter with no lingering (who wants to listen to bathroom matters?), should not have new anti-trans laws enforced on it. Trans women have a higher likelihood of being assaulted in a bathroom than a cis person. Punishing a trans person for the crimes of cis people is the wrong thing to do. By banning them from the restrooms that match their gender identity, you uphold that they should feel dysphoria because their identity is “wrong” and you further the false idea that they aren’t real, which has already been debunked by science.

I’ve been told that the women’s bathroom is a safe space for cis women (which I wouldn’t want to defend as my main safe space right now. It’s a bathroom. And people use them however they please. Lasers aren’t going to go off as soon as you enter the one with a certain sign on it). Then how do you counter any person who has a rare genetic difference or a chromosomes that don’t match their outward genitals, or no outward genitals, or a botched surgery? People who are intersex have needed sex assignment surgery too. How do you turn away people of all differences who might not fit the traditional mold of male and female? How then would you counter your friend who’s a man who went into the women’s bathroom because the men's bathroom was locked and it was an emergency and he couldn’t just shit on the McDonald’s floor?

To say that a trans woman shouldn’t use the bathroom you, as a woman, use is saying you’re superior to her, have more rights than her, and she doesn’t deserve to even attempt to have the life of a woman now when she had the confidence to identify as female and dress, act, or just express it accordingly. There is no evidence that gender-specific bathrooms are “safer” for cis women than unisex bathrooms, which undoubtedly “serve” trans people and cis alike.

78% of gender nonconforming youth were bullied and harassed according to respondents of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 35% attacked, and 12% sexually assaulted. These numbers wouldn’t be so high with teaching tolerance and education about gender fluidity and transgenderism rather than instilling fear and transphobia.

The accusation that cis men in dresses will increasingly enter the women’s bathroom to violently attack is a contradiction here, which supports the idea that trans women are put in another category and interpreted as “danger.” Violent attackers are also a danger to trans women along with cis women. These violent attackers target both, but moreso trans people, because trans people are disrespected an overwhelming amount. Arguments about safety in bathrooms are actually in favor of accessibility to women’s bathrooms because trans people face a uniquely high degree of harassment—53% of 6,450 trans people reported being harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation in a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (LambdaLegal.org).

“Over 200 municipalities and 18 states have nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people’s access to facilities consistent with the gender they live every day,” according to the coalition. "None of those jurisdictions have [sic] seen a rise in sexual violence or other public safety issues due to nondiscrimination laws. Assaulting another person in a restroom or changing room remains against the law in every single state” (Borello).

In America, 9 of 11 trans people unlawfully killed so far in 2016 were trans women (or gender-fluid people going by male and female names).

Of the trans women killed, two were sex workers and the two killers were men who’d by all accounts been their clients, so they were sex-motivated murders.

With preventative laws, which are supposed to stop a crime before it happens, you instill fear of trans and gender-nonconforming people into the public. In the Single Sex Public Facilities bill (HB 582), Florida State Representative Frank Artiles didn’t provide any evidence that a trans person has ever attacked a cisgender person in public restrooms. The most recent National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported a whopping 63% of respondents “had experienced a serious act of discrimination” in their lifetime. Mic’s Derrick Clifton wrote that “roughly 70% of trans people have reported being denied entrance, assaulted or harassed while trying to use a restroom,” according to a 2013 Williams Institute report (Bianco). Although you may claim advocates of “women’s safe spaces” are not harming trans women, the facts prove otherwise.

 

Sources: Bianco. Statistics Show Exactly How Many Times Trans People Have Attacked You in Bathrooms. 2 April 2015. http://mic.com/articles/114066/statistics-show-exactly-how-many-times-trans-people-have-attacked-you-in-bathrooms#.E60NHiW7Q


Borello. Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Organizations Debunk 'Bathroom Predator Myth'. 22 April 2016. http://abcnews.go.com/US/sexual-assault-domestic-violence-organizations-debunk-bathroom-predator/story?id=38604019

LambdaLegal.org. Bullying and TGNC Youth. 4 May 2016. http://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/youth/bullying-and-tgnc-youth

Russo. Is There Something Unique About the Transgender Brain? 1 January. 2016. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-something-unique-about-the-transgender-brain/


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