"But I will tell you what: the first man that walks in my daughter’s bathroom, he ain’t going to have to worry about surgery.” -- Lt. Gen. (ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin
I’m sure there are a great many people who are probably shocked to see that quote from William Boykin, but why should they be? Men have had that sort of protective attitude toward their daughters for as long as anyone can remember. That hasn’t changed, but what has recently changed is the profoundly unhealthy attitude many people in our society have taken towards transsexualism.
Determining what percentage of the population is actually transgender is very difficult. For example, would Bruce Jenner have counted before he started dressing in women’s clothes or not? But, the best estimate puts transgenders at about .3% of the population. However, if you’re talking about people who’ve had hormones and surgery and also dress in the opposite gender’s clothes as opposed to simply “feeling like a woman,” it’s most certainly lower. On the other hand, roughly 50.4% of Americans really are women. That means there are 168 women for every transgender person in America. Even if we accept that a transgender man dressed like a woman would be embarrassed to go into a men’s bathroom, doesn’t it make more sense for him to be uncomfortable than all those women? Why do his rights supersede the rights of so many women who just want to use the bathroom in peace without prying male eyes watching them?
Even with the limited experience we have as a society with this ridiculous idea, there have already been some incidents that should prompt the concern of lawmakers who are interested in protecting women in their state.
* "A Palmdale, California man wearing women’s clothing was arrested in a Lancaster Macy’s store after he was seen in a women’s bathroom. The man was allegedly videotaping women in the bathroom."
* “Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a first-of-a-kind challenge to gender bathroom rules. A man undressed in a women’s locker room, citing a new state rule that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender identity. It was a busy time at Evans Pool....The pool was open for lap swim. According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”
How would you feel if you watched your 8-year-old daughter walk into a locker room and that man in Seattle walked in right after her? For that matter, what would you think about your college-aged daughter having to get dressed next to Bruce Jenner, who still has his male genitalia and is attracted to women? In a society where you can’t go five minutes without hearing someone scream “rape culture” or “it’s a war on women,” how is it that a threat to the safety, comfort and privacy of women in the bathroom is being treated like it is irrelevant?
It stems from the uniquely unhealthy way we treat this mental disorder and, yes, if you feel like you are the wrong gender, you have a mental disorder. The good news, especially if you’re young, is that it’s probably not a permanent condition. As the former psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. Paul McHugh has said, “80% of those kids will” grow out of it as they get older.
So, what about the other 20% who will feel like they have the “wrong” gender long-term? Mental illness doesn’t make you a bad or broken person any more than a broken leg does, but like a broken leg, your disorder needs to be treated. Some people get over a broken leg in a few months. Others may have to deal with the consequences of that misfortune for the rest of their lives. So it is with mental illness. If you have a mental illness, it is possible that you may have to struggle with it for your entire life. That’s a sad reality that millions of decent people have to deal with every day.
Unfortunately, when it comes to transsexuals we make two huge mistakes.
First, we encourage them to embrace their mental illness. We don’t do this with depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, multiple personality disorder or almost anything else because it’s a terrible idea. It’s like telling someone who’s depressed that he’s worthless and everyone else would be better off without him. We would be appalled if anyone did that; yet encouraging someone to mutilate himself in a futile attempt to change genders is an even more horrible thing to do to another human being.
Our second mistake is that instead of having sympathy for people in that position, wishing them well and hoping for their recovery, we insist that everyone else cater to their mental disorder. There’s no law that says you have to stop cutting your hedges because your paranoid neighbor is suspicious of it. There’s no law that says you have to ask a person with multiple personality disorder whom he’s speaking to so you don’t shock him if you call him the wrong name. So, why are we willing to violate the privacy of half the population at one of their most vulnerable points during the day in order to cater to a mental disorder that afflicts a fraction of a percent of Americans?
This is insanity and until this mental health issue is no longer falsely treated like a civil rights issue, legislatures should do their duty and protect their female citizens by passing bathroom bills.