Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dude, Looks Like a Lady's in the Loo-Updated

Gotta love New York! I sure do love the city, but this week, a more absurd (yet perfectly rational when you think about it) ruling was made in favor of dudes wearing dresses going to the girls bathroom.

Porn website owners everywhere rejoice. Now, there's no need to sneak into a woman's bathroom for the up-the-skirt and potty shots, they'll just dress like women a waltz right in and take care of "business".

Dan Collins guest posting, permanently I think, for Jeff Goldstein says:

It’s unclear just how the writer’s elision of transgender with “gender expression” is supposed to connect with the instance in question. I guess that in practical terms, one is welcome to use that lavatory that matches the clothing they’re wearing, which brings up a lot of questions, not least about security. And by forcing everyone to go to Transgender Sensitivity Training, I’m sure that the guy person’s made himself very popular with his co-workers.
He brings up a good point about bringing a daughter into the ladies room. The ladies' room has been a under-appreciated haven, evidently. I still bring my son in there. Ain't no way I'm letting him go into the men's bathroom by himself. If women give me a dirty look (they never do, by the way) that can kiss my rear.

Maybe, in New York, all weirdness will happen in the women's bathroom now and the men's room will be the "safe" bathroom. Ugh. How far can we go in political correctness? Is it possible to go farther?

How about this delineation? I know, it's archaic and simple, but hey, I really like simple solutions ala Occam: if you own a penis and you're not attended by your mother, it's the men's room. If you own a vagina and you're not attended by your father, it's the lady's room.

Update: After more thought, here is my big issue with issues like this: the United States is a remarkably tolerant place. Minority rights are protected. I'm just thinking off the top of my head here, but here are some instances of minority right protection:
  • Amish
  • Conscientious objector status
  • Freedom of religion--Dearborn, Michigan now has public prayer calls for Muslims
  • Americans with Disabilities
These are just three, there are many more. You know, though, our society survives on a certain amount of shared ethos. The majority indulges the minority because of a notion of freedom and fairness.

The majority might just push back when the indulgences of the minority become tyrannical to the majority. Ridiculous lawsuits like the above make people less inclined to bend for any minorities.

3 comments:

Teri said...

My 13-year-old son is autistic. I'll let him go in the men's room by himself if it's a situation with a small one (like Mickey D's) where I can stand in the doorway with the door open a few inches till he comes out. Otherwise, he comes in the ladies room with me. He's 5'9" and weighs more than me, but I've never had any ladies give me a hard time about it. Course, maybe the daggers shooting out of my eyes accounts for that . . .

I don't think that having transgender men in the ladies' room is quite as big a deal as having transgender women in the men's room would be - ladies' rooms have separate stalls for everyone, unlike men's rooms with their row of urinals.

Anonymous said...

Australia seems to be a little laid-back about these things.

I'm a pre-op transsexual (actually, there may have been some oddity at birth - it's a long story) who manages to go about her life with a minimum of fuss. Since transition, almost everyone who knew me before has accepted me. Those who don't know probably don't have much cause to suspect my background.

Anyway, the whole toilet issue has been a non-issue. There are probably some in my situation who draw attention to themselves, which is unwise, but not an offence. When I have needed to use the ladies room while out, I have gone ahead and done just that, with no fuss.

It pains me that so many people believe people like myself to be perverts or freaks. Also, the notion of "penis this way; vagina the other" shows some ignorance about sex, gender and the simple biological fact that things are not a nice, neat binary for some of us. It would have saved me much pain and angst if that assumption were true.

Dr. Melissa said...

Anon,

I think America is laid back about these things. This court case was a co-worker who cross-dressed and felt s/he deserved the women's bathroom.

It's when women see linebackers in a dress and 10 inch platforms that the tolerance becomes concern. Imagine a little girl alone in a bathroom with a 250 pound cross-dresser, for example. What about a woman's rights? What about the 99% of women who are afraid when they go to the bathroom when an obvious bloke enters?

The ambiguously transgendered looking to go the bathroom unobtrusively isn't the problem. It's the police officer not doing anything about the guy in the bathroom with the women that strikes me as unfair and possibly very dangerous.