Here’s One Simple Reason Why Anti-Trans “Bathroom Bills” Are Disingenuous As Hell

Robyn Pennacchia | March 25, 2016 - 1:30 pm

This week, the North Carolina House passed a bill which would ban transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Those who support this bill, and others like it, insist that it is really and truly about safety. They say it is about preventing sexual assault. They say it’s not about discrimination, but about preventing male sexual predators from simply claiming they identify as a woman in order to go into the women’s restroom for the purposes of committing some kind of sexual assault, or spying on women, or something to that effect. Because they are very, very committed to caring about sexual assault, just so long as it doesn’t involve testing rape kits.

But, you see–there is a very, very big, glaring problem with that logic, in fact. You see, just as this hypothetical sexual predator could lie and say he was a trans woman when in fact he was not, in order to gain access to a women’s restroom, so could he just say he was a trans man, if these legislators want trans men to use women’s restrooms. In fact, that option would be a heck of a lot easier, as it would not even involve a costume change.

In some way, the thing I find most frustrating about conservatives is that, although they constantly talk about how very desperately they want to be able to say what’s in their hearts without being “censored” by “political correctness,” although they walk around all tough with their AK-47s in a Starbucks, they insist on being disingenuous as fuck when trying to pass laws.

But look around you. Do you see anyone buying this? Is anyone being fooled here? If at least part of the reason you’re framing things this way is to avoid people calling you bigots, then clearly you have lost that battle. The emperor is walking around stark naked, and everyone is pointing this out.

I mean, really. Just say “Hey, we would really prefer–for our own peace of mind–that people not be transgender. So, we’d like to institute a law that makes it nearly impossible for them to go to the bathroom if they leave the house, for the purpose of discouraging that. Also–come on, this is like the last group of people we have to maybe be allowed to legally discriminate against, and this is killing our sense of self-esteem.” And then we can all work from there. From a place of honesty.

Just say, “Hey, we’d like to close some abortion clinics down, because we’d rather women not be able to have abortions” rather than trying to pretend that you just want to require all clinics to have admitting privileges due to some deep concern over women’s health.

Just say “We want to defund Planned Parenthood, because they perform abortions and we don’t like abortions” rather than making us all pretend you don’t know how organ donation works.

Just say, “Hey, I realize that scientists are probably not all lying and that climate change is real, and that even on the off-chance that they are wrong, it’s still probably a good idea to not actively try to destroy the planet. It probably wouldn’t hurt us to also consider alternative energy sources, but honestly I don’t care and feel as though the economic benefits of relying on oil and coal outweigh the benefits of shit that is more environmentally friendly. Especially because I’ll probably be dead by the time that affects anything seriously!”

Just say, “Hey, I realize waterboarding doesn’t actually work, and that it often causes people to make shit up just to make it stop, but it makes me feel good.”

Just say, “Hey, I realize that abstinence education doesn’t work, at all, for any reason, and that states that implement it generally have higher STD and teen pregnancy rates, but it makes me feel good.”

Just say, “Hey, I realize we’ve executed some innocent people with the death penalty, and that it costs more than just keeping people in prison for life, and that our justice system is not perfect–but the idea of getting to execute people makes me feel good.”

Would many of these things be illegal if conservatives were honest about their intentions? Yeah, they would be! And there are reasons for that! If the thing you want is illegal when you are actually honest about it, then maybe you should reconsider wanting that thing. Or hey, I don’t know, try to go about making it not illegal in a more honest way.

I mean, shit, let’s just work from a place of honesty. I’m so tired of the “You know and I know what this is about, but I’m going to pretend that it’s about another thing that sounds more altruistic so you can’t accuse me of being a jerk” crap. It’s annoying and obnoxious, and if you really believe you’re right, and I really believe I’m right, then let’s all just throw our shit out on the table and work from there.