Friday, April 22, 2016

Privacy and Modesty

By now, you have probably heard about the uproar over North Carolina's "bathroom bill." To say that I am frustrated, outraged, and angry about the mischaracterization of this and other recent controversies is an understatement. Below, in no particular order, are my thoughts on the controversy.

  • Let me get this straight - the right to privacy entitles a woman to kill her unborn child but does not entitle me to change in a locker room that does not include men?
  • If men and women are the same, and no one can tell what gender anyone else is anyhow, then not only do we not need separate bathrooms and changing rooms, but we don't need separate sports teams, scholarships or schools. There's no need for Title IX, either, right?
  • If I'm going  to strip in a room full of men, I at least want to get paid for it!
  • Setting aside any question about the intentions of people who identify as trans, can we consider how others might misuse the ability to use any bathroom or locker room? If sexual predators/rapists/child abusers never lie about who and what they are, why do we have to go to such lengths to prove we're not criminals or abusers? Why do I need 3 background checks and 4 child abuse clearances? Why do we need references attesting to us being good people who would be good parents? Couldn't we just sign something saying "I am a good person and would be a great parent" and have them give us children?
Men and women are different. Equal, but different. Acknowledging that men and women are not the same doesn't make me a hater or a bigot. 

I belonged to a gym for many years. I always tried to choose a locker in a corner, out of the main pathways. I wasn't necessarily thrilled about stripping completely in a room with other women, but after getting completely sweat soaked, my desire to get clean was more important. After ditching the disgusting, sweaty clothes, I would wrap myself in one of the towels provided (which covered approximately the bare minimum) to go weigh myself and shower. If I used the sauna I was again wrapped in one of those towels. I wouldn't have been comfortable doing any of it in a room with men. Should we do away with locker rooms and changing rooms and expect everyone to change and shower at home? How would that affect swim lessons and meets? Staying in wet or sweaty clothes can encourage vaginal bacterial growth; women are encouraged to change out of wet and sweaty clothes quickly as part of good hygiene practices. 

Yes, accommodations should be made for those with gender dysphoria, who identify as something other than the biological sex they were born with. But that should not take away the rights of others to not have to be naked or perform bodily functions in front of members of the opposite sex.