Religion and the War in Bathrooms (Locker Rooms, Changing Areas, Showers….)


As everyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows by now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has directed all US public  schools to open their heretofore sex-segregated facilities, such as bathrooms, to members of the other sex who claim to be trans. Note that a claim is all that’s needed. No psychiatrist’s letter, no evidence of hormones ingested or surgery survived need be produced. Just the claim.


The famed Johns Hopkins University Hospital stopped doing trans surgery many years ago. Doctors there discovered that surgery did not solve the patients’ problems. They were just as depressed, just as likely to commit suicide. They merely looked different, and had to take hormones to maintain that look. Surgery, in other words, made no difference to the patients’ health. In fact, because of surgical complications and those arising from hormone use, their lives may have been shortened.


In the New York Times today is another article on the extraordinary position the DOJ has taken – linking sex to gender. Juxtaposed against it is an article elsewhere, discussing a rumor that Caitlyn Jenner may de-transition back to looking like a man, due to a sustained sexual attraction to women and a religious belief that same-sex dating is wrong. Trans-ness is clearly not akin to the legally protected category of genetic sex. One cannot change sex – every cell in one’s body contains the same telltale chromosomes (most often, XX or XY). But the naming of one’s gender identity can be fluid.


The trans population is very very small. Most of them are man-to-woman, and most opt to retain their penises. In contrast, the pool of genetic females is huge, over 50% of the American population. Yet the DOJ is willing to toss them under the bus in order to satisfy the desires – not the needs, but the desires – of a tiny percentage of genetic males. Predators who are truly trans clearly number quite few. But predators who are genetically male are numerous, and like all predators – jackals, for example – will do anything to gain access to victims for their own voyeuristic and/or assaultive ends. Such as claim to be trans in order to gain access to the private spaces of girls and women. If you scoff at that idea, you have not really thought it through, not with the attention to detail used by predators. You are, in fact, naïve.


One factor no one has yet mentioned in this discussion is religion. The DOJ is either ignoring religion or pretending it has no application here. Yet religion – though it can be changed – is also a protected category within the discussion of civil rights. In the US, whose Constitution mandates the separation of church and state, we take a dim view of forced or urged religious changes. So the right to practice one’s religion – with some adjustments for public safety – is well-protected.


Very well, imagine I’m a female student at a public high school, and I am terrified of the DOJ’s edict. My Muslim family is strictly observant. I am not allowed to even talk to boys for fear of endangering my purity, and the idea of a genetic male seeing me disrobed in the changing room or shower frightens me, because my particular form of Islamic practice not only forbids that, but also encourages my father to punish me for undressing in front of a boy. Yet my high school will not provide accommodations for me to slip in and out of gymwear (which my religion considers already immodest in its design, so I wear trousers underneath) in private. My PE teacher says I must accept this genetic boy. “Suck it up,” are her exact words.


My father, however, will hit the roof. Not only am I not permitted by the school and DOJ to practice my religious beliefs as I have been taught, I fear my father’s wrath. I will be lucky if he simply beats me. He might go farther. I might become a so-called “honor” killing victim.


Now imagine I am a different female student at the same public school. Last year a male classmate raped me. Perhaps I told people; perhaps I kept silent. Yet the memories haunt me: the smell of him, his eyes, the way he made me look at his penis before he rammed it into me. It was horrible, it was trauma, and since then I regard boys — any boy — as potential attackers. It is tough for me to get through the fifty minutes of my crowded chemistry class without feeling sick. A genetic male, no matter his claim of trans, in what has been the one place in this school where I am not confronted by boys, makes me physically ill. I feel re-violated. If I do not find a way to escape this dreadful situation, I may have to end the pain permanently by committing suicide.


So, DOJ, what now? Still think the desires of a tiny trans population should override the need for safety and a feeling of privacy held by millions of genetic females? Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness – since happiness cannot co-exist with voyeurism, assault, or PTSD – are fine concepts for everyone except genetic females? What type of disordered thinking is that?


In New York City some years ago, having hidden a camera within a stuffed toy, a worried parent discovered her child’s nanny was physically abusing the infant, who was too young to talk. This was the first case of “nanny-cam” to come to public attention. People were outraged.


So was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). For several days, the ACLU’s spokesman (yes, it was a man) railed against the terrible injustices stacked against the poor nanny. Spied on! Hidden camera! Her right to privacy trampled! What was the US coming to when Gestapo-like techniques could be employed by anyone?


That ridiculous, absurd, dangerous ACLU response died when thousands of citizens – including longstanding ACLU members who mailed in their ripped-up cards – vigorously responded: The nanny was committing crimes, and the parents were well within their rights to discover how their child was being attacked and by whom.


The DOJ’s ukase here reminds me of when the ACLU sided with the nanny. It carries the same whiff of wounded outrage, and the same lack of research. Here, into the various ways genetic females might be hurt.


In law, one speaks of the “slippery slope”, how a legal decision can have far-reaching consequences unforeseen at the time.


Yet the consequences of the DOJ’s overreach are easy to forecast. All it takes is imagination . . . and empathy for genetic females.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s