Sexualizing the Bathroom

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When North Carolina passed a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination legislation to protect gay and transgender people, it inevitably became known as the "bathroom bill."

Because America.

People seem unhappy about the original ordinance because it allowed trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity as opposed to that listed on their birth certificate. The thinking is that the sex on one's certificate should be set in stone, like the Republican primary process or Barney Rubble's car. Lost in this haughty indignation is the fact that everything on that birth certificate can be legally changed with the right form and a filing fee. In my home state of Connecticut, that'd be a PC-910 form and signed affidavit from a medical professional.

Also lost amid all the potty talk is a provision that affects far more than the transgender community: the legislation takes away the rights of North Carolina workers to sue under state anti-discrimination laws. Funny how that part hasn't been discussed much in the last month. Instead, people worry that reasonable anti-discrimination protections will lead to men staking out public restrooms and showers, endangering women and children.

In other words, there's a clear connection being made between those who question their gender identity and the probability of sexual predation.

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While I respect every person's right to hold true to his or her religious beliefs regarding gender identification, how did we become so fixated on sexualizing the bathroom? Public restrooms rate just below the DMV on my arousal meter (although, to be fair, mine is several years old and still runs on Windows XP).

My regular readers know I don't claim to have any answers. Despite the fact that over 100 cities in 18 states already afford these basic protections without a collapse of civilization as we know it, the reason I disagree with North Carolina's actions is because it inconveniences me.

Those creepy guys that so worry North Carolina's governor now have to stay in men's restrooms. Now I still have to deal with the guy from the next urinal who's showing an unhealthy interest in my exposed plumbing or casually swiping through pictures on his phone while he sits in an open stall. I will fight to the bitter end to get rid of him... I mean, fight for transgender rights.

It's the 21st century, folks; the knuckle-draggers among need to accept that sexual orientation is not a choice. Anyone who's been to Giants Stadium knows that no sane person would ever willingly choose to stand in line for the women's bathroom unless they absolutely had to. I've seen lines for Space Mountain that were shorter.

Besides, men's restrooms (well, men) are disgusting. We urinate in troughs, for heaven sakes. I've heard people claim women's restrooms are dirtier than men's, but I'm convinced those people are filthy, filthy liars.
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For instance, I've never seen an actual toilet seat protector in my restrooms, only the empty dispenser. Whereas women have to sit as a matter of function, men only sit on the throne as an act of surrender. They use the toilet as a urinal and "sprinkle" the seat, leaving the next patron to cover that seat in toilet paper as if mummifying it. The patron after that is left with the horrible choice of unwrapping the mummy or calculating how long it might take to find another restroom. Men have no problem entering the stall right next to you even when several others are open. God help you if the lock on the stall is broken; you'll need to hold it closed for the "fly-bys," where men rattle each door to see if it's available. Airport restrooms are examples of the denial of God's love. All decorum gets left on the plane; everything else seems to get left on the toilet seat and floor.

I'm not offended by women who identify as male using the men's room; I pity them for what they'll find there.

I'd rather see legislation that punishes people who don't flush or who neglect to tell you when you've got TP on your shoe. I want an ordinance that forces people to wash their hands, or at least wear a sign so I know not to touch them.

Don't we have more important things to do than create straw men to justify our fear of the unfamiliar? This Game of (Switching) Thrones is much ado about nothing. Let's stick to legitimate fears, like worrying whether or not that's water on the restroom door handle.

You can read more at RobertFWalsh.net, contact him at rob@RobertFWalsh.net or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.