Houston’s Bathroom Issue

Houston Ordinance Transgender LGBT

Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but in places that HAVE passed similar ordinances, has there been a rash of women and girls being attacked in the women’s room by a male dressed as a female? Is this suddenly a thing in those places? On what is this fear based?

I’m confused.

Voters in Houston overwhelmingly defeated an ordinance that protected transgender people from discrimination. The opponents of the ordinance seemed particularly concerned with the possibility that an evil heterosexual male would pose as a female with nefarious intentions of harming our grandmothers and granddaughters in public women’s restrooms.

Please indulge me in a series of stream of consciousness questions, here.

What is stopping a heterosexual male from posing as a woman and entering a woman’s restroom to harm our grandmothers and granddaughters NOW? What about this ordinance would have made it EASIER for that to happen? Was it going to make it more likely than it is at the moment? If so, HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH WOULD IT DO THAT??? It seems to me that all this ordinance WOULD have allowed was for a transgender female to be herself and go into whichever restroom made her feel comfortable.

Why was the argument framed solely in terms of the possibility of a transgender female entering a woman’s bathroom? Were opponents unconcerned about transgender males entering a men’s bathroom? Doesn’t it seem equally likely (if not more likely) that a transgender male entering a men’s room is in greater danger of harassment? Why does a biologically-born woman who identifies as a man not deserve the same concern about harassment and harm then the opponents’ grandmothers and granddaughters? I try not to be cynical, really I do, but I can’t help but sense that if a transgender male was harassed in the men’s room, opponents of this ordinance would declare that he was asking for it.

Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but in places that HAVE passed similar ordinances, has there been a rash of women and girls being attacked in the women’s room by a male dressed as a female? Is this suddenly a thing in those places? On what is this fear based?

Here’s the one about which I’m EXTREMELY curious. Do those who opposed the Houston ordinance express such passionate concern about other scenarios in which women are harassed and sexually assaulted? Like the much more common situation wherein a woman or girl is raped by her partner, or her husband, or her babysitter, or a guy at a party who slipped her a drug? Are they outraged about those situations? You know, like about the more than 80% of rapes that are committed by people who know their victims? Are they acting as vocal advocates on behalf of these victims by refusing to allow police, juries, friends to doubt their veracity or slut-shame them?

How hard are they fighting to make sure the 400,000 backlogged/unprocessed rape kits get processed, so that justice can be more fairly served?

How do they react when their daughter or sister or wife gather up the strength to confide in them that they’ve been the victim of a sexual assault? Do they believe them? I’ll ask that one again. Do they believe them? Or do they follow the Duggar family therapy model?

Just wondering. You know. On behalf of grandmothers and granddaughters everywhere…

Aliza Worthington grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Baltimore. She began writing in 2009 at the age of 40. Sometimes her writing follows The Seinfeld Model of “no learning, no hugging.” Other times it involves lots of both. She blogs about Life, Liberty and Happiness at “The Worthington Post.” Her work has also appeared in Purple CloverCatonsville Patch and Kveller and Daily Kos. She has won BlogHer Voice of the Year awards in 2013 and 2015. Follow her on Twitter at @AlizaWrites. She is proud to have an essay in the newly released anthology, Love Her, Love Her Not, The Hillary Paradox.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

  • I think this is one of the stupider decisions being shoved down our throats! Now they are pushing for transgenders (prior to sex change surgery) to be able to shower in open stalls in schools. How is that going to affect young girls? There has to be a better way. EWe need to protect the rights of ALL people.

    • Jayne Farquart

      Transgender minors cannot get GRS. In case you’ve not been paying attention, the very same people that speak out against transgender children being prescribed puberty blockers are the same folks screaming the loudest about transgender children using gender appropriate facility’s. It’s a no win situation for transgender people.

      • schrodie

        Then these “trans” whatever-you-call-’em need to use the bathroom that matches their plumbing. If someone has a penis and a set of testes, they use the men’s room. If someone has NO penis or testes, they use the ladies’ room. Simple as that.

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