Men in Women’s Bathrooms, Is Your State Next?

This, my friends, is the worst nightmare of the always controversial conservative group Focus on the Family.
From the email: Men in Women’s Bathrooms, Is Your State Next?

March 26, 2009
Dear Friend,
The reality of “change” has hit full-force in Washington, D.C., and in many respects, it’s a nightmare. But as bad as things are in Washington, for many pro-family Americans the greatest political danger lurks much closer to home.
From Albany to Sacramento, state capitols are the flash points for the most aggressive efforts to redefine family and “re-norm” cultural standards–all the while undermining religious freedom. And changes at the state level often cause the biggest impact in our daily lives . . . and the state of Colorado has served as a testing ground for strategy now being exported across the country.
I told you last summer about a new Colorado law that gave special “public accommodation” protections to people who self-identify as homosexual or “transgender.” I shared with you how Focus on the Family Action warned lawmakers that this legislation would reap a whirlwind of social problems. We specifically warned them that their vote for this bill would even allow men to use women’s restrooms–right alongside women and even young girls.

Moving beyond the humor in this email, it’s true that there is something so fundamental about gender roles and norms that the idea of men in a women’s bathroom can cause the knees of any conservative to shake immediately. And it’s not just conservatives who care about bathrooms, even if they are the only ones fighting against legislation that protects trans people (and using fear tactics to do it).
Bathrooms are always a huge issue of contention in the war about gender. Trans communities fight for the right to use the appropriate ones, conservative groups scream about young girls safety and male predators in them.
Here’s the thing that always gets me about the bathroom debate: The idea that laws governing a space which by nature is unpoliced, unregulated and fundamentally just an unlocked door with a sign on it gets so much airtime. Why is it that people feel a picture of a stick figure in a dress on a door keeps them safe? What does that say about our larger beliefs about gender?

Join the Conversation