Month: April 2016

Keep Calm and Use Some Love & Logic

HB2, otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill” was proposed and quickly voted on and signed into law in a matter of hours about a month ago.  Many of us were confused from the git go.  I mean, it pretty much stands to reason that the men go in the men’s room and the women go in the women’s room, unless you have a child who is vulnerable due to age or disability and then you take them in your bathroom or the family bathroom.  I never much thought about whether there were transgendered persons in my bathroom.  There probably were times I used the ladies room with a person who was transgendered, but I didn’t know it. This was just never something I was spending much brain power on, but apparently our legislature was very bothered by it.  They tend to spend lots of time pondering how they can restrict, set rules about, and control the genitalia of the people of NC.

Since then, there has been a shit storm of backlash, and of course, it has been dichotomized by party.  I’m not going to rehash this, because unless you’ve been living under a rock or have been out of the country or taking a long FB break, you know what the backlash has consisted of on both sides.

I really try to stay out of it on FB.  I use some social media etiquette and I try very hard not to comment on others’ posts that I happen to disagree with, even those whose posts contain information I know to be patently false.  I don’t unfriend people for having views different than mine, although, that has happened to me quite a few times and fairly recently by someone whom I considered to be a friend. I try to remember that if I would not say something to someone’s face if I ran into them in the grocery, I shouldn’t write it on their wall/post or reply to their comment that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that this legislation is a deplorable example of discrimination made legal by folks who don’t understand/are afraid of/hate/fear the LGBT community.  We provide diversity training now to social workers, educators, and health care providers.  I think it’s time our legislators got some of this training as well.

I wasn’t completely surprised at the NC legislators, they are primarily white males of a certain age, education, and religion and they tend to behave with a mob mentality governed by their demographic, but I was totally unprepared for the number of my friends who have come out in support of this legislation.  I get that they are buying into the “save our women and little girls” thing, but come on, is anyone thinking this thing through?   The facts about molestation do not validate this legislation.  The whole save our women and children argument also predicates on the assumption that the LGBT community is populated by child molesters and that is just insulting and uninformed. Come on, really?

90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.  Maybe I should state this statistic again:  90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.  The horrifying fact is that, given the statistics, at least a few of my Facebook friends [sadly maybe more] are likely to have a child or children who has/have recently been abused and they don’t even know it. This abuse was most likely perpetrated by someone they trusted.  This is what people should be up in arms about.  Let’s do something to lower this statistic.

There are over 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in this country.  These people know the truth.  This type of thing rarely happens in a public restroom, if ever.  If, it does, it’s most likely perpetrated a caregiver.

One of the best ways to protect children is to minimize opportunity.  That means limit times when your child is in isolated one-on-one situations with adults or other youth.  In my experience, most parents either go to the bathroom with their kids or wait outside the door.

What about your sons?  We are far more likely to read about men dressed like men who go into the men’s room and expose themselves to little boys or try to touch them.  Happens all the time.  There is a safeguard: it’s called supervision.

Trust me, I am as suspicious and on the look out for child molesters as you are, I just don’t assume that the LGBT community is posing a significant threat.  Ask my children, I gave them detailed and specific education and training on avoiding the threat of molestation.

I have friends who are posting stuff like:  “That’s what I’m worried about, some molester guy posing as a transgender person to get into the bathroom.”  Let’s walk this one through.  Let’s say there’s a guy who wants to molest a child.  Is dressing up like a woman to claim transgender privilege the easiest way to do this?  Unfortunately, there are many women out there more than willing to allow instant access to their children to boyfriends who they barely know.  Easy access to children happens every day outside of bathrooms and in the very homes of the victims.

People seem to have grave concerns about men coming in the ladies room or into the girl’s locker room without this law. I saw a meme of a girl’s locker room with a boy standing in his tightey whiteys while all the girls were in their underwear.  That is not even realistic. Here’s the deal.  If a transgendered person comes into the girls’ locker room or bathroom, it will be because she identifies as a female and she won’t stand out.  She will look like a girl and pee like a girl, and if she has a penis, she most likely will be keeping that under wraps.  She just wants to fit in.  If you don’t understand it, do some research, watch some movies, read a book.

And, seriously, I am still confused by it all.  Are people afraid that LGBT persons are more likely to offend? They are not- research confirms.  And, how in the world could this ever be managed and enforced?  Are we going to start doing panty checks?  What about men who look feminine and women who look kind of masculine?  I know women whose husbands look a little girly- what if someone pulls one of them out of the men’s room? Be careful what you wish for, people.

Target came out this week in opposition to the law and in support of the LGBT community saying their bathrooms will remain status quo, meaning, hey folks, you’ve been peeing with transgender folks all along and didn’t even know it.  Get over yourselves.  And, boom! More backlash from the FB community– people threatening boycotts now.  Well, by all means, take it to Wal-mart, home of the most normal and non-threatening shoppers on the planet.  LMAO.  I am sure this smarts for many, because, well, Target.

Finally, how many people think that criminals follow laws?  If there are molesters who want to dress up in opposite sex garb in order to infiltrate a forbidden bathroom and take liberties with some unsuspecting victim, are we to think that a new law will prevent this from happening?  Wow, just wow.

Sometimes, you have to look at the greater good.  Here, I think the greater good is just loving our fellow human beings, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation and stop confusing differences in gender identity and sexual orientation with pedophilia or a propensity toward molestation.

It wasn’t broke.  It didn’t need fixing.  Laws should prevent discrimination not sanction it.

We are better than this.