I make no bones about being a centrist, with some liberal leanings. Personally, your moral or lifestyle choices – as long as they do not impact or endanger anyone or anything else (things like drunk driving, beating someone else to death for being different than you or having different morals, forcing someone to act against their own conscience in relation to their own lives, destroying property, these are all examples of how your choices impact or endanger someone or something else) – are your choices.
This is something I believe across the board in many ways. You want to be a racist, sexist bastard? You go ahead, but you do not have the right to try to force ANYONE ELSE to make those choices as well. You want to be a radical feminist who believes that ANYTHING with a penis is evil incarnate? You go ahead – but you don’t have the right to force anyone else to fit in with your worldview.
Why is it that we are allowing the fanatic, outer fringe of ALL of our groups (conservative and liberal, religious and not, political or not, etc.) to be in charge of how change happens?? Why is it that only total capitulation, total surrender is the ONLY way we will be satisfied? When did compromise become a dirty word?
Let’s look at this whole transgender thing. Now, I’ve stated before that if we actually taught our children to respect body autonomy and to not view the naked body as something shameful and somehow “dirty,” we might not have these issues.
But, since we don’t live in a utopian society, let’s take a look at some of the things that have already happened. Take Target for example. They were one of the first businesses that actually took a step towards being more inclusive by offering a “family bathroom” (although technically, we’re talking unisex), because they realized sometimes single-parent households have children too young to go to the bathroom alone, but the child is the opposite sex of the parent. Now, for years before that, mothers had fairly regularly taken their sons into the ladies room with them, but once men were accepted as being just as often a single-parent, the concern about taking a little girl into the men’s room came up. The answer was the “family” bathroom. It was a compromise.
Locker rooms. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to a number of locker rooms where there are curtained alcoves, and all the showers are in stalls of their own with their own curtains (sometimes 2 – one to the outside and one between the “dry” part and the “wet” part). This isn’t just for single parents, nor transgendered people (if the place has a policy that allows a transgendered person to go to the bathroom of their gender rather than their biological sex), but also for those whose religion and morals (or trauma, or disablement, or any of a NUMBER of other issues) require them to choose a private space – not just in front of the opposite sex, but in front of ANYONE.
Again, a COMPROMISE, understanding that different people have different needs.
I understand some of the concerns on both sides. If a female who had been raped or molested as a child entered a locker room and saw a penis, she could quite easily have flashbacks or other negative responses to it. But, since quite a few transgendered women (biologically male, gendered female) actually LOOK like their gender (breasts, bodies shaped more like women than men), making them go into a male locker room could also be dangerous. And since many transgendered men (biologically female, gendered male) LOOK male, including beards and more defined musculature, would that not traumatize that raped or molested cis-gendered woman?
A compromise *I* personally can think of is to have a male, a female and a unisex bathroom and/or locker room. Not to isolate the transgendered, but for ANYONE who feels comfortable in a unisex space. I, as a cis-gendered female, would have absolutely NO problems using a unisex locker room. It’s not a space I use to “check out” other people. It’s a place I use to change into and out of my sport clothing/swimsuit/etc. If it were unisex, I wouldn’t be staring at penises – just like I don’t stare at other women’s breasts or groin.
If you use a locker room to “check out” other people, then it is YOU that is the deviant pervert.
Look, TRUE societal change is a rather slow process. And it BEST happens if people are willing to compromise on some things, and refuse to negotiate on the IMPORTANT things, such as stopping the beating and killing of the demonized type of person.