Saturday, April 23, 2016

Complete the Following: Here I Sit All Broken Hearted ...

If you're rhyme sense led you to complete that sentence with "tried to poop and only farted," then you might live in North Carolina.

On the other hand, if you finished that rhyme with, "a pretty girl walked in just as I farted," then you probably live in a more sophisticated State, perhaps one where urinating in public is now lawful, or in which an end is being brought to the provision of gender-separated toileting facilities.

Something to think about in this whole bathroom imbroglio:

The fellow that was waiting, surreptitiously, and then peeping at the little girl.

He was a guy. He didn't think he was a girl trapped in a guy's body (thus, he didn't think he was "transgendered" or, as the DSM might call it suffering from "gender dysphoria"). He was, no doubt, perverted (no offense to my radical Islamic friends who take no issue with 7-, 8-, and 9-yo girls being married off), but his sexual orientation appears to be straight or heterosexual.

Given the wide stance of a certain Alaskan Senator, I don't doubt that there is a certain amount of isogender peeping too. It's just that the early stories of apparently criminal activity following North Carolina's bathroom law involve "straight" men peeping and videotaping in women's bathrooms.
Why am I mentioning this fact?

Because, TBH, there is justifiable anger about Cities like Charlotte threatening businesses that address the risks of such crimes by providing gender specific facilities and unsurprising angst from the "transgendered" community over being targeted by the corrective law. As with all these kinds of disputes, at a certain level, they are a distraction. They generate mucho fuego. They divide in ways that i don't think most people would be proud to admit.

If we applied certain fairly sensible and enduring principles, there would be little anger or angst, and what there would be, I think most folks would recognize would be the product of folks that enjoy the triumph of their demands over the desires of others.

For example, what if Target had only one person facilities. Admittedly, when the kidneys are bursting, you hate seeing a line and to do its best job of serving its customers, Target might need to have multiple one person facilities. But that approach would guarantee everyone a modicum of privacy.

As an alternative, Target could have two kinds of multi-person restrooms, but not identified by the gender of use. One set of restrooms could just have urinals and sinks. Anyone that could relieve nature's call with a urinal would have the option of using such a facility, whether they identify as male or female, or whether someone else would identify them as male or female. The other set of restrooms could be equipped with commodes in stalls and sinks. If your "business" required the assumption of a more restful pose, then this would be the restroom for you. Now, I would not go with the stall-less commodes, but if Target chose to do so, it would be its privilege so to do (and a great way of reducing restroom use too!). I might agree with the idea of floor to ceiling stall walls.

It seems to me that, in virtually every circumstance, either of these approaches turns down the heat (turns down for what?), and facilitate movement (including of bowels and minds). There is, however, one small group that might object:

Some part of the transgendered community and their supporters are not just looking for a place to drop a deuce. They are looking to assert their right to poop amongst those who share the gender with which they identify. Seriously. If one-person facilities were to be the order of the day, that would not be the accommodation sought by the potty partisans. Rather, what they seek is that all objection cease to the presence of a person whose body screams out to others "man" but whose mind mews "woman" in a toileting facility designated for female users (and vice versa).

We have seen this ideological tyranny before.

The struggle over slavery produced such a clash: slave-holders, in Lincoln's view, would have never been satisfied until all objection was silenced to slavery and until those who had objected to the inhuman practice acknowledged slavery as "morally right and socially elevating."

The abortion issue has produced an identical ideological clash. It offends the ardent defenders of a woman's right to choose to show photographs of aborted babies, sometimes even tasteful Lennart Nilsson-style photographs of children in utero. Such photographs bear witness to barbarism and to humanity in indisputable ways, and so supporters of the right to homicidal eviction of babies will always demand two things: an admission that abortion is a moral good, and a denial that children before birth are human persons.

So, returning to the porcelain perturbations, we really just have to decide one key question:

Are we for, or against, liberty?

If we are for liberty, then we leave Target free to make itself inhospitable to families concerned about the safety of their children and to the survivors of rape and other sexual traumas. If we are for liberty, then we leave ourselves free to conduct business with persons of like thinking.

Liberty, then, is the guiding principle that resolves this dispute.

Charlotte struck hard against the liberty of private places of business when it stripped away a previous ordinance provision that allowed private businesses to provide sex-separated toileting and bathing facilities. The State of North Carolina swatted the Queen City on the hind side with the bathroom privacy law.

But if Charlotte had respected liberty to start with, this kerfuffle would never have gotten going.