Sunday, May 15, 2016

Of Bathrooms and their patrons

Still crazy after all these years

First, I have to say this whole "bathroom" kerfuffle seems to have started in Houston (sorry).  The former Mayor of Houston pointed that that HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) came up for a referendum vote (after a protracted court battle that went to the Texas Supreme Court, which forced the referendum) after the Obergefell decision was handed down.  So opponents of Obergefell were hungry for their pound of flesh, and in HERO they found it.  (The terrifying "toilet ad," complete with wide eyed young white girl gazing off camera at a "predator," can still be found here.)  From that little acorn (which turned the tide against HERO) sprang "bathroom" laws across the country, which have morphed from fears of predators to fears of violations of privacy (somehow privacy is not violated when we deny women abortions, but is when we allow transgendered women to use a stall in a public toilet.  No, I don't understand, either.)

So:  sorry about that.

But the real point is, the argument of the opponents, be they the governor of North Carolina or the Lite Guv. of Texas, are crap.  Watch the Ashleigh Banfield interview, if you must, to see Dan Patrick splutter and insist his version of reality, even as she takes it away from him, is still the Truth!  It's bollocks; utter bollocks.

And the lesson of the beam in your eye returns to us, because  the people opposed to allowing the transgendered into bathrooms (who themselves only want privacy in public to use the facilities as the rest of us do.  Do you want public attention when you urinate or defecate?  Neither do I.) do it in the name of avoiding violence are probably, themselves, prone to violence.  Too many arguments about what "they" will do usually cover desires for violence in the ones who see it in others.

But the real argument is to see the transgendered simply as human beings.  Unsurprisingly, that's the Christian argument, too:

In an email sent to The Huffington Post on Saturday morning, Boylan said her “only intention on that show was to be respectful and loving to a person who I knew did not understand me.” She continued, “I hoped if I showed a little kindness, it might make him stop and think, Hmm, well what is the proper Christian response to someone who is vulnerable and in trouble?“

Boylan says she didn’t expect her strategy to work. “I figured that my own humanity is of so little reality to these people that nothing would make any difference,” she noted in her email. But she was surprised that “it appeared to completely shut him down.”

“I can’t explain it,” Boylan said. “Is it possible that for a moment he recognized me as someone human, someone just like him who deserves love and understanding?”

She ended up walking away from the experience with an outlook that translates into what might be some of the best advice we’ve heard in a long time: “Love your enemies. It messes with their minds.”

To which I would only add:  love them anyway.  It's the right thing to do.

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