The debate and divide over who gets to use what bathroom is an interesting debate. We all gotta go – that’s universal. But so often, like most things that divide our culture and nation, we look at things only from left/right perspectives. We think there are only two options – the “right” option and the “wrong” option. We aren’t interested in hearing the other side – why would we, they are wrong. What can we possibly gain by listening. They need to listen to us. Maybe we’ll listen if they listen first.
Sounds more like a pre-schooler fighting over a sandbox with dog crap in it, than an adult discussion about things that matter.
I have seen these same battles play out multiple times before. It’s kind of tiring actually. We forget that actual people are involved, not just abstract policies and soundbites. It’s the “subjective” gender identification side versus the “objective” gender physiology side. If we are going to fight about something, better to make it sound as far removed from being a person as possible – makes it much easier to label people who disagree with you. The subjective and objective are two worlds that don’t revolve around the same sun – two very different ways of looking at the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a third planet stuck between the other two warring planets.
Here’s my take on this (because I know you’ve all been dying to hear another take on this, yeah right!). I think both of these sides have valid arguments. Yes, it’s possible to listen to arguments from opposing sides and see how they come to their conclusions. I also think it’s important that everyone have a place to go to the bathroom in a way that can be as comfortable for them as possible – it’s what I think we all want ultimately. That’s the common thread I hear in both sides of this debate. We’re so busy fighting over the way to get there that we’ve lost sight of the fact that both sides ultimately want the same thing – to go to the bathroom in peace. So I’ve come up with a solution – it’s far from perfect, but it’s a solution.
Since we seem to be in society that often demands government involvement in our lives, (regardless of your conservative or liberal political bent) I have a way to solve this divide in a way that should leave both sides of this debate relieved (no pun intended).
We pass a law that requires all businesses/organizations to refurbish their bathrooms to become single-use or family-use unisex bathrooms. And since this is a government requirement, we fund these bathroom changes through a government funded program that pays for a certain level of bathroom changes. While changes are being made to bathrooms, we make all existing bathrooms single use. This will give everyone something in common to complain about – lines. Maybe standing in line will cause us to rethink what we want to complain about and how we want government to dictate every nook and cranny in our lives since we can’t seem to play nice with each other on our own.
The benefit for liberals is that people who gender identify as something different than their plumbing will be able to use the bathroom in peace without anyone looking at them or judging them. They would just be a person going to the bathroom, just like anyone else. Liberals should be happy that government is doing something and keeping in line with more liberal economic theory – it would be government spending money, which should fuel economic growth through contractors doing the labor – according to the theory anyway. Plus you would be able to go in peace without someone showing up in camouflage, or worse, a Trump or Cruz shirt next to your urinal or stall possibly carrying some kind of concealed weapon in the bathroom who might shoot you for wearing your Hillary or Feel the Bern shirt obnoxiously everywhere and believing that you are sticking it to the 1% as you envision peeing on the Koch brothers faces.
The benefit for conservatives would be that you wouldn’t have to worry about who is in the bathroom with you any more – no gays, queer, trans, questioning, people who look weird, someone wearing pink or a Hillary! Or Feel the Bern shirt that will make you want to throw up, etc. It’s just you. It would be the government paying for one of their requirements, not just making an unfunded mandate. It would literally be money going down the toilet, so you’d still be able to complain about government and have a valid argument. But private contractors would be doing the work. All businesses could chose who they wanted to do the work – union or not. And if they are small businesses, even better – they don’t fall under the requirement for Obamacare.
Ultimately, solving the bathroom controversy in this way would do something else – it would give us time to find other ways to divide ourselves and label the other side in some derogatory manner – those idiots, they just don’t get it.
Because in the end, it’s not about what we agree about, it’s how we can be divided on how we get there. I can’t wait to see what the next divide will be!
On second thought, maybe more time sitting on the toilet alone wouldn’t be such a good idea.