The Case For Gender Segregated Bathrooms

Recently I have seen a fair amount of content regarding the laws passed in a couple of states that will permit business owners to use their own judgement in the designation of restrooms rather than forcing all bathrooms to designated by some government functionary.

The main thrust of much of this content seems to miss the central fact regarding gender identity, which is that it is an entirely subjective and non-falsifiable condition.  That is to say that there is no way to confirm any particular person’s preferred gender, only that person’s actual gender.

A man who thinks that he is a woman is identical, in all objective tests, to a man who thinks that he is a man.  There is no way to distinguish between the two. It may be possible that there are such things as souls, and that souls are male and female, and that sometimes a male body is paired with a female soul.  It may even be true that it is better to change the body to match the soul, rather than the reverse.

However, it is unquestionably true that souls, if they exist, are by definition ineffable. The only way that I can know what you think you are is to take your word for it.

This means that there is simply no way to make a female restroom, locker room, or changing area accessible to men who identify as women without making it accessible to men who identify as men, or, for that matter, men who identify as hamsters.

This makes the debate regarding whether gender identity disorder is a treatable mental illness or not irrelevant.  The question is whether the desire for some men to use a woman’s restroom outweighs the desire for women to use a bathroom that has no men in it.

Should we, as a nation, compromise the security of half of the population in order to cater to the feelings of a small fraction of one percent of the population?

I think that the answer is no.  More importantly, I think that the answer to that question is one that should be left to the owner of the restroom in question, and not dictated from on high.

Now, advocates of making all restrooms accessible to all genders will argue that a man who identifies as a man will not use a woman’s bathroom under false pretenses, but, sadly, the fact is that many will, and are already doing so.  At least one university has been forced to re-segregate shower areas because so many young men were using cell phone cameras to record young women in the shower.

Once a person has been through the process to become the opposite gender in law the question is moot.  A man who has had his birth certificate changed to read female is now a female in law, and should then use the gender appropriate bathroom, and use it without fear that men who have no intention of changing genders will be in there.

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
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7 Responses to The Case For Gender Segregated Bathrooms

  1. Dave Higgins says:

    Leaving aside the issue of whether a legal system should prefer to punish the innocent to control the guilty, segregation on biological traits doesn’t prevent homosexual predators, so doesn’t offer full protection anyway.

    A better solution is education and support from an early age to avoid the issues that lead to people becoming sexual predators.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      I don’t see how it punishes a man to make him use the men’s room. The majority of men and women want segregated bathrooms. I think that they should be allowed to have them.

      • Dave Higgins says:

        It punishes people who are biologically one sex but don’t identify as the gender that biological sex is commonly taken to demonstrate to make them use the restroom that matches their genetics rather than their self-image.

        I don’t think people want segregated bathrooms; I think they want to not feel someone is perving at them. So, if we are going to focus on preventing intermixing, the best solution is single-usage unisex facilities: if you aren’t sharing, it doesn’t matter whether anyone else’s gender matches their genetics; and it has the side benefit of not needing to add a certain number of duplicate sets of facilities while reducing queuing.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        A men’s room is not a facility for people who are happy that they have penises, it is a facility for people who have penises, regardless of how they feel about them. Yes, we can force companies to tear out their communal restrooms and locker rooms and replace them with individual units, which is what is likely to be what happens in the US. The additional expense will be borne by customers, and I suspect that any company that can will simply discontinue providing rest rooms for customers.

      • Dave Higgins says:

        Urinals are designed for penises; so that might apply if we were talking about labelling urinals penis-bearer only. However, when I (or any other person) sit, I sit in the same way people without penises do.

        So – if we really must reduce the complex emotional and social entity that is a human to a pair of chromosomes – there might be an argument for not having urinals in a unisex environment. However, given men have coped with the entire room potentially seeing their junk every time they use a urinal, a sudden fit of wanting to limit views isn’t that strong an argument compared to treating everyone as an equal citizen.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        So, is your point then that it doesn’t matter to people who uses a restroom with them? In which case, let’s just stick to the arrangements we have now, since it’s been in place for a few thousand years by this time.

        You don’t get to have it both ways. If it is a hardship for a man who thinks he is a woman to use a restroom with other men, then it is a hardship for a woman who thinks she is a woman to use a restroom with men. Contrariwise, if it is no hardship for women who think they are women to share a restroom with men, then it is no hardship for a man who thinks he is a woman to use a restroom with men.

        There is no argument for allowing men into a woman’s restroom that does not undercut itself.

  2. Ellen Meyer says:

    Thanks, Misha, for a very logical explanation of a common sense opinion. I totally agree.

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