A few weeks ago I wrote an article about crossdressing and ladies restrooms. As you may know, opponents of laws protecting gender identity and expression use the terrible threat of “men dressing up as woman to enter the ladies restroom and assault women” as a rallying cry. I can assure you that
Most cross-dressers just want to use the bathroom
Autumn recently posted a thoughtful article about gender expression [Ed: unfortunately this post is no longer available] as it relates to the fear of men using the ladies restroom. It is clear that over the last few centuries straight white males have enjoyed many privileges. As if somehow they were proto-humans, non-gay Caucasian men enjoy more job opportunities, better wages, less discrimination and favorable media coverage.
With all that privilege, though, women do enjoy at least one of their own in this day and age. As Autumn astutely observes – Women are not perceived to be predators.
I think the root of concern about protecting gender expression is intolerance – “you’re not like me”-ism. Yet this is far more difficult to sell to the public – we’re enlightened enough these days that hate and bigotry aren’t good ways of winning the majority to your cause. It is far easier to inflame the already existing fears that “men are predators” as a tactic to prevent free gender expression.
You don’t even need to look hard to come up with a credible sounding case. After all, if the men of God are caught molesting altar boys, surely the transgedered can’t be far behind?
I don’t have a solution for this deep seated fear. Perhaps if we spent more time cherishing all that is good in this world, in our society, we would embrace the unknown rather than running from it.
In that spirit, a dose of good news this morning. The UK has begun a program called
Rather than a book, people can “borrow a stereotype”, and spend 30 mins with someone who is Muslim or gay or transgendered. The idea is that the best way to break down prejudice is to get to know someone. You can find some more details on transgendered in the living library and a good article here [Ed: unfortunately these articles are no longer available]. If you’re in the UK, I encourage you to borrow someone who you may not understand and spend some time listening.
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