I’ve waited a few days before wading into this bathroom discussion. Potty talk isn’t really my thing, but suddenly our culture is abuzz about who can and cannot enter a bathroom.
Why suddenly is this an issue? For my whole life it’s never been a problem. But then a few city councils have decided to open up the bathrooms, forcing a reaction.
For all the talk about a Constitution “right to privacy” in the abortion debate, I’m a little surprised that the left aren’t against making our bathrooms gender free. What’s more private than what happens in a bathroom?
And all discussion over the last few years about a “war on women” has strong men like me wavering in every discussion about issues. We want to be sensitive and not assert our maleness into a situation – but not too sensitive because that would be sexist and demeaning. If you’re a guy, know the drill. And I think many women feel for us too. So why aren’t we rushing to defense of the women’s bathroom?
I guess I’ve been thinking that this situation could simply be sorted out by plumbing. You can dress it up any way you want, but anatomy is clear on this issue. But who would police this issue? Not me. And not you. However…
It’s not that simple
My local Lowe’s Hardware is a low-key store. I like it. It’s never too busy and unlike some big box stores, they are friendly and helpful. I know a few people by name like the woman, Bella, who works in garden and John who mixes paint. And I know “Jess,” who works the checkout line.
Behind the makeup, the curled hair, frilly blouse and painted nails is a man. The Adam’s apple, over-sized forearms and squared neck are dead giveaways. I’ve always thought a hardware store is a strange choice for a cross-dresser, but they have to make money and I applaud the work ethic. Jess has always been efficient, polite and professional.
No judgement. No slurs. No slander. Just business.
But until now, I’ve never thought about the bathroom question. I imagine a men’s room is a hostile, and potentially dangerous location for Jess to go. Whether the position is squat or stand, there wouldn’t be a guy in there who wouldn’t have an opinion. And the women’s room would be equally inhospitable.
It’s a problem, but I think Jesse has figured out a solution.
The law in South Carolina was in response to a city council ordinance against non-discrimination. I think it’s a lot of hubbub about a minor problem. Transgenders like Jess have figured out solutions that don’t need to be part of any law.
Because, the true law is that of unintended consequences. Everytime we think we are doing something good, we spawn a whole rash of bad.
It’s not him/her I’m afraid of.
As a father and now a grandfather, my first job is to protect my children. And in public restrooms, that was always a closely watched situation. My boys never were able to just go into bathroom without me hovering nearby. When they got into their teens, I admit it was a little awkward, but as a dad, you don’t ever trust strangers.
If Jess were to walk into the boy’s bathroom, with my children in there, I don’t think I would suspect Jess any more than the weird-looking guy with a big green jacket and untied shoelaces.
And I would think that women should be more concerned about Merv the Perv than Jesse. That’s who we are most afraid of.
As a society we should protect the innocent women and children against unwanted perversion, the true sex criminal. And on the right, that’s what I’ve been hearing. Nothing against Jesse, but we need protection against pants-wearing men who have no boundaries.
The Christian Response
I pray for Jess. I don’t know what demons are lurking, hiding in the mind. I don’t know the back story. I can’t imagine the feelings – the confusion – when play dress up turned into real dress up. But I do know that every single day there is a struggle – emotional, mental and spiritual.
I’m not a counselor. I’m not a sociologist. I’m a man who loves God and is called to love his neighbor — man, woman and everything in-between.
When it comes to laws, I think we need to protect our boys, our girls, and our women. We also need to find a way to protect Jess but do so in a way that doesn’t open up the door to every other hazard.
Companies like Target should simply stand down. And honestly, I’m thinking maybe we should too.