Beyond Bathrooms: Educating on Love and Acceptance

Beyond Bathrooms: Educating on Love and Acceptance April 26, 2016

transgender bathroomby Christopher Bond

I was lecturing on social media marketing/promotion and hashtag marketing in class, and I open Twitter and Facebook and see: #BoycottTarget. I have been quiet too long on this issue. While Target has been boycotted by other groups (as it should) in the past based on its donations to certain groups or certain products it has sold, the #BoycottTarget is a societal educational issue, not a corporate policy issue. If you know me, you know I will stand-up for oppressed groups and will advocate for causes I believe in. This is one of those times.

THE BIOLOGY: If the so called ‘naysayers’ would educate themselves, they would realize there are at a minimum of SIX sexes. This means we ALREADY use the bathroom next to people who are not typically male or female as we “typically” define sex. This is one of my favorite lectures to teach on sex, gender, identity and the norms of society on each. Before I go further, sex, to be a little crude, is between the legs (genitals). Gender, is, for the most part, between the ears (brain). Now, this is not always the case. But, I will not get into deeper anatomy or neurological specifics here that deal with brain mapping and karyotypes.

Back to biology. Any farmer or botanist will tell you that they have seen abnormalities in sex with their various farm animals or crops. So, what are the SIX sexes. Here you go:

The two we all know:
• XX: Female-most common
• XY: Male-most common
The others that are more rare:
• X: Roughly 1:2500 or about 109,000 in the USA. Looks Female, short, webbed neck (most times XX, but the second X chromosome is not functioning). Turner’s Syndrome
• XXY – Roughly 1 in 500, looks male, but limited testosterone development, small penis, small testes, larger breast (gynecomastia). Klinefelter’s Syndrome)
• XYY – Roughly 1 out of 1,000 people
• XXXY – Roughly 1 in 18,000 to 1 in 50,000 births

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? This means, there’s a high chance someone reading this is not typically male or female as society defines sex. We have been using the bathroom with different sexes for years. What if you had sex with a non-typical male or female? You may have never known it!

THE TRANSGENDER ISSUE: If someone is transgender, so what? They have A RIGHT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM! PERIOD. We have being using the bathroom with transgender people for years. We just did not know it! Now it has been brought to our attention. It has been named linguistically. Both my wife and I became acquainted with a transgender Vietnam War Veteran while in Little Rock. She was pre-operative and identified as female. I never knew the difference until someone told me. She, I will call her, Lois, to protect her identity, came to my office and told me her story one day. She was human. Like me and you. I did not tolerate her. I accepted her as who she was! She was a she. My wife Stancy Orr Bond and I even had lunch once with her. Stancy didn’t know that she was transgender until I told her afterwards. We are fortunate to have many transgender and non-binary (there is a difference) friends.

THE PRAGMATICS: If a transgender male (who is female sex) is using the men’s bathroom, he would have to use a stall. He could not use a urinal, unless of course, they are post-operative, in which, the term would be transsexual. The odds of this is VERY slim since surgery is expensive. If a transgender female (who is male sex), the stall would still be used. Female bathrooms do not have urinals that last time I was in one. How is this Target policy going to be enforced? This does not increase predators. There is not enough evidence. Predators have already been doing this before this policy (not a law that some have called it) were enacted, unless you have that “other law” in NC. The American Family Association is fueling the boycott and is an uber conservative organization based in Tupelo, MS lead by Donald Wildmon. He uses many logical fallacies and empty rhetoric and invalid sources to ‘try” and form his many arguments over the years. He and the organization use, or should I say twist, in my opinion, the Bible to back-up its previous and recent causes.

LET’S BE REAL: We have other things to worry about. Like clean water for all. Global warming. Food shortages. The homeless. Student loan debt. A cure for Cancer. Taking care of Parents. As for me, I have used gender neutral or all gender bathrooms in D.C. and Salt Lake this year. I was not offended. Nor did I care. Why? Because they were the ones available.

In case you missed it, here’s the statement from Target:

“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways,” the statement said. “Most relevant for the conversations currently under way, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

Hmm, if we replaced “stores” with “churches” above? Or “team” with “church.” It sounds like it could be from the mouth of Jesus. And doesn’t Galatians Galatians 3:28 state: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

OK, I probably just lost 10% of my friends on that one.

See you at Target!

Dr. Christopher Bond is an Associate Professor of Communication at Missouri Western State University.

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