The Word Rabbit

Information

This article was written on 09 May 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

The trans bathroom argument

My opinion on gender is that there are two. There are people with XX chromosomes and people with XY chromosomes. No matter what you do, or don’t do, with your genitals, that fact remains the same. The rest is sophistry. However. I don’t care what clothes people wear, how they act, where they go or anything else. The only business this might be is of the person who wants to do it. There is a separate argument around women-only safe spaces and I agree they should be kept for people who are XX only. However. There is now a new argument.

It is around the provision of bathrooms and changing rooms for trans people. The two sides in this debate defend their positions with equal vehemence. One suggests that people who visibly conform to one set of gender norms should be allowed to use the bathroom closest to their chosen gender. And the other suggests that women and girls should be a free of people who are, biologically if not be inclination, men. They argue that this paves the way for sexual offences in the future and is a disaster waiting to happen.

Neither side is going to back down. And neither side is going away. It always amazes me that people who are anti-immigration are blinded to the fact that there are immigrants who are living in this sad and benighted country right now. Leaving the EU in a huff won’t change that fact. And it’s the same with people who are trans. You can hate them all you want, but they aren’t going anywhere and any society that doesn’t accept this reality is doomed to be bitterly divided against part of itself for the rest of its existence. Pass laws, do whatever. But the fact of their being remains.

So what, then, of the bathroom argument? There is only one possible way forward. All bathrooms and changing rooms need to be exclusively provided with cubicles that allow for complete and absolute privacy, possibly including a sink, with locks that are robust enough to prevent any intrusion by someone who might mean the occupants harm. Any toilets that are built after a certain, fixed point, will need to be built as unisex facilities. What is absolutely clear is that the days of two toilets, one for women and one for men, are pretty much over.

This is no great sadness to me. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing, I abhor more than using a urinal and nothing that speaks more to the stagy rituals that masculinity has become than standing there with your cock out about a foot away from another stranger who also has his cock out and studiedly trying not to look at his cock. If you were walking in the hills and dales and were caught short, a man sidling up to you and also weeing would seem like it was bizarre. Equally, if you stopped into a service station and went for a shit, finding that there were no cubicles but just a long line of toilets would be equally bizarre.

Urinals also stink. Sorry boys, but we smell. In particular, our urine reeks. Pissing in a trough of someone else’s piss, flowing slowly downhill, doesn’t strike me as one of the great joys of being alive, just as pissing in a urinal that reveals itself to be blocked or that never flushes doesn’t seem hugely ideal, either. Such is my abhorrence of these places that I find I’ve now developed a shy bladder that obstinately refuses to pass anything if I have to use a urinal. Give me a cubicle and some privacy, however, and I’m absolutely fine. And the men who stare at me for daring to use a cubicle? I don’t think you’re being entirely honest with yourselves about your sexuality.

So there is nothing to lose. Rebuild toilets with solid, private cubicles, free of the bizarre rituals of the urinal, and basins if possible, and everyone can use the toilet in peace, without having to worry about negotiating some complex public/private code. Perhaps, in the same way that the smoking ban makes smoking indoors seem bizarre, we’ll soon wonder how it is that we ever had single sex bathrooms and find it all hugely bizarre. I hope so.

4 Comments

  1. KilgoreSprout
    25th May 2016

    You are entirely wrong, not to mention that there are plenty of CAIS women with XY chromosomes, there are also women with XY chromosomes who have given birth. Do men give birth now?
    http://www.gendercare.com/library/italiano_paper3.html

    More recent a CAIS woman who gave birth – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11381463/Woman-born-with-no-womb-gives-birth-to-miracle-twins.html

    • thewordrabbit
      27th May 2016

      Then why do so many trans people seem to want to be archetypes of socially constructed femininity?

  2. Victoria
    26th May 2016

    I’m sorry to be *that* person, but your opening “fact” is categorically wrong. There is also XXY, XO, XYY, XXYY, XYYY, XY/, XX/XO, XX/XY And more. Geneticists are finding more chromosomal variations all the time, and it turns out that the typical XX or XY is actually a lot less common than was first thought.

    • thewordrabbit
      27th May 2016

      Sorry, but I think you’re clutching at straws. Most people are XX or XY and finding variations around the edge, when MOST people are XX or XY does nothing to change my mind. Let me be abundantly clear, though. I wish no harm to anyone and anyone who perpetrates violence on anyone else has NO place in my estimation. I don’t care what people do with their bodies, what bits they cut off, what bits they add on, what hormones they take or what they want to call themselves. But I think deciding that you’re a different gender is, simply, illusory. And I have no problem with people living out illusions.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.