With all the troubles in the world—radical Islamic terrorism, climate change, Donald Trump—it’s good that the religious right is focused on the biggest existential threat to America: transgender women wanting to pee in women’s bathrooms. If you’ve been following the recent crop of “bathroom bills” within the past few months, you’d think there’s a huge epidemic of “men pretending to be women” entering into women’s bathrooms to rape and assault women and children, even though, according to the Transgender Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign, and the American Civil Liberties Union, there is no statistical evidence that transgender people are committing sexual assault in public bathrooms. Of course this didn’t prevent the American Family Association (AFA) from launching a campaign to boycott Target stores over the company’s decision to allow women to pee in women’s bathrooms.
On April 16, 2016, Target announced that trans women can use their women’s bathrooms, and trans men can use men’s bathrooms (it doesn’t mention anything about nonbinary people like myself, so I assume it’s okay if I still use the gender-neutral family/wheelchair accessible bathroom). According to a statement posted online:
We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination. . . . Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.
The AFA responded with a call for all decent, God-fearing Christians to boycott Target. According to their website, the store’s “dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters” by allowing men who claim to be women to go into women’s bathrooms and do all sorts of nasty stuff. After all, the AFA asks in all its rhetorical rectitude, “with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?”
The AFA isn’t the only organization that’s doing their part to end the nonexistent epidemic of trans-bathroom rapists. According to a May 3 Huffington Post article, individual Christians in Illinois, Tennessee and Oregon were going into Target stores to preach the Bible and urge shoppers to repent for supporting evil. “Target, this is your wake-up call,” cried one such preacher, who then went on to say that transgender people were “defying God’s will.” As if not finding capris in my size wasn’t bad enough!
Now, I understand the concern for safety. According to the National Sexual Violence Research Center, one in five women experience some form of sexual assault. . It’s obvious we need to do something about it, but is banning trans people from public bathrooms the answer? Not only is there no statistical evidence of trans people assaulting women in bathrooms, but according to the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Center of the University of Michigan, most rapes and sexual assaults are conducted by white males. Presumably, these are cisgender men, whose gender self-identity conforms with the sex they were assigned at birth, because the stats reveal nothing about trans men.
So here’s a Swiftian modest proposal that I think will solve this dilemma: ban all cisgender white men from public bathrooms.
Here’s how it would work: any business or organization that provides public bathroom facilities must have a security guard to screen everyone who wants to use the bathroom. If you identify as male, and your ID identifies you as a male, you must go outside the building to a designated area. This area can either be behind a dumpster or in the bushes, which is actually more convenient than it sounds because there are plenty of leaves and garbage around these areas for white cisgender men to wipe themselves. These designated areas will also be surrounded by security cameras to make sure the white cisgender men don’t try to pull any funny business.
Yes, this new legislation may upset a few people, but we have to think about the children. I mean, what kind of world are we living in when our children are constantly under the threat of being abused by neighbors, family members, and friends?
I’m telling you, all those white cis men running around—it just ain’t right! Besides, sometimes we need to sacrifice some of our freedoms in order to keep them from being stolen (although I don’t know how exactly that works). Together we can make public bathrooms safe places to shit again. God bless America!