Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

North Carolina's Trans-Ient Dilemma

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

North Carolina's Trans-Ient Dilemma

Article excerpt

As Archie Bunker might say, the world is going down the terlet.

And how.

Who could have predicted that politics would require serious discussion of who uses what restroom? Or, personally speaking, a second column?

Alas, it seems that yet greater clarity is needed regarding this terribly serious, faux dilemma of proper bathroom usage in North Carolina.

As you likely know, the state recently passed a hastily written bill, signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, to pre-empt a Charlotte law that would have allowed transgender folks to visit the facility corresponding to their gender identity.

Tar Heel lawmakers, ever alert to the presumably rampant problem of gender fakery, so ordered: Men and women must use the restroom that corresponds to their sex as indicated on their birth certificate.

It actually isn't insane to insist that men use the men's room and women use the women's. Most people reckon this system has worked fine for as long as anyone can remember and see no reason to make accommodations for the roughly 700,000 Americans who are transgender. What has become clear, however, is that North Carolinians and others aren't worried about transgender people; they're worried primarily about heterosexual men who pretend they're transgender in order to gain access to women's quarters.

For what purpose would a man do this? I can imagine a fraternity initiation prank or a punk on a dare using the women's facility as a foil. Oh what fun to hear the ladies shrieking. Or, perhaps, not. Maybe the women tackle the idiot and toss him out the door. That's where I'd put my money.

As to the would-be rapist/fondler/exhibitionist, why would anyone imagine that a law forbidding transgender people from entering the women's room would stop him from walking through an unlocked door?

The backlash to the new law has been harsh. In the latest squeeze, Pearl Jam canceled a concert in Raleigh, following Bruce Springsteen's example. Several cities and states, including Boston and Connecticut, have cut government-subsidized travel to North Carolina. And Monday, Duke University President Richard Brodhead said that the law has damaged the state's reputation and is having both financial and material impact on its colleges and universities. …

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