Seriously? They’re policing bathrooms?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What in the heck is going on in North Carolina’s public bathrooms? From the law they passed it seems there are big problems involving bathrooms and who uses them.

If you read comments on social media, you hear normal, sensible people expressing concern over someone of the opposite sex coming into the bathroom with them. They are about to wet themselves in fear. (Sorry I couldn’t resist.)

I researched to see if there are lots of crimes on the books regarding transgender people doing bad things in public bathrooms. Nope, not in North Carolina or anywhere else I could find.

Truth is women and men have probably shared public facilities with transgender people for years and never known it. I mean if someone looks like a woman or a man, how are you going to know unless you are peeping under the stall to check out his or her equipment.

Interesting that the biggest uproar seems to be about transgender men using the women’s restrooms. I haven’t heard as much upset about transgender issues in the men’s room. (Maybe the “good ole boys” have their own way of dealing with it and aren’t worried about laws.)

Exactly how are we going to police these bathroom laws anyway? Will there be a checkpoint at the door where you have to prove your gender? Now that’s a “greeter‘s” job I would not want.

I have a friend concerned about her grandchild, a girl, possibly seeing a man’s parts if a transgender person comes in the bathroom. Again, how is that going to happen? And how will a child react to a transgender woman dressed like a man coming into the women’s restroom?

I��ve used public bathrooms for years and I’ve never seen anybody’s private parts because the stalls have doors and I close mine when I’m doing my business. If there aren’t doors, well what kind of establishment are you frequenting?

Wait, there was one time a mother brought her older-than-a-toddler son into the ladies’ room and he ran out of the stall with his britches around his knees. Yep, we got a look, but no one was too upset.

Speaking of that experience, does this mean no more male children in bathrooms with their mommies? Some of them do seem a little old to be in there?

As for the argument pedophiles or sex offenders will dress like the opposite sex and do bad things to people, especially children — what! If someone has the inclination to do that, do you think a law will stop him? And, again is this happening enough to need bathroom laws.

True, this bathroom hoopla, probably designed to keep our attention off something else, will make it tough on transgender people, but will it affect the rights of people who are not gay or transgender?

One publication said yes and explained it this way.

“The law limits how people pursue claims of discrimination because of race, religion, color, national origin, biological sex or handicap in state courts…

“It made the state’s law on antidiscrimination — which covers race, religion, national origin, color, age, biological sex and handicaps — the final word. Meaning cities and local governments can’t expand ‘employment’ or ‘public accommodations’ protections to others, such as on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Minimum wage also falls under the state’s antidiscrimination law, so this law means local governments aren’t able to set their own minimum wages beyond the state standard.”

Ah, now we are getting at what is really behind the law. It’s about more than bathrooms. Something we might want to think about before we jump on the ban-transgender-people bandwagon.

Truth is this makes me kinda sad. Sad that we are so divided and scared of each other that we think we need to police who is in the stall next to us.

And, sad politicians/media manipulate us into focusing concern on issues like this when there are so many more important things that need our attention.


Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.