You’ve Gotta Be Kidding

Remember the Equal Rights Amendment? Remember how Phyllis Schlafly and company were all aflutter about the dangers of coed restrooms in public places?

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.[ 2 ]

Schlafly (and her fellow woman-hating conservatives including Ronald Reagan, the President in 1982 when supporters succumbed to the anti-amendment pressures) successfully ended pursuit of the Equal Rights Amendment by scaring people into fearing co-ed bathrooms.

Well, the rightwing (which calls itself Christian, but really has almost no interest in behaving as if
the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are of any import) is at it again: ENDA, they say, is dangerous because
it might mean that public restrooms would no longer be sexually segregated appropriately.

Seriously? Sixteen million American kids go hungry in the last year, we’re refusing to enact universal coverage and affordable health care for all our citizens, and THIS is what they’re on about?

The next big culture war battle is about to be waged in an unlikely place: the restroom. After many years, Congress may finally have the votes to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The measure, which the Obama administration views as key to advancing gay rights, would ban workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgendered people. But Christian right groups are fighting the legislation — on the grounds that it would force businesses to allow transgendered and “transitioning” men and women to use opposite-sex restrooms or face lawsuits from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Traditional Values Coalition, a major foe of ENDA, has written a lengthy report on the potential dangers of the legislation, and the bathroom crisis is high on the list. As proof of the coming bathroom integration, it cites a Seattle incident in which two women who were taking male hormones were thrown out of a men’s room at the Washington convention center. The women were staging a “pee-in” as part of a Gender Odyssey Conference, but TVC sees “she-men” invading the hallowed confines of men’s restrooms everywhere should ENDA pass.

You have got to be kidding me. When are we as a nation going to grow up and spit in the eye of these tantrum-throwing whiners?

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17 responses to “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding

  1. grahamfirchlis

    I’m a sixty-something hetero male, and in all my years of using public toilets in this country and across the globe I have never once been interested in determining the gender of any other user. My focus in those circumstances is always on other, more pressing matters, and then I leave.

    I think the desire to vet the acceptability of other people’s genitalia is very, very weird.

  2. The Other Sarah

    Right with you, boss — as a straight female, what’s on my mind behind the bathroom swinging door is NOT the coinhabitants of said facility (and yeah, that includes the one time I snuck into the guys’, ’cause the line was out the door for the gals’ at the concert).

  3. grahamfirchlis

    On a little reflection, I’m guessing that since with these folks anything human is shame-based it probably doesn’t differentiate for them any more. Waste elimination, sexuality, everything intrinsic to this shell raised up from the mud of the Earth is dirty dirty dirty and in their closed and closeted little minds it all somehow melds together….

  4. The Other Sarah

    I think it might be a flavor of mental illness, actually.

  5. i want them all to be like this. every last one of them.

    on my last road trip, i noticed there were more of these at rest stops along the interstate. about time.

  6. grahamfirchlis

    Not just restrooms. Long time ago, when my three youngest daughters were 2, 3 and 7, I inherited the task of outfitting them with fancy new dresses. Long boring backstory short, after several fruitless stops I took them to a Neiman-Marcus and after some fair amount of additional time found the “just right” matching outfits but needed to try them on for fit.

    After watching the Women’s change room carefully and by counting heads knowing it was empty, I took the girls and clothes into the first stall and closed the door. Not two minutes there was a knock, sales lady and security officer telling me to get out and get out now, No Men Allowed.

    OK, then, can I take the girls into the Mens change room? Nope, also against store rules. By now I’m pissed off, the girls are frightened by the raised voices, and security is on the walkie-talkie advising he may need backup. What to do?

    I spotted some long dresses hung on rolling racks and repositioned them into a square with us in the middle, where we proceeded to try on the dresses while the sales ladies circled round twittering in outrage and the security fool tried to get somebody in higher authority to authorize throwing me out but apparently they couldn’t find a specific rule covering clothes rack repositioning.

    He was still on the horn when I’d finished paying, at which point I loudly gave the sales staff and security a piece of my mind. Last time I shopped there.

    • that was probably fun to watch if you were a fly on the wall, but what a mess otherwise.

      i’ve forgotten what store it was that i used to like shopping in [it was trendy and more expensive than i’ve shopped in in a long time], but the individual changing rooms were just lined up along one wall and anybody of any sex could go into any one of them.

  7. grahamfirchlis

    Even the flies were running for cover by the time it was over, along with a fair number of women shoppers. Surely I was the central figure that evening in a number of people’s “OMG you should have seen it” stories. Maybe in their nightmares, too.

    I have a fly story, but can’t tell it here; this is a family blog, y’know.

  8. The Other Sarah

    Oh, come on — Dirty Jobs is a family show, and they tell fly, maggot and cockroach stories all the time…. 😉

    BTW — I hope your daughters took home from that lesson the idea that when rules don’t allow for reality, the rules are wrong.

  9. grahamfirchlis

    Comment #100!

    Baby steps, baby steps.

    Read somewhere recently that there are now over 100,000,000 blogs. I feel lucky if I find the time to look at a dozen regularly. There must be a lot of wonderful work elsewhere out there, if only one could find it.

    The problem with the fly story isn’t the fly, but what happened to it and my involvement. My on-line reputation is shaky enough as it is in some quarters, no sense adding to the disgust, plus you never know what time of day someone might be reading. Perhaps we need a new warning acronym, like NSFW; maybe NSWE, Not Safe While Eating.

    • g2-37190d24041196ff0ae862db799fb502

      So, let me understand this correctly. The story involves what might be described as fell consequences befalling the fly, and you were among the engineers thereof?

      Now I know I want to hear the story. But yes, you’re right. The Internetz are a vast tangle of (varying qualities and endless quantities) of writing, and you never know when some innocent bypasser will encounter a bit too much gore.

      OTOH, real life is kinda like that too. One minute you’re riding along in the car on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and the next you’re surrounded by the flying pieces in a parts storm…

      • grahamfirchlis

        Yeah well, you know how sometimes you want something and you don’t get it? And then in consequence it turns out you’re better off? This is one of those times.

    • nswe? so this is going to involve maggots?

      i could tell you my stories about leeches…

      • grahamfirchlis

        Maggots would have been revolted. Or died, like the fly.

        But step right up, please, with the leaches. Then maybe I’ll tell you about my various in-laws, similar in many respects except for their lack of medical value.

    • congratulations on the milestone!

      • grahamfirchlis

        Aren’t you sweet! Milestone, not so much; more of a yard-marker. But hey, tiny acorns or a mustard seed or one of those parable thingies, and here we go, Whenceforth Progress.

        I for one am grateful for the quality of our readership, exceptionally intelligent and charming by any measure and on average clearly well above that for any blog, A-list to D.

        Jolly Holly and Merry Merry, h.

  10. The Other Sarah

    My best to all who stop by here. May the year ahead bring you joy, delight, and a future better than the past.

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