Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Men should butt out of the trans-women-in-female-bathrooms issue

Pierre Poilievre has made his stance on transgender politics pretty clear recently, backing up Alberta Premier Michelle Smith's rather extreme legislation. Well, he's at it again, offering his opinions on whether trans women should be using women's public washrooms and changing rooms.

But saying "Female sports, female change rooms, female bathrooms should be for females" does not really help much. That is not really up for debate. The debate is whether trans females or only "biological females" should have to join the line-up to use women's bathrooms.

When pressed, Poilievre did clarify his stance: "Female spaces should be exclusively for females, not for biological males." So, he is making the point that trans females are not really "females", they are actually just rather confused "biological males". Whether this also applies to trans females who have had gender reassignment/confirmation/affirmation surgery - and who therefore ARE biologically male - is not clear.

So, to protect the female general public from having to deal with trans women - who are almost certainly male perverts and predators in disguise, I suppose the argument goes - in their bathrooms, he is willing to expect trans women (who ARE at risk of abuse and attack, as is well documented) to try their luck in the Gents with all those testosterone-laden guys?

Poilievre did say, somewhat gratefully it seemed to me, that "it is unclear what reach federal legislation would have to change them" ("them" being the rules on changing rooms, bathrooms, etc), which are mainly provincially and municipally controlled.

Anyway, I thought it worth checking on what the general attitudes on the subject are. A meta-study on which gender is more concerned about transgender women in female bathrooms concluded that cisgender males are about 1.55 times as likely to express concern about safety and privacy as cisgender females, and that cisgender females are 4 times as likely as cisgender males to believe that transgender women do NOT directly cause their safety and privacy concerns. 

So, the women using those women's bathrooms are less worried about trans women sharing them than the guys who are not using them (again, the assumption being that men are more likely to assume that trans women are just males who are lying or mistaken about their gender.

Given that trans women themselves definitely know which bathrooms they want to use, it seems to me that men should just butt out of the whole conversation and let the women (cis and trans) get on with what THEY are most comfortable with, especially given that most of the action takes place in private stalls anyway. Is the idea of trans women washing their hands and adjusting their make-up in the mirror of a women's washroom so uncomfortable for men?

No comments: