Toilets: a very Christian obsession?

The boy likes nothing better than the odd fart joke. No. Scratch “joke”: as far as he is concerned, there is next to nothing funnier than a fart. Or poo. Or mention of same. Or the idea that grown ups and the like may be involved in matters scatalogical.

There was a time, and we’re talking many, many years ago, when i, too, had an obsession with what went on in toilets. I still burn with embarrassment at an episode in my primary school: someone had left a rather impressive floater – a little like a large, brown, iceberg – in the bowl of one of our toddler-sized loos.

Well, i may have found that funny, as might my school friends, to whom i announced this amazing find all too loudly – before turning to find that the toilet area was being patrolled by the school’s scariest Latin teacher. And he definitely was not amused.

Still, my excuse – and i am sticking to it – was that i was all of six years old. A bit like the boy, now.

Religious refusal

I only mention this as i read of yet another furore in the US about a trans woman using ladies’ facilities (actually NOT the loo). Or rather, as far as i can tell, NOT getting to use same.

The incident went down in Macy’s, whose company policy is to allow leeway to trans men and women, permitting them to use whichever fitting rooms they feel comfortablest with. But this counted for little with at least one diligent and, er, assertively Christian employee, who refused to let a trans woman use the women’s fitting rooms.

The employee has been fired, both for their rudeness to a customer and for the breach of company policy. But this is not good enough for Liberty Counsel, a reactionary Christian organisation that claims to stand up for the rights of victimised Christians.

Not only are they sticking up for the employee, but their leading light, Mat Staver, was out and about yesterday on Christian radio prog, Crosstalk, objecting.

His somewhat hypocritical argument was that if Macy’s wanted to respect trans folk, they should create a third category of fitting room: so they’d have men’s, women’s and trans’s.

Not only, but – shock! horror! – that Macy’s policy could lead to an adult going into the kiddie’s restroom. Well, that’s a new one on me: do US folks really have separate loos for children. How weird!

Bigotry in action

Here’s the exhcange, twixt Staver and show host Eliason:

Staver: This was a man, everyone recognized it’s a man, going into the women’s restroom. Now whether that person has good or ill intentions towards women, no one knows, but the fact of the matter is when you defy common sense and when it says ‘women’s fitting room’ and you allow people other than women in that fitting room, you’re just asking for trouble. This is just an absurd policy, this is the so-called LGBT sexual anarchist agenda gone awry, I mean this is the absurdity to which this agenda goes when you ultimately follow it to its logical conclusion.

Eliason: If I envision myself as being a kangaroo, I mean let’s go outside of the gender of humanity, somebody might think I’m a monkey or a walrus, you’d say ‘Vic if you said that they would send you to the nut house, they would send you to the insane asylum.’

Staver: Well what happens if someone says, ‘I’m an adult but I identify myself as a child, I can go and use the little kiddies restroom,’ or silly things like that. But that’s where it goes to.

So much hate! Another of those things i really don’t get, because i go to a Christian church – and this sort of vileness just wouldn’t be recognised there.

A little light witness

So let’s fillet this. I really don’t remember the bit in the New Testament (perhaps Staver would enlighten me) where Jesus chased the trannies out of the women’s restrooms. I’m not altogether clear that the NT is especially big on toilets at all.

And like, you’d think, if it was a real issue, it might have got a mention. Did that Bethlehem stable really have separate His and Hers facilities? Did Jesus nip dowwn off the cross to take a pee?

Guess what: i think people back then…and indeed, throughout most of history…really did not care.

I’ll pass on Staver’s arrant hypocrisy: if he’s as Christian as he claims, he’ll know very well that the reactionary christian position on trans is that there’s no such thing. That you are what you were born. So the proposal for a trans loo or fitting room sounds like nothing more than window-dressing.

Another of these fine efforts to look as thugh they are engaging with the issues when they are doing nothing but.

Its about safety, stoopid…

In the end, i have but two out-takes from this outburst.

First is the pointlessness of it all. Trans men and women go to the loo, like everyone else, to use the loo. The number of instances where cis folk have been molested by genuinely trans folk in loos is vanishingly small. In the last two years i have uncovered just one instance in the UK of someone infiltrating a female loo for sexual motives, while wearing a dress.

And they weren’t trans, not even attempting to pass as female: it was just part of their overall sexual deviance.

Meanwhile, the record of trans folk being assaulted in toilets makes a long and dismal list. Not that that seems to bother any of the caring Christian commentators.

…and the Christian obsession with sex in the toilet

No. Because here’s the second peculiar out-take from this episode. I get that somewhere buried in this all is the idea of modesty and exposure – though presumably those who get so het up have never been in a women’s changing room or loo.

Oh! Well, not lawfully, anyway.

Because nowadays, female facilities – again, i write from UK experience – are a model of modest non-exposure. Local changing rooms? Cubicles. Women’s loos? Cubicles.

Basically, to get an eyeful of anything you ought not to, you need to be peering under doors or drilling holes thru walls. Which is kinda obvious.

But no matter. These Christians are obsessed with toilets and sex. As though, in their own minds, the two just naturally go together. As though, if you’re looking to seduce someone, you don’t go down your local bar.

Or rather you do. But then you head in to the nearest restroom and presumably chat someone up over the partition.

What a bunch of freaks and weirdos!

Oddly, there is nothing about that behaviour in the Bible either. But if the Bible ever did mention toilets, i rather feel that’s the sort of thing that would have been up for condemnation, rather than the rather more demure usage of trans folk.



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Shirley Anne said,

    I really dispair of the attitudes of my brothers and sisters in Christ sometimes, they seem to miss the goal because they are paying too much attention to kicking the ball. I’m off to the loo……..might meet some weirdo transpervert there.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. 2

    mizknowitall said,

    You answered your one thoughts.

    “Its about safety, stoopid…”

    While that woman’s reasoning was a tad off and it was totally absurd that she tried to make it be an issue of religious freedom. It still stands that the issue is exactly as you put it “Its about safety” As a woman who is just like every other woman I KNOW what a threat men are to my safety and my person! I adore men. I love men, but I also know men to be the dangerous creatures they are and I DO NOT want men in my intimate (read extremely vulnerable) spaces! I don’t care if they are kindly intended… I do not know that and neither do you for that matter!

    Because and again I am going to your own words

    “The number of instances where cis folk have been molested by genuinely trans folk in loos is vanishingly small.”

    Lets set aside the whole Cis-trans thing and that it makes trans mean ~not~ as in ~not~ a man or ~not~ a woman. But look to the larger message here in “genuinely trans.” I can assume you mean transsexual and there in is the rub. By allowing the umbrella to cover everything including the kitchen sink. That means that the public sees and it remembers those we wish they would never ever see, much less remember so when someone is in transition they are going to be automatically assumed to be just like that!

    So you have women who are genuinely and rightfully afraid of men and a public image that says this is in fact a man…

    Do the math.

    • 3

      janefae said,

      nope: “genuine trans”, to me, is about the umbrella…its about “genuinely transgender” as opposed to someone who uses a dress as part of some sexual thing.

      And while i hear your concerns, i have difficulty with getting beyond the straw man/woman argument that so many put up here.

      First off, living real-life as woman is not something that many who were not brought up as female can do. Read the numerous blogs on the topic and you’ll find that for trans folk (whether ts or tv) the whole thing is utterly terrifying. That’s why psychiatrists encourage individuals out and into public spaces as female.

      Because if they can’t do it, they will never transition.

      So while the trans umbrella is wide, in my own experience, those who are likely to dress in public are a very small and limited category: those who are transitioning and at some point on that journey; and those who are more comfortable living as female pretty much full time.

      That certainly won’t include the weekend cross-dressers: and as for blokes who aren’t trans at all and just do it in order to access forbidden spaces.

      In the UK that just doesn’t happn. I’m not sure it happens either in the US: rather, it seems to have a lot more to do with a fear that it might.

      If you provided evidence of this happening in any significant numbers, i’d rethink, sure. I share much of you wariness of guys and am reminded almost every time i come home late on the train justhow dangerous they can be.

      Bu-ut…and not sure whether you’ll concede this: the trans women i know just aren’t guys.


  3. 4

    […] I couldn’t resist mixing it with the commenters on yesterday’s US story: the one about the Macy’s employee fired for not letting a trans woman use the ladies’ fitting […]

  4. 5

    eclectic chicken said,

    the only time i got thoroughly terrified in a female toilet was by a butch dyke…. do we need to ban lesbeens too?

    Course not… theys women and no arguments….

    Maybe we should just ban the violent and the perverted… but its hard to tell which they are aint it….. so lets just keep on with the assumption that the vast majority of people go to the toilet to piss shit and redo their make-up and hair.

    After all…. them streets are dangerous too….and roads…and parks….and shops….and…oh shit… we all best stay at home (more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else… and most abuse is committed by someone close to us).

    Toilets are fairly safe places.
    Get over it.

  5. 6

    Wonderer said,

    You;ve reminded me of a wonderful toilet-related infelicity in the US version of the bible known as “The Living Bible Paraphrased”, in which Saul enters a cave “to use the bathroom” (1 Samuel 24 verse 3).

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