OK. 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 rooms.
It’s a useful exercise, not least because it highlights what the big barriers are to trans acceptance.
For me, the one that sticks out a mile (and this is backed up by a post here) is fear and women’s desire for women-only spaces. All very well tearing down the gender binary: but until the walls are down, I, too, have some sympathy for that concern. It needs to be addressed: education and engagement to clear up the froth: and not just slogan shouting.
I also have a suspicion that in the US, as opposed to over here, the trans umbrella casts a wider shadow (can someone explain?)
To begin with, I wasn’t too happy with the comments: they certainly come over as just that bit more vicious than what goes in UK papers nowadays. But counting up, only about a quarter were anti-trans – and some of those were possibly just being literal.
The gender binary
First up, there was a certain amount of refuge being taken in the gender binary, mostly (interestingly) from the guys, accompanied by the view that this was all about sex and kink. This was summed up by Bill in Houston who wrote: “Sorry kids, but this is STILL A MAN. No matter what you lefties prattle on about, making excuses for his kink, this is STILL A MAN.”
Explicit support for this, with or without the language, came from half a dozen others, but it ran through a lot more. One – rrr – also appealed the DNA argument.
The opening post, though, from SEK questioned (perhaps reasonably) whether a man wearing make-up & women’s clothing is transgendered.
Fairly prominent was the claim to women-only spaces, with a number of women just objecting to sharing.
Concerns mostly put modesty before safety, with Jackie worrying about bisexuals (sic) going into the women’s dressing room with the intention of “peeking for the fun of it”, adding that “the purpose of separate dressing rooms is so that those with male parts cannot see female parts or hints of female parts”.
Cindy spluttered that this was “violation of privacy” and “offensive”.
The safety issue is intriguing, as just one woman (richeyrich) appeared to raise it on her own behalf, while three worried about men around children. As citoldu put it, she “doesn’t want a man in my dressing room or around her “half dressed little girls””.
Now that IS interesting, since it suggests that women, left to their own devices, are fairly savvy about their own safety – but the omnipresent paedophile fear is something that works against the trans community (anything not “normal” instantly equates to deviance ).
For the guys, it is about chivalry (or control, if you prefer). Three owned up to feelings not dissimilar to those confessed by Grifer who “would be uncomfortable as a man allowing my daughter or wife to go into an area with a man dressed as a woman”.
An added twist was provided by Bart-1 who wondered “what if this was regarding a public bathroom?”.
A couple supported “an “alternative” changing room for transpersons”. A couple more found humour in the situation and advocated opening up all spaces to all genders. Not sure they were being serious.
PC gone mad
There was a degree of support for the fired employee. Helen wished we weren’t “so PC” and wanted “to express our opinions without the fear of being sued by some nutcase”.
Uraculpa saw it as “them tryibg to shove their gender issues down our throats”, while duffer talked of the country having “plummeted into the abyss”.
There was a fair amount of abusive language. Take your pick from “nutcase” (Helen) “a psychological problem” (Uraculpa) “deviant” (Brian), “perverts” (OIF Vet), “freak” (Jim and BC) – or perhaps the individual should just “go to psychologist” (jj).
On the other hand, one could almost feel sorry for Deuchon Mandik who posted, rather pathetically: “Just a bunch of weirdness. I don’t like it one bit”.
There were, too, the usual veiled threats – though only two outright ones (maybe the moderation is better over in the US).
Murf opined that “Quite frankly, i can see where a man whose female family members are in the dressing room might be upset that some dress wearing guy is back there lurking around”.
natalie was more explicit: “Transgender better stay out of womens bathrooms. We have real men in the south that would handle situation pretty quickly”
For those depressed by the above, take heart. There was one lovely post by Irene:
I work with a transgender person. She is obviously a man and dresses as a woman. I have to admit it was uncomfortable being in the restroom with her at first. But they have a right as a human no matter what. I don’t like the idea, of it all but I cannot treat her any differently because she is human and because I am a Christian, I believe we should treat everyone with respect and love one-another even if they are different. After all we all are. Nobody is the same.