Who’s In Your Bathroom?

It was not enough for President Obama and his administration to indulge in a large-scale takeover of health care by ramming Obamacare through Congress. Now, the Obama administration wishes to take government overreach to previously unimaginable levels, defying constitutional boundaries on federal authority in ways that the Founding Fathers could not possibly have envisioned even in their most pessimistic and skeptical thoughts. Brace yourselves, for the federal government now has its sights set on bathrooms. It would appear that we’ve had the wrong idea about who should use which bathroom since time immemorial, but fear not, for Obama and his bathroom czars are here to rectify the issue for all of us, regardless of whether the Constitution grants them the authority to do it and regardless of our opinion on the matter.

The media reports that this administration, namely the Departments of Education and Justice, have sent out a letter to schools containing guidelines on how to provide for the welfare of transgender students, including therein directives on transgender bathroom access. These directives state that students must be allowed access to bathroom facilities which correspond with the gender they identify as. This guidance has no force of law and therefore holds no more legal weight than any other regular letter sent by you or me, but here’s the kicker: the guidance, in no unclear terms, expressively declares that schools may be at risk of losing federal funding should they not comply with the guidelines set out by the government. The administration is reinterpreting Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law in education, to also apply to transgender bathroom access, the denial of which would now be considered discriminatory under this novel interpretation. However, the loss of federal funding isn’t the only kicker. There is another one.

Under the current administration’s interpretation of Title IX, if a school’s policy does not allow students to use bathrooms of the opposite gender, that school could now potentially be sued and held liable for discrimination. After all, as opposed to the letter, Title IX is indeed law, it indeed seeks to forbid discrimination under its terms and provisions, and to violate it by engaging in practices deemed discriminatory does incur penalties. Thus, the fact is that whether or not the guidelines and directives contained within the guidance have the force of law, schools do have to follow the guidelines or else face being stripped of federal funding and being taken to court, where they would stand a good chance of losing, given the federal government’s interpretation of Title IX and its ability to enforce it. So there you have it. Obama and the czars acting at his behest have successfully managed to implement a left-wing agenda and ensnare schools without ever consulting citizens or seeking the approval of Congress. As they say, whereas JFK managed to put a man on the Moon, Obama managed to put men in women’s bathrooms. I guess that is what progressives mean by “progress”.

Conservatives are outraged over this, with good reason, because there is evidently a serious problem with this policy. Moral concerns aside, the most serious, glaring problem with granting people free access to whichever bathroom they would like to use is that this approach does not distinguish between legitimately transgender individuals and perverts. It turns bathrooms into an unsafe free-for-all. And women are most affected by this because they are the most vulnerable half of the equation. If somebody goes into the men’s bathroom, the most they can do is look at penises, which is a minor privacy issue at worst. The major concern, however, if somebody pretends to identify as the opposite gender and goes into the women’s bathroom. Not only is a woman’s privacy far more crucial and deserving of protection than that of a man, but women are also statistically far more likely to be victims of sexual crimes such as rape. If we are going to talk about a so-called “rape culture”, then why exactly are we enabling rape by making it easy for scoundrels to prey on women in their bathrooms? Oh, the seeping hypocrisy.

I am not saying that we should not make an effort to accommodate transsexuals, transgenders and all those who suffer from gender dysphoria in some way or another. As a compassionate, understanding society, we should try to respect and understand the plights of others and perhaps try to make some concessions and accommodations, in reasonable ways. Turning bathrooms into a free-for-all pandemonium and hectoring schools into bending over to very particular demands by using strong-arm tactics is not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination. This initiative was not borne out of genuine tolerance and concern for transgenders. Rather, it’s a power grab, an authoritarian show of strength on the part of this administration, like Obamacare before it. It is narcissism in its purest form, true to the way President Obama has behaved throughout both his terms so far. Of course, that does not matter to the Left, so they are falling in line and standing behind this power trip all the way through, because it is convenient for them and advances one of their ends. It’s a perfect symbiosis between a man who feels a compulsive need to wield his power and an ideology that will relentlessly pursue its causes, justifying their ends through whatever means they can find.

I do not claim to have a perfect solution to the bathroom imbroglio, but that is precisely why we should be having this debate and it is also the reason why the federal government should stay out of bathrooms. We have yet to find perfect solutions that will respect the needs and concerns of everybody involved, but if we ever get far and deep enough into the discussion and if somebody clever ever comes up with the right idea, it certainly won’t follow from the shotgun blast of government busting the doors of bathrooms wide open to whomever wishes to go in. It will follow from an honest debate involving all groups that have a stake in the matter, including the women that are now having their vulnerabilities exposed and their right to privacy thrown into the incinerator. My own personal advice would be for schools and whatever other establishments show any interest in the matter to build single-user facilities for transgenders, at their own discretion. I am sure that making that happen wouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially in light of the wide currency and acceptance that gender issues hold within society in this day and age. This proposal would provide reasonable, if not perfect accommodation for transgenders while at the same time protecting the rights of women and children. As of the current state of the debate, I cannot conceive of any other fair and balanced answer to the question of bathroom access, but if any bright minds think up something better, they are welcome to join the debate, which is likely to go on for a long time to come. Of course, if a transsexual can already pass for being a person of the opposite gender, he or she can likely already go to the bathroom of that gender without causing any uproar, and without the heavy hand of government giving unconscionable commands and making thinly veiled threats, most importantly.

In any case, there is no need, nor is it desirable to get the government involved in bathrooms. This is an issue that we can sort out ourselves, thank you very much. Ultimately, this instance of government interference and overreach does more harm than good, because it puts schools in a bind and exposes women to moral, emotional and even physical injury at the hands of sexual deviants. On top of that, it drives a wrench into a debate that had hitherto been ongoing and is still far from being settled, keeps everybody from reaching a peaceful consensus and breeds even more spite and animosity among people who have different stands. This is more than just a simple brouhaha, this is right up there with same-sex marriage and the SCOTUS’ judicial putsch as a primer of a sensitive issue being handled horrendously, with unintended but predictable consequences abounding. It is yet another victory for the rambunctious Left and yet another loss for democracy and reason.

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