Eileen F. Toplansky
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Who Am I? Gender and Locker Rooms
Eileen F. Toplansky
The existential "Who Am I?" question is taking on a radical new meaning in light of the gender bathroom subject. Yet this issue is a lineal descendant of certain quarters of radical feminism which has always wanted to eliminate male/female characteristics. As quoted in Richard Bernstein's Dictatorship of Virtue, Alison Jaggar, a leading feminist philosopher of the 1990s, asserted that "the family structure [is] a cornerstone of women's oppression: it enforces women's dependence on men, it enforces heterosexuality and it imposes the prevailing masculine and feminine character structures on the next generation." Thus, "the sexual division of labor must be eliminated in every area of life... so men must participate fully in childrearing and, so far as possible, in childbearing" [emphasis mine].
On the other hand, according to Nandhini Narayanan, radical feminists also believe that "transgender women were perceived to be men encroaching upon women's safe spaces and claiming to understand the feminine experience. It began to be perceived as a form of male entitlement."
In 2014 "Wellesley was one of the only colleges in the country that would allow transmen to continue their education despite being an all-girls’ school. Consequently, "terms like 'sisterhood' need to be readjusted to 'sibling-hood.' Administrators need to account for growing resentment among the student body when leadership roles meant for women are held by men. Infrastructure needs to accommodate gender neutral restrooms. There is also a need to reevaluate the school’s identity -- is it a women’s school but with gender non-conforming students?" Critics argue that the transgender movement reinforces conventional and traditional gender roles; if trans women were initially 'men' who 'felt female' irrespective of social conditioning and growth environment, then it implies that the differences between the male and the female are biological alone. They argued that transgenderism perpetuates the notion that 'female brains need to stay female, and will not be happy in conventionally male pursuits.'”
N.Y.C. Admin. Code 8-102(23) maintains that "gender is defined as one's 'actual or perceived sex and shall also include a person's gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the legal sex assigned to that person at birth.'"
Thus, the Administrative Code explains that "Cisgender is an adjective denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex." On the other hand, "Gender Identity"... may be male, female, neither or both while "Gender Expression" is "expressed through one's name, choice of pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice or body characteristics."
When using the "adjective Gender Non-Conforming", it is noted "not all gender non-conforming people are transgender. Conversely, not all transgender people are gender non-conforming." The use of transgender "can be used to describe people with a broad range of identity or expression." Thus one who identifies as "androgynous, gender queer, non-binary, gender non-conforming, MTF (male to female), or FTM (female to male) may also consider themselves to be transgender."
In the area of employment, "it is... unlawful to set different terms of conditions of employment because of an employee's gender." Does this mean that someone who wishes to be female that day will not have to lift heavy boxes? Will a transgender individual claim menstrual cramps as a perceived pain?
In the workplace, one cannot "overlook a female employee for a promotion because her behavior does not conform to the employer's notion of how a female should behave at work." And what is an "employer's notion?" In an attempt to clarify, Connecticut maintains that a "person's gender-related identity 'can be' shown, not that it must be" but "the law includes no examples of how a gender-related appearance or behavior may be shown."
Failing to use an individual's preferred name or pronoun is now a crime. But if part of the transgender position is that a person's feelings may vacillate, when will he/him/his or she/her hers be "ze/hir"?
Moreover, "requiring an individual to provide information about their [sic] medical history or proof of having undergone particular medical procedures in order to use their [sic] preferred name, pronoun, or title" is a transgression.
What will surely warm the cockles of abused women is the violation that states that a "women's shelter may not turn away a woman because she looks too masculine nor may a men's shelter deny service to a man because he does not look masculine enough."
Not permitting male residents at a drug treatment facility to wear wigs and high heels is a violation. Finally, since "some transgender people have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, which is a disability... covered entities must make reasonable accommodations for individuals with gender dysphoria." What then is the fine line between gender dysphoria and malleable gender identity?
The penalties can include "civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to$250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct."
Schools must agree to these edicts or Obama will withhold millions in tax money [.]" His sweeping edict includes "all facilities," i.e., locker rooms, showers, sports teams, and hotel rooms on field trips so that girls' showers will be open to boys and boys will be put on girls' sports teams.
Connecticut Public Act No. 11-55 effective October 1, 2011 "maintained that "the definition specifies that gender-related identity can be shown by "...other evidence that the identity is a sincerely held, part of a person's core identity, or that the person is not asserting such an identity for an improper purpose." How will this "improper purpose" be ascertained until an untoward event occurs?
But Obama's latest directive now asserts that "schools are prohibited from making any inquiry to ensure that the boys using girls' facilities are, in fact, transgender. They cannot ask for medical documentation or treatment information.
And with clear allusions to the black civil rights movement of the past, the Connecticut Public Act No. 11-55 "makes it a class D felony for anyone to deprive someone of their [sic] rights... based on gender identity or expression, while wearing a mask, hood or other device designed to conceal his or her identity." Is it a lesser felony if there is no hood? And "burning crosses or placing nooses on property in regard to discrimination against gender identity makes it a class A misdemeanor."
Clearly, medical and school records will become irrelevant since a student can merely assert a gender, and, voila, so be it.
Concerning athletic activities, there is "no empirical reason to believe transgender students have any particular athletic advantage because of their ability to participate based on their gender identity rather than on their assigned birth sex." Does this mean that a boy's upper body strength will be ignored as long as Jay wants to be Judy?
Tantamount to all of the violations is the idea that "an individual's assessment of their [sic] own safety should be a primary consideration." This does not seem to include the safety concerns of parents who worry that people with unsavory desires will surely abuse the law and harm their children. Sheila Jeffreys, a lesbian feminist activist asserts that "many of the people who have been caught sexually harassing women in bathrooms in the past few years have included men wearing women's clothes and that it is impossible to know the difference between transgender men and those who intend to exploit women." Thus, Jeffreys maintains that "the best solution to the problem of bathrooms for transgender people is to have single-stall private bathrooms available, and to never under any circumstance allow men into women's facilities."
Of course, this issue is but another spoke in the wheel of leftist totalitarianism and has little to do with the 0.3% of the population it claims to be concerned with. It is yet another action that underscores the danger of a too powerful centralized government. One can only hope that this time they have gone too far and the backlash will be a powerful rebuke from concerned Americans.