So with all this talk over the last month of so about bathrooms, I’ve yet to see a post that REALLY expresses how I feel about it. Thus, in the interest of sharing my thoughts with the world, I’ll write my own post. Others words don’t speak for mine, even if I may like parts of one post, or of a meme.
This may not be complete. I may evolve on this. And it’s complicated, so please don’t latch on to one part of what I might say and build a bunch of straw men arguments.
- For the vast majority of people I know (and often love), they aren’t for strict gender segregation because of a fear of trans people. It IS about fear of cisgender men who are going to commit crimes. However, to me this is a ridiculous thing to be your hill to die on. Cis men could commit crimes in bathrooms without any changes to laws, and without trans people existing at all. Conflating this concern with safety with trans bathroom laws is just bad marketing. I think it can be a very serious concern, but if my state (or the US government) officially changed the laws to “Use whatever bathroom you gender identify with” I am NOT going to be changing any of my bathroom habits or safety measures. There’s literally not a thing I would change.
- BUT hey you liberal friends of mine! You are totally missing out on this GREAT chance to talk with the conservative folks about rape culture and what we can do to fix it. The fixation on the trans issue is costing you the opportunity to really work to help people understand why rape culture is a thing! All these people who were denying that rape culture existed on college campuses are now up in arms about rape culture in the Target bathroom (even if they don’t word it that way). So stop. Listen to the actual concerns people are voicing. And then, you’ll probably agree with them! That there is a problem when cis men commit crimes in bathrooms. It’s been a problem in the past, and it’s rare, and unless we all do something to help raise awareness and try to stop it then it will continue to be a problem.
- In the general scheme of things, I just don’t get upset about things. Our culture and our laws will likely never fully correspond to my personal beliefs. And frankly, that’s fine, because that means that the fields are ripe and ready for someone to get out there and evangelize. If I, as a Catholic Christian, see something going “wrong” with the world and say “Oh no! I must never go to those places again! I must hole up with only my parish and any businesses owned by people I know who share my beliefs!” then I have got the entire message of Jesus wrong. Today’s gospel was the Great Commandments… to love God and to love my neighbor. And when you combine that with the Great Commission, to go out and make disciples of all the nations, well I can not do that from the comfort of my insular world. I can’t do that unless I go into the bathroom of Target, and smile at someone. Heck, why not pass out miraculous medals or holy cards? Solicitation is only a thing if you are asking for money, there are no laws against sharing your joy.
So I guess this is my challenge. To my Christian friends, and especially my Catholic friends, do not be afraid! Do not be afraid of where the world is or where it may be going, but look at this as an opportunity to love your neighbors, to bless those who are against you and to truly love! To my liberal and non religious friends, I challenge you to listen. To place positive intent on others, so that instead of feeding into the negativity we can bring joy and peace to our world. To know that those who seem to be freaking out are still learning to love and that they sometimes have great hurts kept hidden away. We’ll only grow together as a nation and a world if we can learn to listen to each other and show true love and respect.