I’m not sure I understand the controversy over this legislation.
“The South Dakota Senate on Tuesday followed earlier approval by the House to pass a bill that would require public school students to use the bathroom, shower and locker room that correspond to their biological sex,” the Forum News Service Reports. “If Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs the bill, as expected, South Dakota would become the first state to approve such a law.”
Makes sense to me, though it’s no surprise the reaction from some quarters is accusations of anti-trans bigotry. So let’s take a look at the practical reality of laws allowing people to just verbally declare whatever their gender is.
In the State of Washington you can use public bathrooms or locker rooms based on whatever gender you declare yourself to be and – surprise! – that’s not quite working out how supporters of the law planned.
“Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a first-of-a-kind challenge to gender bathroom rules. A man undressed in a women’s locker room, citing a new state rule that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender identity,” King 5 News reports.
According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”
“Really bizarre,” MaryAnne Sato said. “I can’t imagine why they would want to do that anyway!”
Really? We can’t imagine why some guy might want to get into the girl’s locker room? But it gets worse: “No one was arrested in this case and police weren’t called, even though the man returned a second time while young girls were changing for swim practice.”
Suddenly that South Dakota law looks like common sense, doesn’t it?
The long term solution to this sort of thing is to build facilities with family or gender-neutral restrooms/locker rooms. We need this stuff anyway. I can’t tell you what a headache it has been over the years to take my little girls to the pool or something only to be faced with a dilemma over where to get changed.
But that’s going to take time, and until it happens I have no problem with keeping bathroom/locker room policy at the historical status quo.