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Should transgender people use the bathroom that matches their identity? Show more Show less

There is continued controversy around which bathroom trans people should use - that which is true to their identity, or that which matches their assigned gender at birth. While radical feminist women's groups characterise this as an issue of safety, it can also be seen as a fundamental contravention of trans people's rights to not allow them to use the bathroom that matches their identity.

Yes, they should Show more Show less

This is about basic human decency and dignity
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Trans women are not predators

The main argument against self identification is that trans people are a danger, but this is deeply untrue.
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Context

The advocates of the various “bathroom bills” have adopted the stance that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they identify with would lead to more sexual assaults. Proponents of prohibitive restroom policies argue that trans women pose a threat to cis women and children in a shared bathroom environment. They assert trans women are more dangerous and cis men could assume the guise of a trans woman to gain access to public bathrooms and commit sexual crimes.

The Argument

In places where transgender people are already allowed to use the restroom of the gender they self-identify with, there has not been a rise in sexual assaults. In Massachusetts, for example, there was no difference in sexual assault rates between cities that allowed trans citizens to self-identify and those that didn’t.[1] A similar study undertaken by the UCLA School of Law produced similar findings.[2] In fact, there have been no reported cases (as of June 2017) of a trans woman sexually assaulting a cis woman in a public restroom. Secondly, sexual assault still remains illegal. If a predator wishes to gain access to the female restroom, they will do it regardless of the laws. Abusers will do awful things regardless of the law, as they have since the beginning of civilization. Whether or not trans people can use the bathroom of their identified gender has no bearing on this.[3]

Counter arguments

Allowing men who identify as women into women’s bathrooms will lead to voyeuristic offences, sexual assaults, and rapes.[4] If we let transgender people choose to use the restroom they feel most comfortable with, we are essentially inviting males, born with male genitalia to use a female restroom. It provides an opportunity for them to commit sexual assault or harassment. Other men may also claim to be trans to gain access to female restrooms. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, when he spoke on the issue of trans people using the bathroom that matches their gender identity, said, “I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE,” adding, “I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today’”.[5]

Framing

Premises

[P1] Trans women are no different to cis women. [P2] There is no evidence trans women use bathroom access to commit sexual assaults. [P3] Trans women should be allowed to use the same bathroom as cis women.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] We need to give women a safe space. By allowing men in the women's bathroom, we pose a risk to women's safety.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/pa8dby/the-biggest-argument-against-bathroom-bills-was-destroyed-by-this-study
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/no-link-between-trans-inclusive-policies-bathroom-safety-study-finds-n911106
  3. https://www.vox.com/2016/5/5/11592908/transgender-bathroom-laws-rights
  4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/sexual-violence-reports-target-stores-spike-transgender-bathroom-policy-study-216795/
  5. https://www.vox.com/2015/6/2/8711051/mike-huckabee-transgender-showers

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 28 Jan 2020 at 14:28 UTC