Wednesday, March 30, 2016

In North Carolina, the Left Panics over the Entirely Commonsense ‘Bathroom Bill’

By Jane Clark Scharl — March 30, 2016

Let’s get this straight up front: Nearly everything the Left is saying about North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is false. HB2 is a law passed, and signed by the governor, in response to a Charlotte municipal ordinance that allowed transgender individuals to use any restroom they wanted, regardless of whether it was designated for men or for women. The bill overrides the city’s ordinance and prevents other cities in North Carolina from imposing similar measures.

Opponents of the law have employed scorched-earth rhetoric including such language as “rewrites civil law” (an odd description for a measure upholding what has been civil law since 1972). That goes for the ACLU’s lawsuit as well.

And they say conservatives are the panic-mongers.

But here’s the really maddening thing: At the same time that Leftists on college campuses are forcing professors to water down their lessons lest the truth be a “trauma trigger,” they’re blasting a law that exists to protect people from actual trauma triggersNot fake trauma triggers, like the question “Where are you from?” Real ones, like male genitalia in a girl’s locker room.
The purpose of HB2 is to ensure that people, especially women and children but men as well, can use public restrooms, locker rooms, and changing areas without being exposed to people of the opposite biological sex. It’s pretty common sense.

But common sense has not always been a good defense against the rage of the Left. Here’s a lineup of the most oft-told lies about HB2 and its supporters.   


The law goes out of its way to point out that, even though it requires men to use the men’s room and women to use the women’s room, single-occupancy restrooms can be used by people regardless of their biological gender or of the gender they identify with. Schools and places of business have the option to make those single-occupancy areas available to individuals who aren’t comfortable in public private spaces assigned to their specific biological gender.

Of course, this sensible solution works if you simply want to provide individuals struggling with their biological gender a place to go to the bathroom, or if you want to accommodate people who are fine with their biological gender but are just exceptionally shy about undressing in public. The goal of the Left, however, is more sweeping: to force everybody else to celebrate the courage of the 52-year-old man transitioning to a six-year-old girl – and to suppress the obvious question, Is this really his best life?


The Left likes to pull out the statistic that no transgender individual has ever assaulted someone in a restroom, locker room, etc. That’s great. Good for the transgendered: There are no transgender rapists. But there are plenty of other kinds who would not hesitate to take advantage of this situation.

Under the Charlotte ordinance, transgender people weren’t the only ones allowed to use the restroom of the opposite sex. Anyone could. All he had to do was assert that his true gender wasn’t his biological gender. “Transgender” is a tricky word; it’s not like “transsexual,” which refers to someone who has had an operation or taken large doses of hormones. “Transgender” means simply experimentation with the stereotypes of the opposite biological gender. So a clever (or not so clever) rapist could smear on some lipstick, call himself transgender, and waltz right into a locker room full of half-dressed teenage girls. 

People have already taken advantage of these kinds of laws to put other people in compromising situations. In February, after the city of Seattle passed an ordinance similar to Charlotte’s, a man (not transgender) entered a girls’ locker room twice in one day. His goal? To “test” the limits of the new rule. An advocate of the ordinance said that the ordinance itself wasn’t a problem; the man was “just taking advantage of a loophole.”
That’s one big loophole.


This lie just keeps cropping up, mostly because the Left is the crowd most vocal about ensuring that women have access to abortions (though not that the abortions be safe and performed by qualified physicians). The Left cares about protecting victims only when it suits its purposes. If your story can be used as fodder for its political bonfire, you will be coddled and your hand held all the way. But if your trauma happens to interfere with their agenda . . . better get over it pretty fast, or you’ll end up the bad guy. 

The people who stand to lose the most if the ACLU gets its way are women and children. Some have had traumatic experiences in restrooms, locker rooms, and similar private spaces. They have suffered sexual and physical assault and then pieced together lives as normal as they could manage. Some were raped in the kinds of spaces that HB2 protects. For them, exposure to a naked person of the opposite biological sex can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder.

This means nothing to the ACLU. In its swift assault on HB2, the ACLU tells women, children, and rape survivors to get over themselves. For all that talk of always believing the victim, when victims confront the Left, they are belittled and silenced.

“HB2 is the most heinous, homophobic, transphobic law we have ever seen,” writes Michelangelo Signorile (who evidently has never seen sharia law) in the Huffington Post. Translation: “We can’t believe that anything as trivial as reality would be allowed to get in the way of our agenda.”

The Left won’t tolerate a sensible compromise, of single-occupancy bathrooms and changing rooms, because common sense isn’t its goal. Complete ideological domination is. In this milieu, the defense of sanity is difficult work, and North Carolina governor Pat McCrory should be commended.

— Jane Clark Scharl is a freelance culture and politics writer who lives in Phoenix, Ariz. Her work has been featured at National Review OnlineThe Intercollegiate Review, and The Imaginative Conservative.

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