Commentary by Nathan Oppman
A California mom who describes herself as “progressive and tolerant” recently posted about seeing a man in a women’s restroom and feeling like she couldn’t object for fear of being labeled “transphobic.”
In a blog post, the woman repeatedly asserts her acceptance of transgender people, but one day at Disney with a man in the women’s bathroom convinced her the transgender agenda has simply, in her words, “gone too far.”
“We can’t leave this situation ambiguous anymore. The gender debate needs to be addressed … and quickly. There have to be guidelines,” the “Get Real Mom” writes. “I never want to be in the position again. … We cannot tell women they don’t know what a man is anymore.”
An excerpt of her story is below (with foul language edited and emphasis added):
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over a decade and have seen my fair share of transgender/gender fluid people. They in no way offend me. I’d consider myself pretty progressive and tolerant of most things… But two weeks ago something very different happened.
I was at Disneyland with my son … when I noticed a man walk into the restroom. My first thought was, “Oh xxx, he’s walked in the wrong restroom by mistake. lol.” He took a few more steps, at which point he would’ve definitely noticed all the women lined up, and still kept walking. My next thought was, “Maybe he’s looking for his wife … or child, and they’ve been in here a while.” But he didn’t call out any names or look around. He just stood off to the side and leaned up against the wall. At this point I’m like, “Xxx? OK, there is definitely a very large, burly man in a Lakers jersey who just walked in here. Am I the only one seeing this?” I surveyed the room and saw roughly 12 women, children in tow, staring at him with the exact same look on their faces. Everyone was visibly uncomfortable. We were all trading looks and motioning our eyes over to him … like, “What is he doing in here?” Yet every single one of us was silent. And this is the reason I wrote this blog.
If this had been 5 years ago, you bet your xxx every woman in there would’ve been like, “Ummm, what are you doing in here?” but in 2017? The mood has shifted. We had been culturally bullied into silence. Women were mid-changing their baby’s diapers on the changing tables, and I could see them shifting to block his view. But they remained silent. I stayed silent. We all did. Every woman who exited a stall and immediately zeroed right in on him … said nothing. And why? [Because] I and I’m sure all the others were scared of that “what if.” What if I say something, and he says he “identifies as a woman” and then I come off as the intolerant xxx at the happiest place on earth? So we all stood there, shifting in our uncomfortableness … trading looks. I saw two women leave the line with their children. Still nothing was said. An older lady said to me out loud, “What is he doing in here?” I’m ashamed to admit I silently shrugged and mouthed, “I don’t know.” She immediately walked out from a bathroom she had every right to use without fear.
… And let me be clear, my problem wasn’t JUST that there was a man in the restroom. It’s that he wasn’t even peeing, washing his hands, or doing anything else that you’d do in a restroom. He was just standing off to the side looking smug … untouchable … doing absolutely nothing. He had to have noticed that every woman in the long line was staring at him. He didn’t care. He then did a lap around the restroom walking by all the stalls. You know, the stalls that have 1 inch gaps by all the doors hinges so you can most definitely see everyone with their pants around their ankles …
So yes… there were women and small children using the restroom and this man was walking around knowing no one would say anything.
So here I am … writing this blog, because honestly I need answers. We can’t leave this situation ambiguous any more. The gender debate needs to be addressed … and quickly. There have to be guidelines. It can’t just be a feeling. I’m sorry. I wish it could, but it can’t. … This notion that we’re shamed into silence [because] we might offend someone has gone too far. There was a man in the bathroom. Not transgender. There was a man who felt entitled to be in the women’s restroom, because he knew no one would say anything. There were 20-25 people by the time I left who were scared and uncomfortable by his ominous presence. And the only thing stopping us was our fear of political correctness and that the media has told us we don’t know what gender is anymore.
I never want to be in the position again. I’m not asking for permission to tell transgender people to get out my bathroom. I need to know it’s OK to tell a man, who looks like a man, to get the xxx out. Gender just can’t be a feeling. There has to be science to it. DNA, genitals, amount of Sephora make up on your face, pick your poison, but as a very progressive woman … I’m sorry it can’t just be a feeling when there’s but a mere suggestion of a door with a peep hole separating your eyes from my … children’s genitals.
In a follow-up to her blog after she faced harsh criticism, the mother continued:
Gender must be clearly defined to keep women safe. We cannot tell women they don’t know what a man is anymore. We cannot coddle this small fraction of people (people who are men, “identify as women,” but have made no external attempt to show that) at the risk of women and children everywhere. The wrong men will take advantage of this loophole and put others in danger. My situation wasn’t dire, but for others it could be. We cannot put doubt in women’s minds regarding their ability to recognize and identify a man. In a world where 99.9% of sexual assault is done by men, we must to have the right to “assume someone’s gender.” And I will not waiver in that stance.
Her solution is that society have definitions for male and female that everyone can work with. She wants women and children to be safe. She is fine with transgenderism as a concept, but wants some rules to order society. However, she misses the main problem. And it isn’t bathroom safety.
No one disagrees that safety is important. Especially in vulnerable place like restrooms. But the primary issue is not safety. The primary issue is a philosophical debate about gender. And as with almost every significant issue of our time, it comes down to one question: Who gets to define truth – God or mankind?
God created us in His image, and He created us male and female. If we as a culture deny this reality, then many problems will follow. Safety in bathrooms is just the first. When truth is turned upside down, dire consequences follow in many areas:
- It is now considered medically acceptable to mutilate healthy organs, even in children. If a doctor removed or otherwise damaged healthy organs in virtually any other situation, he could be in danger of losing his medical license. But in the case of “gender reassignment,” this malpractice is considered acceptable.
- It is considered good counsel to reinforce denial of reality. Normally when people deny reality, we seek to help them get counseling to adjust to reality. But in the case of men feeling like women or women feeling like men, we are told that we must reinforce the erroneous thinking.
These problems are the tip of the iceberg. Bathroom safety is important, but if we become too focused on bathrooms we miss the bigger picture. The mom blogger who shared her bathroom experience asked an important question: What qualifies a person to enter a particular restroom? Maybe that is the wrong question. Maybe we should be asking instead: What does it mean to be male and female?
Then again, perhaps the question isn’t as important as who gets to answer it. If we look to God for the answer, then things become clear. If we answer with whatever we feel, then we will leave moms wondering what to say when a man walks into the bathroom.