Purple Rain and Bathroom Politics

After watching Purple Rain last night I’m having a hard time believing the “who’s in what bathroom” drama has just started bothering the masses now. Has it occurred to anyone what a gender-bending  decade the 80’s was? I mean, seriously: in today’s world, what bathroom would Prince have been able to use without getting into some hypothetical trouble?

purple rain

I saw a video posted on Facebook yesterday in which a woman who looked masculine was pulled out of a line for the bathroom by police, presumably at a club but I couldn’t tell. When she refused to produce an ID proving she was indeed a woman, she was physically removed from the premises and called “sir”and “son”.  Barring the usual questions about the validity of the video’s source, I was horrified by what I saw: this woman was being treated pretty badly after hurting no one.

As a longtime friend of the gay and transgender community, I’ve been in many gender-fluid bathrooms and never once was I in danger. Everyone is doing their thing and minding their business, even if (in a club setting) maybe doing “their thing” includes drugs. But no one is trying to hurt anyone, and as I think about the public debate at hand I am hard-pressed to understand what particular threat exists in this situation. Stirring up blind fear seems to be at the heart of the agenda, and that is some ugly paranoia.

I bet if a transgender person was relieving themselves in a lady stall next to anyone, most people wouldn’t even know. Even if one suspects, I doubt any issue would be raised by those who are most likely to be affected by the transgender bathroom blitzkrieg: women.

halter prince

Of course, women tend to be more flexible in their attitudes – which is interesting when you think about it, because most of what’s driving the conversation is hate toward men who change themselves to be more like women.  This makes me wonder even further if at the deepest core of this hatred lies misogyny. Yes, that’s probably me making it about myself, but this isn’t The Atlantic: I am speaking through my personal life-lense here.

At the core, most of life’s evil is rooted in misogyny, twisted and dark as it is. Just look at religion and you’ll be lost for days on all the ways we’ve found to make a woman the lesser of two genders. I can’t imagine why a man would want to live their lives in our malignant lady-shoes. But if he does want to be a she, I’m fine with her peeing just one stall over, instead of say, on Mars or in a ditch or only in their own homes.

All said and done it’s not that big of a deal where anyone pees, but I am so wary of the timing of this particular debate in a politicized world where nothing is discussed by accident. Let’s not find yet another reason to turn against each other.

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