His / Hers and ….

by Ryan on August 26, 2007

in Anything Else,Culture

You can’t make this stuff up!  The University of Vermont has installed “gender neutral restrooms” in the new student center at about $2500 a pop.  These include a toilet, a sink, a shower and a lockable door.  Well, one problem solved only creates a new one sometimes.  Some trans-gendered students (by the way, could somebody give me a working definition for that term?) have felt awkward about using existing public facilities, but others feel awkward about having to use the new ones, which would single them out and raise questions about how their gender would be read by others.  Hmm… OK. So, UVM put them up, demonstrating yet another example of a way that college life does not resemble real life.

Some students and moral advocates have a problem with this special treatment.  Civil rights in America has always been about the struggle for equal rights.  The problems lately have been more about enforcing special rights.  What if older women felt uncomfortable in the shower rooms because the younger women are prettier?  Should they get their own facilities, too?  Vice versa for men.  What if band geeks (I’m talking real deep-down tried and true hardcore band geeks) feel awkward sharing facilities with the jocks?  Should they be made to feel uncomfortable or discriminated against?  When does this stop?  We have discrimination laws on the books and recourse for those who’ve been victims of abuse.  Placating like this does nothing but aggrivate the issue beyond its original bounds.

University of Toronto pic.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria August 26, 2007 at 9:32 pm

‘Transgender’ is just a (supposedly politically correct) umbrella term used to define people who don’t identify w/ just the gender they are assigned at birth, including but not limited to drag queens and/or those who have had gender-altering surgery.

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Ryan August 26, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Thanks Victoria! I suppose as a society we’ve moved from the closet to the umbrella!

One of the most peculiar topics on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show back in the late 1980s regarded “transgender” folks. I still remember it though I was only in junior high. The topic was “trans-sexual lesbians.” Men who became women through surgery and hormone medication in order to be with women. I have trouble with Seinfeld’s irrepressible “not that there’s anything wrong with that” maxim on this one. At some point one needs to consult a psychiatrist rather than a surgeon when it comes to issues of this nature.

Bill Maher had a great point on this whole sexual identity thing as ordinary people see it. When I meet you I don’t also need to know how you have sex or with whom you like to have sex. The whole: “Hi, my name is ____.” versus “Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a homosexual.” It’s America– the place of tolerance. How one chooses to live their life is their prerogative, but do we all need to know how or with whom you choose to sleep with? What’s bothersome is when tolerance crosses the line into forced acceptance with social stigma and the politically correct thought-police attached to it. Hence, colleges and universities embracing everything they can for the sake of diversity and interest group wedge politics, not for actual human growth and understanding.

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