Targeting Women.


I first read about this several days ago, when it wasn’t well known, and people weren’t terribly sure if this was a real deal or not. Unfortunately, it’s a real deal.

Conservatives in Washington are currently collecting signatures for a referendum to overturn the state’s transgender protections. It is a measure that rivals North Carolina’s HB2 in the way it targets transgender people for discrimination. And now its proponents are encouraging men to follow women into their bathrooms to get their signatures.

Joseph Backholm, director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), is leading the signature collection process for what has been labeled “Initiative 1515.” In recordings anonymously delivered to the Gender Justice League of Seattle, Backholm can be heard encouraging male petitioners to camp out near women’s restrooms, ask women for their signatures, then follow them into the restroom if they don’t agree to sign.

At one meeting on April 27, Backholm can be heard giving various tips to petitioners, such as going to places like retirement communities, where the residents are all registered voters who are excited to have visitors. “For gentlemen,” he then suggested, “what I would encourage you to do, if you are so bold and you want to make the point, take your petitions and stand outside the women’s restroom at the mall, and if any of the women don’t want to sign it, just go ahead and follow ’em on in [laughter from crowd]. ‘Maybe this will be a better time to sign our little petition’, and we can make the point that way.”


At a May 10 event, Backholm made the suggestion one more time, claiming that he and another petitioner were going to enter a women’s spa together — naked — and, “We’re gonna tell the ladies, ‘If you don’t think we should be here, you need to sign our petition.’ And we think that would be wildly successful.”

Confronted with the recordings by KIRO 7, Backholm refused to comment. King County Sheriff John Urquhart, on the other hand, had no problem confirming that anybody who follows Backholm’s suggestion will be arrested.

And rightfully so. Backholm’s contention, as he makes constantly evident in his public remarks — including the above podcast — is that Washington state’s gender identity protections allow this kind of bathroom intrusion by anybody. That conclusion is based solely on rejecting that transgender women are women and that transgender men are men.


The notion that transgender protections allow men to enter women’s restrooms has — to this point — been an invented hypothetical that has never actually happened. Backholm and the I-1515 campaign are now trying to actually create that problem in real life for the sole purpose of scaring people into voting against transgender equality.

The campaign opposing I-1515, Washington Won’t Discriminate, is now calling for Backholm to lose his job for “inciting others to commit crimes and putting voters in danger.”

Now is the time for people to be very good citizens. If you see one of these asshats hanging around a public lav, call the cops. Report them every single time. Multiple reports would be even better. Anywhere you see these bigots, report them. Use the current law against them, and it will be an excellent demonstration that existing laws are more than sufficient, there’s no need for their added on hate against transgender people.

Via ThinkProgress.


  1. cubist says

    Of course, if one of these fucknoses does follow a woman into a bathroom to pester her about this crap, they have an obvious “out” if they’re reported to the police: THey can say “gosh, I’m transgender!”


    These douchenozzles want to claim the mantle of transgender? Fine. Let them claim it. And the rest of us can makedamn sure that they’re never allowed to forget it. In the future, every time one of these woman-stalking scheisskopfs makes any sort of noise about how evil transgender people are, someone should be there to point out that they themselves, by their own admission, are transgender; they should never be mentioned by anyone, in any context, without noting their self-proclaimed transgender status. Let’s see how the more-Xtian-than-thou political pressure groups behind this ratfuckery like having this particular spotlight shone on their oh-so-stainless people.

  2. says


    Of course, if one of these fucknoses does follow a woman into a bathroom to pester her about this crap, they have an obvious “out” if they’re reported to the police: THey can say “gosh, I’m transgender!”

    That won’t work. In the article, it’s mentioned that some asshole decided to try that in a women’s locker room in a gym, and was promptly arrested.

  3. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    They’re really not thinking this through, are they? Even assuming that allowing trans people access to their preferred bathroom did also allow men to go into the women’s, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t allow anyone, trans or cis, male or female, to harass people in the bathroom. Harassing people in the bathroom has always, as far as I’m aware, been considered a very bad thing, no matter your gender.

  4. cubist says

    Ah, Caine, but you are forgetting something very important. Has not a Righteous Minister of God’s Holy Trooth™©® told them that “gosh, I’m transgender!” will be a winning strategy? Surely no Righteous Minister of God’s Holy Trooth™©® could possibly lie to a fellow Christian, nor yet be mistaken about a matter of such clean and obvious importance in God’s eyes?

    You know, one beauty of the “never let ’em forget it” strategy is that you don’t have to be rude or vicious or even a tiny bit unkind. Take their disingenuous “I’m transgender” claims at face value, and give them the love and understanding they so clearly need, the love and understanding which their religious beliefs have so cruelly barred them from…

  5. AlexanderZ says

    What those viscous morons are incapable of understanding is that using a bathroom isn’t a crime, but following people against their wish is a crime -- it’s stalking. It doesn’t matter if you’re man or woman or neither, if you stalk somebody you’re going to get a visit from Officer Friendly and his taser.
    Badgering people when they go to the toilet? That’s harassment.

    Again and again these conservatives show that they don’t give two-shits about the law nor about safety, and all they want to wipe away other humans (because that’s what it’s all about -- the right of trans* people to exist). They aren’t even being subtle about it.

  6. says


    They aren’t even being subtle about it.

    No, they aren’t, and this is in the wake of Orlando. These are people who aren’t in the least troubled by what happened; such a devastating act simply furthers their agenda of stomping all over others. As an other, I’m not just disturbed, I’m scared. And as history teaches us, once any group starts seriously othering another group, the category of other grows and expands, to encompass yet more people.

  7. chigau (違う) says

    The substution/misspelling of viscous for vicious gives me pause.
    The intended meaning is almost always obvious
    but the thought that someone who is evil, immoral, depraved, spiteful, malicious, aggressive
    also has relatively high resistance to flow (think mud or industrial sludge)
    is creepy.
    Come to think of it … like that guy up top.

    (definitions are from here

  8. rq says

    Wow, manipulating women’s emotions. You certainly care about women’s well-being, guys!!!

  9. says


    You certainly care about women’s well-being, guys!!!

    Yes, nothing like stalking and harassing women to make them feel safe.

  10. schini says

    @Caine, #9:

    Yes, nothing like stalking and harassing women to make them feel safe.

    The intention was to make them feel not safe …

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