Proving men will sneak into the ladies’ room…by sneaking men into the ladies’ room

I don’t get the logic. The American Patriarchy Association is going to prove that these transgender-tolerant restrooms at Target are a problem, by sending fundamentalist men into them.

In an interview this morning with “Breitbart News Daily,” the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, Sandy Rios, said that activists have been “testing” Target’s policy by sending men into women’s rooms at the retail chain.

That makes no sense. Shall I test the problems with American gun laws by putting guns in the hands of toddlers and pointing them at Mommy? Shall I prove that the security at big banks is inadequate by robbing a few of them?

This is like the story of the self-appointed civilian bathroom police, or the cops harassing a lesbian woman for using the women’s room. There wasn’t a problem until these assholes created one.


  1. Vivec says

    “We need to justify a law we made in reaction to a phenomenon that doesn’t actually happen in real life, so we’ll become the perpetrators and thereby retroactively justify the law’s existence”

    That’s some wibbly wobbly shit if I’ve ever seen it.

  2. says

    Do these people not realise that women’s ‘restroooms’ always have individual stalls with doors? That we don’t sit there looking at each other sitting on the toilet? That all that’s on display for anyone who just wants to look is women waiting in line for a free stall on one side of the room and women washing their hands on the other side of the room?

    Seriously, what exactly do they expect to see? What exactly is their problem with anyone who is gender-nonconforming taking their turn to use one of these individual stalls?

  3. kellym says

    Didn’t Caitlyn Jenner just use the ladies’ room at Trump Tower without incident? Where are the “video tests” and protests at Trump Towers?

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Women don’t necessarily object to men in the woman’s room. Neither the Redhead, who is in a wheelchair, nor myself, who is only there to assist her, gets any grief from the women doing their own thing. (I’ve even got a few *stout man* from them.) They take one look at the wheelchair, and correctly conclude I am there to support her choice of handicapped stalls, not to spy/rape.

  5. Goomba says

    Remember when AFA said it was persecution to force bakers to serve gays against their conscience? Well, I give you Target Persecution! Gotta love that shameless hypocrisy.

  6. wzrd1 says

    Well, they’re addressing a nonexistent problem, rather than addressing real problems.
    That way, they can say, “See? We’re doing something”.
    Yeah, but it’s the wrong something, as they’re not addressing very real problems while they’re chasing phantasms.

  7. raven says

    The xians are getting uglier!!!! Hard to imagine but there is no bottom to their ugliness.

    It’s been noted by many, notably Amanda Marcotte who wrote an article on it.

    And it easy to see why. Their religion is dying out in the USA as 2 million people a year leave. People leave in order of best and brightest. Leaving the haters, bigots, trolls, and morons behind.
    This is a positive feedback loop. The uglier they get, the more of us there are.

  8. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    Puncturing privacy in porcelain pooping palaces proves panicking populace primitive.

  9. raven says

    This wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t have an entire political party dedicated to serving their madness.

    The oogedy boogedy cultists aren’t as numerous as they pretend to be.
    1. Their last presidential nominee was Romney, a Mormon. Half of all xians and 3/4 of all xian ministers don’t consider them…xians.
    2. The current leading candidate is Trump, who is unconvincing as a fundie xian despite weak attempts to claim that.
    3. Their candidate is Ted Cruz, who is an accurate reflection of just how ugly they are. He isn’t doing so well right now and will probably lose to Trump.

    According to Pew, they make up 25% or so of the population. This is likely an overestimate. It’s become obvious that a lot of them don’t really take their religion too seriously. Fundie-ism is hollowed out and in the center is just extreme right wingnut politics.

  10. Trickster Goddess says

    Are they going to go in with video cameras to prove their exploits? If so, that’s a whole other level of problematic.

  11. sugarfrosted says

    My mom’s wife has had to put up with bathroom harassment recently for not being feminine enough. She got to the point where her denial about the state of the GOP wasn’t strong enough to resist the reality. Now independent.

    @14 Trump and Cruz were part of her denial being exceeded. With Romney she could “well they’re just pandering”

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

    Surely the solution is obvious? Pass a new bill, banning fundamentalists from public bathrooms. Problem solved!

  13. Dunc says

    OK, I am now convinced there is a problem… with fundamentalist assholes.

  14. dianne says

    I don’t get this. Transwomen aren’t sneaking into women’s restrooms, they’re walking in openly like any other woman. What do men, cis or trans, sneaking in have to do with anything?

  15. wzrd1 says

    I really don’t see a problem here.
    It’s a simple case of criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass and potentially, one of a half dozen sex crime statutes that’ll add these jerkoffs to the sex offender database.

    I’ll add that if one of these jerkoffs walk into the ladies room on my wife, I’ll happily bounce him off of the walls until the police arrive. Something that is actually considered acceptable in this state.
    Assuming that my wife doesn’t level his ass first. While she is a very mild mannered woman, when her limits are sorely pressed in something like this, she clearly displays the tiger in her tank.

    Actually, as I recall it, in this state, a hell of a lot of women carry concealed. Those assholes acting up here would only win them a Darwin Award.

    Seriously, their point is, “I can walk into a ladies room”. Big shit, I can walk into the White House gates. I’ll be swiftly arrested and rightfully so, so it doesn’t mean I should do it.
    Just more of, “I am not going to address any real problem, I’m going to play the minority asshole crowd.
    They confuse our system of government, as we have majority rule. Maybe because we have a minority POTUS, they think that we now have minority rule or something.

  16. wzrd1 says

    @dianne, my wife and I were discussing this very topic, when she awakened from her nap.
    Man in drag with camera = her cane bent around his head, screams and I’d be throwing him at the bathroom walls until the police arrived.
    Who owns what genitalia in the next stall, irrelevant.

    Still, I recall back when I was at Fort Stewart, barracks with zero stalls. One sat over the hole, did one’s business and moved on, borrowing the section of paper of one’s neighbor in the morning.
    There was one purpose for the latrine, shit or piss. Socializing and sex weren’t part of the equation.
    Having previously dealt with sharing a latrine in Germany, due to construction closing the female latrine, it was so much ancient news, albeit without stalls.
    Seriously, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?!
    Oh wait, “See? I’m doing something!”, just something notsofuckingwhatever useful to address real problems.
    So, what else are they trying to push through while we’re distracted with this bullshit?

  17. wzrd1 says

    @Saad, as a lifelong man, I’ll fully agree.
    The problem is men attempting to substitute testosterone as a neurotransmitter.

  18. madtom1999 says

    Send these idiots to Belgium. In some of the pubs there the Ladies loo is through the Gents.

  19. Menyambal says

    I’ve snuck into the women’s restroom many a time, when there was a whole truckload of guys and no women about. We kept lookout, and politely cleared out if a woman arrived. Courtesy and common sense was all it took.

    Predatory men can already invade women’s restrooms, if nobody is about to see them. All that this transgender stuff changes is that they can be a bit more brazen, but it also means that people are going to be paying more attention to predators. Predators which are usually straight men.

  20. multitool says

    @26, Yeah that’s the fundamental absurdity of it.

    How many actual rapists say “gee I really want to assault that woman but I can’t because going into a ladies room would be illegal.”

  21. says

    What gets me is that these idiots seem to think this “oh god, no barrier at all!” business is brand new. There’s never been one, anyone can go into any public lav they want. Never been a problem before.

  22. rietpluim says

    PZ, I agree with your post, but the analogies are inaccurate. Because there are toddlers with guns and there are bank robbers. But men sneaking into the ladies’ room because trans women can go in there, there are none.

  23. says

    Of course those guys aren’t exploiting Target’s trans inclusive policy, they’re breaking it.
    Saying you use the bathroom that matches your gender identity doesn’t mean “go wherever you want to*” . Trans women belong in the ladies, trans men in the gent’s room.
    *I trust non binary people to choose the one that’s best for them.

  24. erichoug says

    I’m sorry but there has to be a part of you that understands how incredibly awesome this all is.

    30-40 years ago it was essentially illegal to be gay in much of this country. Transgender people were essentially the last of the societal outcasts that had little or not rights in actual fact. The church was unassailable, their word was almost literally law in many localities. If you didn’t fit in for one reason or another, the state would not protect you, If you were assaulted and beaten, there was a fair chance the cops would arrest you, if it wasn’t the cops actually doing the beating.

    And now, here we stand, Same sex couples can legally wed in all 50 states. It is illegal to discriminate in based on sexual orientation and gender identity in most of the country(While there is still work needs doing on this one) and the last bastion of the religious right is trying to declare cake baking a religiously ritual and sending men into the ladies room for some reason.

    While we still have a ways to go, we are winning. And, we will continue to win because the founding belief of this country, the belief in equality and liberty will always win out eventually.

    No more second class citizens.

  25. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 31:
    very optimistic outlook. Even so, it can still be quite appropriate to mock those who still grasp at straws to maintain the power to harass nonconformists.

  26. Vivec says

    I’m sorry but there has to be a part of you that understands how incredibly awesome this all is.

    Uh, no, not really. Even if every bathroom bill was instantly and irrevocably repealed, the baseline shittiness of being trans in america is still pretty fucking awful.

    These bills are just the shit whip cream on a giant shit sundae, and the fact that we’re gradually scraping the cream off doesn’t mean there’s any reason to celebrate.

  27. blf says

    I don’t get the logic… — The logic here is quite simple. It all revolves around, says the mildly deranged penguin, whether or not the cheese smelters at the Bwx fonduery cracked open due an escape plot by the cheese inside(the wild cheeses being smelted are known to be quite feisty, which is why you have to wear protective clothing when eating the fondue); An outside raid to steal the cheese(a weird one, that, who would want partially-smelted fondue?); or The smelter operator accidentally peeing in the wrong toilet stall (upsetting the delicate balance of planet Bwx’s orbit, causing calamity everywhere as the planet wobbled and careened about before stabilizing again). The planet is now freezing solid as it moves away from its host star on a new, highly eccentric, orbit, which most people think was caused by escaping cheese, possibly unintentionally.

    However, there remains a slim possibility of a peeing malfunction. This hypothesis needs to be tested. Hence, loons are sent to the “wrong” toilet to confirm that really does cause the planet to wobble in its orbit.

  28. anbheal says

    OK, two obvious observations (and I apologize for belaboring the obvious, but…):

    1) It’s not like Fenway Park during the 7th Inning Stretch, where 1000 people will head to the toilets at once. How the fuck often do you pee or poop at a department store? The answer is, um, NEVER, unless you have a very young child who all of a sudden needs to go, or if you are suffering from a case of dysentery. Nobody needs the bathrooms at Target. So the likelihood of actually encountering another human in one is asymptotically approaching zero.

    2) In most cosmopolitan restaurants, and nightclubs, for over twenty years, there have just been bathrooms. Not men’s rooms and ladies’ rooms. Same with airplanes. And I have NEVER ONCE, NOT ONCE EVER, been in a private home with gendered signs on the doors of its bathrooms. So a really easy solution is to just have a bathroom. (I know this wouldn’t necessarily work in Fenway Park, where you will always have multiple people needing to recycle their beers at once, but as several commenters have noted, um, stalls! I mean, if you can snort coke in them, you can pee with whatever you pee with in them, nobody the wiser…..Earth to Libertarians!). At Target, like in any rural gas station, you could just have a bathroom. Crazy concept, I know, but these are crazy times.

  29. wzrd1 says

    @anbheal, I didn’t know that my wife and I had dysentery! I’ve gone to take a leak many a time while shopping, occasionally, I even took a crap. One goes when one has a need.
    My wife, even more so. Something about having babies long ago and urinary urgency to the point where she’d make an excellent example for those TV commercials for bladder medication!
    That said, she’s used a generic shithouse, didn’t have a problem with it. But then, we’re adults. Still, we’re talking about one of our social taboos, where for some odd reason, we have turned a shithouse into a holy land of some sort.

  30. says

    I think it’s getting time to go on the counter-offensive. For one thing, it would eat up their bandwidth, divide their effort and spend their money, while allowing us to choose the battleground tactically. We could fuck them very hard for a relatively low cost. Best of all, it would not require unified action on our side – just as how a lot of this crap is done by small groups of fundamentalist activists, the kind of thing I am thinking about could be done by small groups akin to the discovery institute, only on the other side.

    I can think of a couple of fun lines of attack just off the top of my head. Pushing for legislation against indoctrinating minors with violent mythology. Split-troll about it possibly applying to madrassas wait until there’s some push behind it and mention that this opens sunday schools up to liability. Oh, the fun. And, of course, “conservative” ballot issues in lots of local jurisdictions to levy taxes on non-religious aspects of religious activities. Like the way the discovery institute pretends to be scientists, this 5th column would pretend to be conservatives. If it accomplished nothing beyond getting lawmakers to look askance (or closely) at legislation pushed at them by evangelicals, that would be a huge bandwidth eater. If we could trigger deep rifts and unfriendings and “no true evangelical” castings-out, it would be disunifying and time-wasting.

    I may have discovered my retirement project.

  31. says

    Cross posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    While trying to solve problems that don’t exist, rightwing conservatives create other problems.

    Last month, Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver said that she plans on “taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room” after Target announced a new policy prohibiting discrimination against transgender customers.

    Liberty Counsel is a notorious anti-LGBT group that has taken credit for shaping discriminatory laws such as North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2.

    In an interview with Alan Colmes that was posted online today, she repeated her claim that women should take their firearms while out shopping in order to “prepare for predators that might be in the restroom.”

    When Colmes asked if she could name any cases of crimes that have occurred as a result of states states adopting LGBT nondiscrimination laws, Staver was unable to name any. […]


  32. anbheal says

    @38 Lynna, OM — Holy shit, in stand your ground states it would probably qualify as self-defense if a person over 5’8″ and athletic entered the bathroom! “Your honor, she had closely cropped hair, and was wearing trousers! I feared for my virtue!”

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Chicago Public Schools have adopted guidelines that allow student to use facilities based on their gender identity.

    Chicago Public Schools will allow transgender students and employees to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identities, according to guidelines released Tuesday by the nation’s third-largest school district.
    The policy, which also applies to “gender non-conforming students,” covers all education opportunities, including overnight field trips, and allows for alternative arrangements if requested, such as a single-stall restroom or separate changing schedule.

    Since the democrats control both houses of the Illinois legislature, there will be no state level override.

  34. says

    They say they’re worried that perverts will pretend to be transwomen in order to get into the ladies bathroom. Have they considered the possibility that perverts will pretend to be transphobic bigots in order to get into the ladies bathroom?

  35. ck, the Irate Lump says

    I think that if I were a parent, I’d be less worried about a daughter running into a person wearing both a beard and a dress while in a public washroom, and more worried about them running into one of these fanatical religious bigots who believes that men are all barely restrained (only by that wall that Target is (not) tearing down) rapebeasts.

  36. says

    Women don’t necessarily object to men in the woman’s room.

    Yeah, seriously, I have to check/clean the restrooms where I work some times. Its a total toss up. Some find me in there trying to clean up and dodge back out. But, about an equal number in “every generation”, from the 80 year olds to the barely out of teens, either outright ignore me, and my protest that I will be done sweeping something up in just a sec, if they would like to wait, or, if just washing their hands, or something, have tried inviting me in to check the room – which given that the policy is that I can’t be in there if occupied by any women, has been a wtf moment a few times. lol

    So, yeah.. its a bit of a toss up, but… maybe 50% wouldn’t give a damn, and another half of the other half only “think” they should have a problem with it, without actually having any. The number totally, absolutely, offended, aside from the “parent class”, who have swallowed the “stranger danger” pill, is probably absurdly small, and white, and, ironically, male.

  37. cmutter says

    If we make the conservative argument as strong as possible, it becomes “how do we maintain women-only safe spaces in a world where anyone can declare themselves to be a woman?”. The solution to *that* isn’t obvious.

    Of course transgender doesn’t work that way (and what about the nonbinary, or people who just don’t present as obviously one or the other?)

    I think there really is the idea amongst conservatives that, without bathroom bills, nobody will ever be able to throw a cis-man out of a women’s bathroom because he could just say “I’m a woman”, even if he has a beard, manly clothes, etc. Of course in real life, even in places without bathroom bills, such a man would just get a “yeah, right, tell it to the judge” from the relevant guard/cop while being dragged out. Maybe that needs to be better publicized.

    NC’s bar of “already had reassignment surgery and petitioned for new birth certificate” is way too high, but the bar for entry into a women-only safe space probably needs to be higher than “because I say I can.” Maybe allow everyone a hassle-free ID gender change at most once a year or something (though I can see that causing problems, requiring any transgender person to go on public record).

    Does anyone better-versed in trans issues than I (so, roughly anyone) have ideas?