I get email from the Illinois Family Institute. You can tell from the name that this organization is a regressive defender of the patriarchy, but I haven’t gotten around to blocking them yet — they don’t spam me that often, and I get a perverse thrill reading the sordid illogic of these religious fanatics. The latest email warns me that privacy in bathrooms is going away, and to support that wild claim, they cite … The Atlantic.
The Atlantic is probably the last source I’d go to for information about gender issues, they’ve been pretty badly wobbly on the topic. I would inform The Atlantic, however, that if the IFI — a notorious anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-feminist cabal — is praising you, you’ve got a real problem.
The article cited is When the Culture War Comes for the Kids, and I didn’t pay much attention to it when it came out, but IFI helpfully highlighted quotes they wanted to cheer on. Like this one, about a school that had gender-neutral bathrooms:
Within two years, almost every bathroom in the school, from kindergarten through fifth grade, had become gender-neutral. Where signs had once said boys and girls, they now said students. Kids would be conditioned to the new norm at such a young age that they would become the first cohort in history for whom gender had nothing to do with whether they sat or stood to pee. All that biology entailed—curiosity, fear, shame, aggression, pubescence, the thing between the legs—was erased or wished away.
That’s amazing. What does gender define? Whether you sat or stood to pee. That’s a remarkable trivialization of all the cultural forces brought to bear on young people to compel them to conform. This is the first generation in human history ever to urinate in desegregated spaces! I don’t think that’s true.
But it’s that next sentence that floored me.
All that biology entailed had me curious about what this writer think biology implies, and then it turns out to be…
curiosity, fear, shame, aggression, pubescence, the thing between the legs. Hang on there, guy. Human nature might drive curiosity, which is perfectly healthy, but fear and shame and aggression are responses instilled in us by cultural mores. You aren’t required by biology to be ashamed or afraid of your genitals! Fear and shame is what IFI does, and apparently, The Atlantic.
Sure, puberty and
the thing between the legs (what curious gender-neutral phrasing, as if he’s afraid to say it right out) are biological phenomena, but the thing is, they aren’t erased by where you go to the bathroom. The schools might wish they could eradicate all the trouble of puberty by changing a sign on a restroom, but that’s not going to happen. It’s especially not a concern of kindergarteners. I guess it might start impinging on some students in fifth grade, but it’s more of an issue in middle school.
It’s a bizarre complaint, and I’m not sure why IFI is pushing this as some fresh horror from progressives. Here’s how they summarize it.
For years, deceitful homosexual and “trans” activists sniffed under their sprouting snouts, “How will you be affected” by the “trans”-ideology and the addition of “gender identity” to anti-discrimination laws and policies? Some people provided answers to those questions. “Progressives” responded by howling “hater” back at them, and most conservatives responded with silence and blank stares. And now private spaces are being eradicated.
private spaces are being eradicated? Nothing in their screed supports that claim. Kids aren’t being ordered to defecate in the hallways, restrooms are still discreet places for personal functions, they’re not being turned into public showcases of children’s genitals. The only people who would like to do that are the lying prigs at places like IFI, who think it appropriate to demand specific knowledge of what is in people’s pants.
I suspect that restroom privacy is only being erased in the same place that pubescence and
things between legs are — in the paranoid, obsessive nightmares of religious bigots.