I know, some people think having trans kids in school is a peril (it’s infectious, don’t you know) and states like Florida and Texas are freaking out with wild legislation “for the children”, but there’s a bigger worry you ought to have — much bigger, since the Trans Peril is nonexistent — and that is they’re coming for the cis women now. And after that, the cis men.
Florida now requires all student athletes to fill out a rather invasive questionnaire. Part of it is marked “optional”, but who knows how long that will last, and one wonders how much suspicion will be cast on those who refuse to answer.
Seizures. Fainting spells. Allergies.
Florida student athletes have to report all these medical conditions when they register to play for the season.
But all female athletes in the state also are asked to report their history of menstrual periods: When they got their first period, how many weeks pass between periods and when they had their last one, to name a few.
The information is reported on athletes’ annual physical form, which they are required to fill out with a physician and turn in to their school’s athletic director.
Let us ask the obvious question: why does the school need to know all that?
No, really. When I went to school, all that was kept quiet, nobody needed to know about it, let alone report it to the athletic director.
Why does the athletic director need to know how long your periods last, or how many periods you had in the last year? What will they do with that information?
Oh, I know. They’re going to upload it to a commercial database run by a for-profit company called Aktivate which will never ever sell that information or accidentally leak it or be hacked.
But I repeat: WHY? There are a few hints.
Abortion rights advocates who stress reproductive privacy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade worry that women’s menstrual history may be used to prosecute them if they terminate a pregnancy.
And a vocal contingent of parents want forms to stay offline in the name of their parental rights over their children’s data — which they worry about being leaked or sold.
“I think we’re all on edge right now,” Haller said. He added that he has “very little reason to have faith in our state leadership” to keep data provided to educational institutions private.
It might also be useful if you want to categorize the population into menstruators and non-menstruators. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, but certain people have a weird obsession with that kind of reductionist division.