Saturday, September 12, 2015

Who is a girl: Lila Perry, Tolerance and Acceptance

I don't really care how a person chooses to live their life. That's their business, not mine. I tend to be a live and let live kind of person. I don't know what happens after we die but I figure that you're the best person to decide what is right for you just as I am the best person to decide what is right for me, within certain limits. But it's that last little disclaimer where so much that is controversial can be found. What are the limits? Where are they? Most people would agree that the limits would be where some form of harm occurs. When you impact someone else's life, liberty or safety negatively is where your rights to live freely stop, or at the very least must be weighed against other considerations. One of the reasons that the American gay marriage or to use proponents' preferred terminology, marriage equality, movement was so successful in such a short period of time was because it was extremely difficult if not impossible for opponents to argue that they would suffer any serious harm as a result of gay marriage being legalized. This was especially the case in a social milieu in which marriage itself was roundly derided by many as being little more than a paper and in which ever increasing numbers of children are born to unmarried parents. If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person was a blunt but effective rejoinder to most of the objections raised. In a framework that recognizes individual rights and the above theory of harm there simply wasn't the language available to counter that idea. However there are places where just because something is tolerated or even legal doesn't mean it must be accepted. We've discussed some of those instances before. Dragooning photographers or caterers or bakers to provide their services for gay weddings may be legal or constitutional but it is also something that starts to make me a bit uneasy. 

And the next step sought by the "T" membership of the "LGBT" coalition is something where I think I would jump off the acceptance bus entirely.  
Almost 200 high school students in Missouri walked out of their classes to protest one a transgender student in senior year being allowed in the girls' bathroom. Members of the Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Missouri, ditched two hours of lessons to object to Lila Perry, a 17-year-old senior, being granted access to female bathrooms. Perry, who started identifying as transgender earlier this year, was using the female facilities to change for gym classes, which upset many other girls at the school.

Just because you decide that you are a woman doesn't make you a woman. Just because you decide that you are a man doesn't make you a man. If you have XY chromosomes and a penis, you aren't a woman. You can dress up like a woman. You can put on a wig. You can wear high heels. You can attempt feminine grooming styles. You can try to walk or talk similar to whatever your own particular stereotypical vision of a woman may be. I couldn't care less. We all have our own issues to work through. But when you try to force other people to accept and relate to you as a woman that's when I say get the bleep out of here. 
We have separate locker rooms and bathrooms not because of gender bigotry or hatred but because of privacy, modesty and in some cases safety. I think it's asinine and extremely offensive, as Perry does, to compare racial segregation to restrooms marked "ladies" or "gentlemen". Perry can take his martyr complex and shove it someplace unpleasant. I do not think it is in any way fair to force everyone else to lose their modesty because one person has what amounts to a mental disorder. This is particularly the case when we're talking about children. The rights of the other young women need to be valued here. They should have the right to change without a male being present. They shouldn't be forced to validate Perry's fantasies. Building or allowing this young man access to a gender neutral changing area and/or bathroom is a reasonable accommodation. Trying to force everyone else to bend the knee to a rather radical view of human sexuality and biology is neither reasonable nor workable in my view. When you cast things as a zero-sum game, which is what this has become, you will get a fight. I don't think anyone should hate or discriminate against anyone else based on their sexuality or how they identify. But don't tell me that 2+2 = 5 and that I'm a bigot should I disagree. In a time where "bullying" gets a lot of attention it's ironic that the schools and the federal government are forcing or in other words bullying teen girls to get undressed and use the facilities in the presence of someone who is, despite his delusions, not female.
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