Most often, when the issue of a “bathroom bill” is introduced, most often the response is to point out that equal rights isn’t about bathrooms. However, Autumn Sandeen wonderfully addresses this issue head on, and points out how in other civil rights battles, bathroom rhetoric became a tool  to fight against equality. This whole post is worth reading, but here is an excerpt:

What hasn’t occurred is a logical argument. 1.) Is bathroom predation of women and children by “men in dresses” a common occurrence? 2.) If it is a common occurrence, is it a more common occurrence in countries, states, provinces, territories, counties, and municipalities where public accommodation antidiscrimination laws based on gender identity have been put into law?

The answer, with regards to those who opposeordinary equality for trans people, is that this hasn’t been studied by opposition groups. And, that’s likely in part because fear mongering alone has been successfully winning in the marketplace of ideas without such studies.




Autumn Sandeen: About Civil Rights and Bathrooms | Montreal Gazette.


  1. I am  not at all concerned about the woman in a mans body. What does concern me is the aggressive, type A, Alpha man who has a macho image. The type of man who pursues women and will not accept a “NO”. As a woman who in my youth was cornered a number of times. Once in Europe two men actually cornored me into the bathroom. As a woman who was often was given unwanted attention to the point where it got a bit scary the bathroom and gay bars were among two of my safe places. I know what it is like to be harrassed by a certain type of hetrosexual strait aggressive man. And I know that this type man would take advantage of this law. He may just use this law as a cover to chase women into the bathroom to corner, watch or rape her. As a young women not matter how I dressed this type of man often targeted me. Thank goodness I have since hit middle age that has fallen off. This being said. An alternitive is a third sexless or sex free or genderless bathroom being required in all buildings. Again I have no worries about the transexual or trangendered human being who are perfectly harmless. It is the aggressive straight man who will certainly take advantage of this. Please take that into concideration. 

    • Thanks for posting this comment. I want to say that I appreciate the issues you have experienced, and as someone who was sexually abused as a child, I understand the need to feel safe in spaces where there a vulnerability.

      Please however, read over Autumn’s whole post. It is a great read! I think your statement, that aggressive men will take advantage of this” is an example of the fear mongering she discusses. Aggressive men won’t be protected or assisted by trans laws. There are already laws to deal with this sort of behavior, and there is nothing to suggest that the incidences of aggressive men assaulting women s greater in places where trans nondiscrimination laws exist. The aggressive man is punishable, if there is a trans protection law or there isn’t.

      When you say “he may use the law as a cover to chase women…” please describe how that could really happen. It couldn’t and it doesn’t in places where these laws are already on the books.

      Denying trans persons nondiscrimination protections, especially surrounding bathroom use has no impact on straight men harming women.

      I completely agree however, that the use of gender-free/ individual bathrooms i view construction and remodeling of buildings is a good thing, and we should see more of it.

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