Where to Go to the Bathroom: An Opinion
Michael S. Rozeff
It all used to be so simple. If you are a man, you go to the men’s room. Woman? Go to the women’s room. I recommend keeping it simple. How? First, don’t go by “gender identity”. “Gender identity is defined as a personal conception of oneself as male or female (or rarely, both or neither).” Personal conception is burdensome for outsiders to detect and determine. It is subjective. It can be faked by those who wish to take sexual advantage. For these 3 reasons, it’s asking for trouble to have rules that allow persons to use whatever restroom facilities they want to use based upon their personal conceptions of themselves. The costs of such rules will be way too high. These will come in the form of disputes, court cases, penalties, enforcement costs, unhappiness of some or many, explosions of violence, anger, and penalties.
The alternative is to go by the person’s actual bodily sexual functions and makeup. This is an easily determined objective criterion in most cases. If you have male organs, you go to the men’s room. If you’ve become a man (woman) physically after being a woman (man), you go to the men’s (women’s) room. If you are homosexual, you go to the room consistent with your physical makeup, not your sexual preference, which, like gender identity opens up troubling and costly difficulties if it’s used as a criterion. If you are bisexual, you go to the restroom consistent with your sex organs. Transgender people, in my view, go to the bathroom consistent with their sex organs, not their gender identities or sexual preferences.
This is not a libertarian issue until aggression and punishments come to be used to change social customs and enforce patterns of behavior that deviate from what’s generally accepted, which is separate restrooms based on sex; and the latter means sex organs, in my view, not gender identity or sex preference.
Restrooms are provided to the public by many business and other establishments that are private but which government regulates as semi-public. It’s a big mistake if government (or a business) decides to regulate who can go to which restroom based upon subjective criteria like gender identity and sexual preferences. There is no odious or insufferable or hurtful discrimination if people are asked to go to a bathroom according to their sex organs. The reasons for this discrimination are social. We separate the sexes to allow privacy, to hold down sexual predation, to hold down sexual arousal, to prevent sexual confusion, and because certain functions are unique to each sex. There may be other subtle reasons that have led to this customary distinction and practice; so that it would be imprudent to alter it for the sake of grievances that a minority of the population feels or imagines. Bathroom discrimination is not like skin color discrimination, and it’s a mistake to equate the two.