The past few weeks have been a media fire storm over “transgender rights” and access to public and privately owned bathroom facilities labeled “Women” or “Girls” or “Men” or “Boys”.
But there is a bigger issue to address in terms of our locker room style, gender specific bathrooms. Parents with young children, and anyone assisting a disabled person encounter the problem of gender specific bathrooms all the time.
Surveys in recent years suggest the population of those who view themselves as transgender is about 700,000 in the U.S. This includes those who have actively undergone medical procedures to resemble a member of the opposite sex, those who “cross dress” to resemble a member of the opposite sex, and those who view themselves as transgender but may not have done much about that, in public.
The root issue is access to gender specific restrooms. This problem, though, is not confined to those who identify as transgender. Parents with opposite sex children find it difficult to take a young daughter into the men’s room, or a son into the women’s room. Similarly, those who care for those with disabilities or the elderly must do this too. The population of parents with young children and those who assist the disabled numbers in the millions and is far larger than the transgender community.
But which issue has the media and social media focused turned to? The transgender community. Indeed, there has not been even a mention of the similar needs of these other, larger groups! Yet the needs of these other groups would tend to support the needs of the transgender community too.
It is possible the media spun this story for “emotional-jolts-per-minute” click bait. Many have strong feelings about this topic – for or against – and this generates online media web site comments, social media commentary and “sharing” with our friends, creating more eyeballs for advertisers. The topic also became fodder for liking or disliking various politicians too.
Yet the vastly larger – and less controversial issue – what do we about caring for children, those with disabilities, and the elderly in a gender-specific restroom world? – was ignored.
In the 21st century does it still makes sense to have “locker room restrooms”? Many businesses now have gender neutral, individual restroom facilities ranging from hospitals to Starbucks to local grocery stores. Once upon a time, a very long time ago, our workplaces were predominated by men – that, fortunately has not been the case for half a century now. So why are we still stuck in the locker room?
But no one asked about the needs of parents or the disabled. Instead, a fire storm of screaming, shouting and name calling ensued – which is great for selling eyeballs to advertisers.
All of us were “spun” by propaganda from the professional news media, and social media, to get emotionally riled up – while missing the root issue and possible root solutions.
Click-bait was the focus and a lot of people got manipulated – again!