In my Open Letter to the Governor of California on Transgenderism a few weeks ago, I wrote the following:
My aim in writing to you is not really to question the law you have signed, as such, but rather the thinking which has driven it: transgenderism. I suppose that if one were to accept this as an unquestionable fact, then the decision you have taken would be a logical consequence, although of course you could have tackled “the problem” equally well by building transgender restrooms everywhere instead of imposing transgenderism on everyone else. However, I guess you will have ruled this out on the grounds that if the size of California’s debt grows any larger, you might have to ask Microsoft to design software capable of handling sums that big.
Well I guess that Philadelphia must be a little more solvent than California, because the Mayor, Michael Nutter, has just this week signed into law legislation that requires all new or renovated city-owned buildings to include three restrooms: men’s, women’s and gender-neutral.
Why oh why did I write that bit about building transgender restrooms? I should have known that give it a few months and someone would actually come along and do it. Now I’m not saying that somehow Michael Nutter got the idea from what I wrote. But I do groan inside when I try to come up with something outlandish and crazy, with the deliberate intention of showing the folly that surrounds us, only to find that very idea being put into practice a while later. I guess you just can’t satirize the unsatirizable (the spell check doesn’t like that word for some reason).
Okay so first the name. Michael Nutter. Yes I know he can’t help it. But neither can I. It is funny and I marvel that God sometimes allows men with the most apposite names imaginable to rise up to fulfill the agenda of folly in their heads.
A few years ago here in England, the then government decided that home education might be a bit of a problem, and so they commissioned a report into the issue. It was of course entirely neutral, as all government reports always are, and so a few months later, lo and behold, the report made the following recommendations: the monitoring of all home educating families, government-approved curriculums, and that all home educated children should be interviews by an agent of the state without their parents being allowed to be present.
Thankfully, they never had the time to implement these recommendations before they got kicked out of office. But the reason I relate this to you is simply to tell you the name of the brain behind the report. Wait for it. It was Graham Badman. I kid you not. Badman. So Nutter and Badman. God is a God of exquisite irony, and he often shows this by raising up men with names especially fitted for their nature of their schemes.
Aside from the name, what can we say about the legislation? Mayor Nutter claims, “My goal is for Philadelphia to be one of, if not the most, LGBT-friendly cities in the world and a leader on equality issues.” Well if he wants to be a leader on equality issues, then I think we should run a little appraisal on his plans. I have some bad news for him. He took the test and has been found wanting.
Firstly, I am assuming that providing three, rather than the traditional two restrooms, in all publicly owned facilities is going to cost – as the quaint old English expression puts it – “a bob or two”. Or if you would prefer that translated into American English, it’s going to cost “millions of dollars”. So my questions to Mayor Nutter, purveyor of all things equality, are:
1. Who is going to pay for this?
2. Will it be the LGBT users of the ‘third way restrooms’ or will the burden fall on your average user of one or the other of the normal men’s or women’s restrooms?
3. Have you explained to those to whom this burden will fall that the money they worked to earn is going to be spent to keep a tiny proportion of the population of city of Philadelphia restroom-happy? If you did explain the math, do you think they would be happy?
4. It sounds like the LGBTers might be getting a good deal out of this. No other special interest groups get their own restrooms. Would you say they are benefitting disproportionately at the expense of others?
5. If so, is this what is known as equality?
Secondly, in the name of equality, I presume that a “transgender” person can only use the “transgender” restroom. What’s that you say? No? A man who feels like a woman could still use the men’s restroom if he chooses? Or he could use the transgender restroom if he chooses? So am I right in saying that he gets the choice of two bathrooms whilst the rest of us only get one? Hey, that doesn’t sound fair. I’m beginning to doubt your commitment to equality, Michael.
Thirdly, uh-oh. I’ve just realized that it could well be more complex even than that. Okay, so let’s imagine a guy named Brian. Brian has been using restrooms all his life, and thus far has always used the men’s. But about a year ago, Brian finally admitted to his family that he really felt like a woman and wanted a sex change. He started a course of hormone treatment about six months ago, and changed his name to Maureen. Brian/Maureen feels like he/she is a woman, and he/she has a woman’s name, but he/she hasn’t yet got around to having his/her genitalia reconfigured. Now which restroom can he/she use? Technically, Brian/Maureen gets the pick of all three. His/her genitalia and birth sex allows him/her to use the men’s. His/her name, feelings and developing breasts mean he/she could use the women’s. And before you think of using your transgender restrooms as an excuse to deny him/her the use of the other two options, Mayor Michael, you’d better think very carefully about how discriminating this might sound. Why, some people might even think you have some sort of phobia against people like Brian/Maureen if you insist that they can’t use the men’s or women’s.
So Brian/Maureen effectively gets three options given to him/her on a plate. I’d go for the cleanest one if I were you Brian/Maureen. Might as well take advantage of the rampant inequality which allows you to choose between three restrooms whilst the rest of us plebs only get one, eh?
Fourthly, Aaaaggghhh! I’m really sorry about this, but there is yet more confusion. Brian/Maureen is apparently going from a man to woman, but what about Sandra? About a year ago, Sandra finally admitted to her family that she really felt like a man and wanted a sex change. She started a course of hormone treatment about six months ago, and changed her name to Gary. Sandra/Gary feels like she/he is a man, and she/he has a man’s name, but she/he hasn’t yet got around to having her/his genitalia reconfigured. Now Sandra/Gary faces the same pick of three bathrooms as Brian/Maureen, yet there is an added complication. Because Sandra/Gary is on her/his way to becoming a man, Brian/Maureen who is on his/her way to becoming a woman is a little embarrassed about using the same restroom. Sandra/Gary doesn’t really want to use the women’s, because she/he no longer feels like a woman. She/he also doesn’t want to use the men’s because she’s/he’s “not all there” yet. But Brian/Maureen would feel really uncomfortable about sharing a restroom with Sandra/Gary, in much the same way as an ordinary Maureen might not want to share a restroom with an ordinary Gary.
There is only one solution to this problem. There needs to be two gender neutral restrooms. One for Brian/Maureen going from man to woman, and one for Sandra/Gary going from woman to man. That would make everyone happy, wouldn’t it? Well except for the people who have to pay for this folly. But it would be equality, wouldn’t it? Well if your idea of allowing a tiny number of people to hold the rest of us to ransom for their problems and issues, so that everyone else has to pay for them to get more choice over which restroom they use, then I guess yes it is equality.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I don’t really like giving predictions, not least because I don’t want to give anyone any ideas out there. But here you go. California tried to solve the “transgender” issue by allowing males to use the female restrooms and vice versa in schools. Philadelphia has gone a step further and passed a law requiring the building of “transgender” restrooms in all newly built or renovated city owned buildings. Both of these pieces of legislation only affect the state sector. But it won’t stop there.
We are in the midst of a giant game of “I’m more egalitarian and tolerant than you”. And so the Nutters and no doubt the Badmen of this world will not stop with state-run properties. No, if you are the owner of a privately run operation which serves the public in some way – restaurant or shop for example – get ready to face the music. Sooner or later, you may well be forced by law to build a transgender restroom in your new or newly renovated premises. If your building is becoming dilapidated and in need of a renovation, you will face a choice between soldiering on with what you have, or renovating your premises and having – by law – to add a “gender-neutral” restroom on as well. I’d get renovating now if I were you.
Don’t think it will get that far? If you don’t think so, you haven’t been paying attention over the last ten or twenty years. The Nutters, Badmen and Fruitcakes out there are not playing the game of “I’m more egalitarian and tolerant than you” for fun. They are playing to win. As Mayor Nutter openly stated, his goal is to make Philadelphia the most egalitarian and LGBT-friendly city in the world. Well there’s always someone more egalitarian and tolerant out there than you Michael. And he or she, or perhaps even he/she or she/he is probably plotting even as we speak: “Now how can I force every business in my city to build a transgender restroom. And when will I get my due recognition as the most egalitarian and tolerant being in the world for doing so.”