“Not my shower!”
Ruth’s post reminded me of a campaign that was going on a while ago in my hometown, Montgomery County, MD a while ago. A conservative group called, “Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government” launched this campaign called, “Not my shower!” in response to a law that was being discussed that would allow transgender people to use the restroom of the gender they identified with. I originally heard about this campaign when I was in high school and my friend told me that people called her house to rouse up support for “Not my shower!” and my first reaction upon hearing about the law being discussed was, “Wow, how scary. Anybody could pretend they’re transgender just to get into a particular restroom and abuse or mistreat the other men or women, or children in the restroom…” Upon reading Ruth’s post, I was reminded of the campaign and googled it just to refresh my memory, when I found the following two articles, reflecting VERY different attitudes towards the law and its reactionary campaign:
This is a Chicago Tribune article which tells the details of the law, the campaign, and other reactions to transgender issues, by opening with a story of a transgender woman who has endured many injustices relating to her transgender identity)
is an article from a newsletter/blog called “Breakpoint: Changing Lives, Minds, and Communities through Jesus Christ” which offers a conservative view of the law and its issues, and frames it as a threat to our safety and privacy, which, embarrassingly enough, in some capacity harkens back to my initial reactions to the law:
“And what is to stop non-transgendered men from entering the ladies’ room? Nothing. A child molester or rapist could put on a dress and go right in. So could pornographists. It is an appalling, shocking law. ”
Coming from where I stand now, after having deconstructed and learned about (or touched the tip of the iceberg of) gender identity and its complexities, it comes easily to me to find the latter article appalling and overly-simplistic (as a whole. Admittedly, parts of it sound like my initial fears and reactions). However, this binary addressed in the juxtaposition of these two articles is telling in that it shows that there is a spectrum of reactions, and both ends are founded in some kind of legitimate fear or belief. I won’t say much about the law itself because I still haven’t arrived at any conclusive opinions, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to say: I’m trying my very best to get my head wrapped around all of this, and I believe that defining what I do not believe perhaps brings me closer to locating my true and thoughtful opinion. In the meantime, though, I do enjoy observing the back-and-forth.
P.S. The law was passed.