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Washington State Free-For-All

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:15 am - January 14, 2006.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness

What’s going on in the Evergreen State? In a rush to show how “accepting” they are, the Washington State Senate is poised to pass a new anti-discrimination bill. But are they going too far? Check out this little part:

“Gender expression or identity [on the basis of which, if this passes, it would be illegal to discriminate] is defined as having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth. “

(Emphasis added.)

If this law passes, all men in Washington will be excused for using the ladies’ room. Is this what they really want?

(Hat-tip: James Taranto’s indispensable BOTW.)

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21 Comments

  1. The word “behavior” is too ambiguous, too broad in its potential for interpretation. And for that matter, who decides what “traditional” is going to be defined as? We are a country of many cultures. And different cultures have different traditions, different ways of describing what is traditionally a male role and a female role. It will be only a matter of time before Washington’s anti-discrimination bill is abused.

    Comment by Dave — January 14, 2006 @ 11:49 am - January 14, 2006

  2. Looking at the definition of ‘gender expression’ in isolation is not very helpful and probably a bit sensationalist. The bill will also likely include exclusions from the broad definition, and define instances where, even if the definition of ‘gender expression’ is met, the behaviour, appearance etc is still able to be limited without comprising discrimination.

    It’s important to look at the bill as a whole before jumping to conclusions about men being able to use ladies toilets or attend women’s health clinics, women only gyms etc.

    Comment by Geoff — January 14, 2006 @ 12:39 pm - January 14, 2006

  3. First it was females, next blacks and now you. Big Brother welcomes you to assimilation your idenity is no longer yours to have. Say goodby to free thought as it is now in control of the Collective working on behalf of serving the greater good, there are no more homosexuals.

    Comment by syn — January 14, 2006 @ 2:08 pm - January 14, 2006

  4. Geoff – It sounds like you have read something that suggests nuance that isn’t in the bill as written. Can you point me to that source?

    Comment by RBinWeHo — January 14, 2006 @ 5:10 pm - January 14, 2006

  5. Trans issues are new on the legal horizon, relatively speaking, and I think Washington is making a good-faith attempt to ameliorate that. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who is in transition, who finds themself in public needing to use a restroom. Where do you go? At New York’s Penn Station, a transwoman was actually arrested for trying to use the ladies room. A cop stopped her and demanded to see ID. Since the ID said she was male, she was arrested. She didn’t want to rape or abuse or sexually intimidate anyone, she just wanted to pee. At a place as rough as Penn Station, she would have risked her physical safety in the men’s room. What else could she have done?

    Comment by Andy — January 14, 2006 @ 6:09 pm - January 14, 2006

  6. How many men in Washington state are going to be using the women’s bathroom?

    This is the type of argument used against anti-discrimination laws over and over. The other one of course is “special rights”, and the one that this will lead to gay marriage.

    Comment by Carl — January 14, 2006 @ 8:51 pm - January 14, 2006

  7. Andy has given the key element behind the gender identity clause. Instances like those are why a good number of my TS friends avoid having to use public restrooms. Because the medical community dictates you must live full time in the gender role you identify with for a year before they will sign off on reassignment surgery (provided you have the $17k+ for the operation), every trans-person faces that risk of getting caught walking into the restroom not congruent with their biological gender.

    Another purpose behind the gender identity clause may be the following scenarios:

    1. A woman (straight or lesbian) decides she is most comfortable with a very short, nearly masculine, haircut; and/or she chooses not to wear make-up. Should she be fired for being not feminine enough ?
    2. Should a guy be fired because his boss believes men should not have both ears pierced ?
    3. Should only ‘straight-acting’ gays and lesbians be given protection ?

    Some readers of this comment will probably say I am giving extreme examples. To those I would pose this question: Isn’t a man demanding to use the ladies room also an extreme ? Remember the person in Andy’s example was identifing and living as a woman, not a man. The drivers license just showed that she had been labeled as male at birth.

    To those who note that sexual orientation can be independant of biological gender (sex), gender identity and expression can be independant of biological gender also. Why should one departure from the norm be protected and not the other ?

    Comment by Wendy — January 14, 2006 @ 11:59 pm - January 14, 2006

  8. If I am with another girlfriend and the lines are too long for the womens room, we use the mens if the mens room is not too occupied. My dads ex girlfriend andI used the mens room at the amll, we stood gaurd for eachother to warn men that there was a female in there.

    Comment by Pamela — January 15, 2006 @ 1:35 am - January 15, 2006

  9. “Gender expression or identity [on the basis of which, if this passes, it would be illegal to discriminate] is defined as having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth. “

    Who did what now?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 15, 2006 @ 5:37 am - January 15, 2006

  10. In response to #5 – what are the unintended consequences going to be? Perhaps it’s unfair the transwoman you sited was arrested. But with this legislation are police going to be prohibited from checking on potential perverts because they might be transgender? Let the police do their job.

    In response to #7 – People are not “labled” with a gender at birth. Almost everyone is born clearly male or female at birth by virtue of their biology and genetics. All the surgery in the world will not change the genetic componant. Gender identity which is inconsistant with genetic gender is essentially a psychological matter. Let’s not pretend that boundry between maleness and femaleness is so easily blurred.

    Comment by Dave — January 15, 2006 @ 9:56 am - January 15, 2006

  11. I love that phrase “the sex assigned to that person at birth”
    While it is true that there are about a dozen recognized medical syndromes for people who have intersex characteristics, the proportion of the population is tiny, like about one in every 3000 births.
    And those folks should get top-notch medical care, and not be discriminated against.

    But mercy, what a booming business it is to take a male or female with no medical or genetic disorder and cut off their willie, (or sew one on as the case may be)

    These people who line up for gender re-assignment with no medical problems (but a long list of mental problems) are not deserving of special treatment. Self hatred and self mutilation are classic syptoms of mental problems. The way the doctors have indulged these weirdos is beyond me.
    Can you think of anything more self destructive than removing your sexual organs? Trannies require massive amounts of attention to feed their egos–years of complex and expensive operations, and of course hormones every day for the rest of their lives. And lets not forget therapy and support groups, All that attention directed at them, plus the added bonus of claiming ‘victim’ status too!

    Much like drag-queens they demand attention, its not like the man who gets off on wearing panties in the privacy of his home, drag queens have to have an audeince–a stage–a parade–a float. The way to insure that a drag queen will hate you is to ignore them.

    I suspect the Penn station case above is just another ‘look at me!’ episode.
    And this law (as written) is another

    I also question the happiness factor–trannies are so difficult to please, they return for more procedures, more plastic surgury, and yet they always want just one more operation.

    If you have the 20 Gs, trust me some doctor will give you a dignosis and cut you up any way you want. But to enshrine the weirdo platoon in the legal system will not satisfy them–they are and always will hunger for more.

    Comment by Jim in St Louis — January 15, 2006 @ 10:19 am - January 15, 2006

  12. I believe the supreme court has already addressed this to some degree in the case of a young straight man who was continually harassed on the job for being to “effeminate”. What were those qualities? Having a voice that was pitched high and being slender.

    It always amuses me so see gay men who constantly complain loudly about gay men being stereotyped as “effeminate”, none-the-less agreeing with the stereotype. They show this of course by sharing in the disapproval of men acting “like” women. But once you start to define the actual “behaviors”, you find very little in them that distinguishes gender based on behavior. Yes Virginia, there are indeed straight men who are considered “effeminate”.

    The struggle for gay men for acceptance in our society shouldn’t just be for gay men. It should work toward a world where all men are free to be what they wish without reprisals based on stupid prejudices.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that a “real man” is someone who does whatever the fuck he wants to without fear of others opinions. Whether he is wearing pants or a dress. It is this self-identity that is the defining characteristic. I think it is an attempt to create respect for that fact which is at the heart of what this legislation attempts to accomplish, not making everyone conform to set “politically correct” opinions and definitions of gender.

    If you have a better method of accomplishing this, that doesn’t depend on other people simply being courteous about it, then put it forward.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — January 15, 2006 @ 11:47 am - January 15, 2006

  13. I also question the happiness factor–trannies are so difficult to please, they return for more procedures, more plastic surgury, and yet they always want just one more operation.-

    Is this any different than the men or women (especially women) who constantly have plastic surgery?

    -But to enshrine the weirdo platoon in the legal system will not satisfy them–they are and always will hunger for more.-

    I don’t think that trannsexuals are out there demanding the sun and the moon. Many of them are very unhappy, some attempt suicide, they feel constantly rejected and ashamed. I have to admit I don’t really know what goes on inside the mind of a transsexual, but I don’t think most of them are automatically desperate attention whores. And of course trannsexual and transvestite are very different things. A lot of drag queens have zero desire to get anything cut off or altered.

    Comment by Carl — January 15, 2006 @ 12:28 pm - January 15, 2006

  14. #6 — How many men in Washington state will use the ladies room? Um, gee, I don’t know. Can’t be that many. After all, most men aren’t interested in women.

    Comment by Hello Moto — January 15, 2006 @ 5:38 pm - January 15, 2006

  15. Excerpts from comment #11 in italics

    Jim,

    Can you think of anything more self destructive than removing your sexual organs?

    For starters, slicing your eye balls with a laser because you believe you are supposed to live a life without wearing glasses.

    Trannies require massive amounts of attention to feed their egos–years of complex and expensive operations,

    How many trans-people do you know who go through gender transition to feed an ego ? Placing yourself under financal strain; risking a stable career; alianating family and friends and potentialy loosing everything (including your life), just to be who you are is not ego stroking. I am not in gender transition to feed my ego. The dozen or so trans-sexuals I know are not either.

    and of course hormones every day for the rest of their lives.

    So you are against medication for chronic conditions ?

    And lets not forget therapy and support groups, All that attention directed at them,

    Having attended a fair amount of support group meetings, it is usually people helping people, and gaining strength from each other. It is hard to truely help others if you want the attention directed at yourself. It usually requires you to ask ‘what can I do ?’, not state ‘look at poor little me’.

    plus the added bonus of claiming ‘victim’ status too!

    Let’s see … to be able to claim ‘victim’ status, something wrong has to be done against you. I am not sure how that is a bonus. Please let me know.

    Comment by Wendy — January 15, 2006 @ 8:33 pm - January 15, 2006

  16. Whenever I hear questions like “Should someone be fired because “, the immediate thought that comes to mind is that it’s up to the employer to decide, barring some very specific exceptions of course, but those exceptions should be few and very clear. I think a law like this just creates an atmosphere for frivilous lawsuits. What if an employee simply dresses badly and makes a business less appealing to customers? What if they are just generally unkempt, don’t shave, or otherwise not well groomed? Is it reasonable for an employer to take issue with that? In a conservative neighborhood, it will very likely hurt business to have a guy who wears make-up or earrings.

    I don’t subscribe to the belief that people are entitled to a job wherever they want to work. That means someone is forcing someone to act against their will, and we should be appalled by such a tactic. Employers are looking for people who will best help their business to succeed, and for the ones who let their personal views interfere, their business will suffer for it. A shop in San Fran might actually prefer TG employees. It may make it more successful. Should I be able to sue them for that decision since I’m not a TG? I don’t think so.

    Liberals keep wanting to make laws to enforce the values they believe in at the price of our choices and freedoms. They’re not unlike the religous right in that respect. The caveat to a free society is that it’s, well… free. Free means people get to make their own decisions including some that many might find stupid, like firing someone over a bad haircut. I don’t think making new laws is the way to make positive change in people’s attitudes.

    If you want protections from being fired, get it written into your employment contract. No one forced you to work for a certain company and they shouldn’t be forced to hire anyone or keep them longer than they want. Employment is a legitimate trade between consenting adults- money for services, and the contracts generally state that either participant can end the arrangement at any time, perhaps with a certain amount of notice or severance amount. Consenting adults- nothing forced. I like that.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — January 16, 2006 @ 5:37 pm - January 16, 2006

  17. “If this law passes, all men in Washington will be excused for using the ladies’ room. Is this what they really want”

    Speaking as someone who lives in an urban area where women frequently storm the men’s room without so much as an “excuse me”, then why not? (and yes, I know, many facilities are under designed as far as having stalls for the women)

    Comment by Kevin — January 16, 2006 @ 9:56 pm - January 16, 2006

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