Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Cry Me a River Game

"Boys in the girls' room
Girls in the men's room
You free your mind in your androgyny"

Garbage - Androgyny

I don't know which side I despise more in the latest round of chest-thumping over trans-sexuals' choice of bathrooms: the professional victim brigade making a mountain out of what is (both in terms of population and potential for harm) a very very tiny molehill - or the reactionary redneck rabble losing their shit yet again over the latest end of the world !!!1

Probably the latter. As much as left wingnuts piss me off I'm still hopelessly left-brained myself. When did educators become the children in this equation? Worse still when the governor of a 27-million-strong state is once again trying to hide Texas from the world inside some perpetually unchangeable late night rerun Mayberry, North Carolina. If teenage Timmy has a winky but doesn't want to use the urinals and would rather be called Tammy and your reaction is “This will be the beginning of the end of the public school system as we know it” then you are not sufficiently mentally stable to govern Podunk much less the most heavily armed political entity without its own independent army.

The end of... oh for fuck's sake, Clevon, everything's the end of everything as we know it. That is the definition of change! While we're at it, pocket calculators and CliffNotes did more harm to education than all the social changes and issues of the past century put together, AIDS, drugs and street gangs included. Except possibly for No Child Left Behind. So, whether it's because of Texas Instruments or the Texan child-king who really should have been left behind, Texas has already kind of been racing Alabama to the bottom of the credibility barrel when it comes to education. Trust me, when envisioning an enlightened, scientifically advanced Utopian Star-Trekkish future society, few picture Texas. They extrapolate from Scandinavia. Mad Max, now that's Texas.

On the other hand, let's not pretend Obama's grand gesture has anything to do with progress. It's a blatant publicity stunt on behalf of Clinton's presidential campaign, reminding all the facetious social activist (emphasis on social) suburbanites to vote Democratic. Not accidentally does it address such a singularly small demographic and so symbolic an issue as the sign on a bathroom door. It means to accomplish nothing except to troll for predictable outrage from Fox News and give Rachel Maddow another excuse to whip out her rainbow flag.

You want to convince me you're actually for eliminating the paranoia over sharing shitteries? Push for unisex bathrooms. If it's equality you want, it's equality for everyone, not just your self-righteous constituency's pet demographic of the week. If it's the individual's mental state and not the factory setting of their genitals which determines behind which door you urinate, then that goes for everyone's mental state. There is nothing fundamentally different about a trans-sexual's self-image which should entitle them and them alone to break this particular social divide.

"Biology is not destiny" makes a nice catchphrase to slap on various causes, but biology is still biology. Some gray areas like trisomy do exist, but even for most trans-sexuals the basic biological fact cannot be denied. A genetically male body is a male body. Genetically female is female. However, we as individuals are not bodies. We're minds. We're self-referent patterns of information processing riding a clutter of instinctive programming in a gooey tangle of neurons. We're software, not hardware, and there's no ethical issue with any particular program deciding it wants to act a different part than its beta version dictates. Unfortunately Mother Nature's a shitty programmer, a script-kiddie slapping subroutines in odd places and taking thousands to millions of years to optimize even the slightest fraction of this virus-infested virtual reality I call I. Software often gets the wrong hardware, from gruff pugnacious little scamps to gigantic mama's boys. Sexual identity's a major issue but it's only one facet of a continuum and nowhere near as clear-cut as something you declare to "identify as" like declaring yourself a fan of a sports team. That's just more moronic tribalism. Yes, I'm sorry, ell-gee-bee-tee-whatever declaring a new category every week and demanding it be treated as a separate Platonic ideal is just as idiotic as muscle-headed rednecks talking about what "real men" do or don't do. Before long you end up with a sexual spectrum by Baskin-Robbins and I'm sorry, we just can't fit that many ideograms on one bathroom door! How the hell do you even handle a two-spirit? Do they need two toilets built side by side?

How about this? How about if you're biologically female, it doesn't matter which bathroom you use, and if you're biologically male it also doesn't matter which bathroom you use. Men, stop panicking that a woman might peek at your ding-a-ling at a urinal - other men are probably more likely to do so. Women, stop taking the socially convenient route of pretending that any man in a private setting will rape you. You know damn well they're more worried about you jumping to conclusions than about jumping you. You abuse that insecurity in every other setting anyway.

Everyone's farts stink. You'd think we'd have figured that out by now. As for a presidential decree on urinal cakes trumpeting some kind of apocalypse... get a freakin' grip. Despite Hollywood's rather skewed interpretation of reality, not every school and apartment building's full of adorably quirky sexual misfits. The vast majority of human beings still fall pretty neatly into male/female categories with all the predictable factory settings. Even if by some slim chance you meet one of the zero-point-zero-something-percent of trans-sexuals in a public restroom, it'll play out like any other public restroom encounter: a pair of shoes in the stall next to you and a face you do your best to ignore while both trying to figure out why the soap dispensers don't work.

And in practical terms, not being able to wash your hands in a public restroom is a much bigger issue than what shape hole the person next to you's pissing out of. Or whatever imbecilic stone-age superstition about divine dictates is feeding your terror of the girly-men and manly-girls next door.

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