Leslie Loftis’s America Watch: Women fight for a safe space in their restrooms

I will not discuss the 2016 campaign this week. It’s done and depressing. In six weeks we will have a better idea of how certain Hillary Clinton’s November win is. Yes, she will still win the Democratic nomination despite Bernie Sanders's momentum. No, there will not be a third party, other than a higher share of the vote for the Libertarians. Conservatives are figuring out how to champion conservatism without a dead elephant on our back. (I’m a Houston gal. I like NASA allusions.) For now there is not much to do but track Trump’s moves to the left, and watch prominent Republicans capitulate to him.

So for this week, the topic is bathrooms.

Why are there so many discussions about men in women’s restrooms with everything else going on in the world and in the States?

In 1964, when Congress was debating the Civil Rights Act that would end racial  segregation, a segregationist Democrat senator from Virginia, amended the bill to include sex discrimination. He intended it as a poison pill, and while the CRA 1964 passed, sex discrimination still got mocked.

As many saw discrimination in higher education as the biggest public obstacle for women in professions, the ultimately-failed Equal Rights Amendment had a provision ending sex discrimination in education. That provision became “Title IX” when Congress passed education laws in 1972.

Until recently, Title IX was most (in)famous for regulating collegiate sports. Schools had quickly complied with accepting women in equal number, but athletic scholarships became an equality issue.

In April of 2014, however, the US Department of Education, under pressure from LGBT special interest groups, released new guidelines for Title IX compliance, which stated, “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the executive branch committee that makes rules for CRA 1964, followed suit with similar rule changes in July 2015.

In US law we call this dynamic regulatory capture. Congress has the power to make laws on certain subjects, and the executive has the power to enforce those laws. As Congress’s power has expanded to more and more subjects, it delegates the details of those laws to committees created by the executive. (If you’ve ever wondered why Congress seems to be micromanaging the US, for example, holding hearings on steroid use in Major League Baseball—typically it is a problem of over-extended congressional power and regulatory capture.)

The regulatory committees are unaccountable to the electorate and vulnerable to capture by special interests, sometimes the very entities they are supposed to regulate. For decades courts have wrestled with how much Congressional delegation of this sort is Constitutional. And the bathrooms illustrate why.

Now public places and schools face violations if they do not adhere to the regulation—not the law, but the rule. Hence, the rush to open bathrooms, the early and predictable results, the state laws seeking to protect women, and the breathless coverage of it all.

North Carolina was the first to act, passing a law that people use the public restroom that corresponds to their biological sex. The federal government sued North Carolina and North Carolina has countersued over Title IX, CRA 1964, and the Violence Against Women Act. (Much of the case law on Title IX and CRA 1964 ties their definitions and interpretations together. What happens to one is often imputed to the other, and those two statues have great influence over all similar statues.)

The effects are ripping through our daily business but there has been no change in the law. Congress did not debate gender identity discrimination. It did not pass a new bill that the President then signed into law. No. An unelected committee in the Department of Education expanded the definition of “sex” under Title IX and set off this chain reaction.

The North Carolina complaint stated, “This is an attempt to unilaterally rewrite established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the Courts.”

Now every school and every business must prep a legal defence if they allow women a private space for hygiene.

This is all the more ironic given university trends to safe spaces. Somehow a woman who has been the victim of abuse by men must be protected from words or readings that might “trigger” distress, but if she seeks a locker room or abuse shelter of only women, then she’s a Jim Crow bigot.

Somehow this makes complete sense.

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Leslie Loftis

  • Angular Merkin

    Truly astonishing that a ludicrously tiny minority can have the sheer audacity to think that they can overturn not only hundreds of years of civilisation but millions of years of evolution, with their ‘gender-fluid’, ‘non-binary’ , ‘preferred-pronoun’ codswallop!

    Alas, they not only think they can improve on evolution but the wimps in authority seem all to happy to indulge them in their crackpot theories of how human beings ‘should’ be.

    Insane times.

    • Not so audacious when the officials are crumpling.

      • Angular Merkin

        Officials crumpling is what happens these days. Witness the grovelling apologies from the police for the ‘Alluha Akhbar’ shouted in the suicide bombing exercise and Cameron’s for saying that a platform-sharer of the new London Mayor was an ISIS supporter (when apparently all he wanted was, er, an Islamic State…as if there aren’t enough of those already!)

        • And didn’t the apologies about the training exercise come within hours of a bombing proceeded by the offending AA shout? I want to say in Turkey or Germany.

          • Angular Merkin

            Yep! Kay Burley on Sky News segued seamlessly between reporting on the two stories. Funny if it wasn’t so tragic!

        • DollarPound

          The police should have taken into account all those Buddhist suicide bombers we hear so much about these days.

          • Angular Merkin

            It’s the little old ladies of the Salvation Army which worry me…

    • Earthenware

      To be fair, when we look at the details of these stories it usually isn’t the transsexuals themselves who are seeking these changes.

      It’s a lone attention-seeker and the powers that be are only too willing to bend over backwards as it suits their marxist agenda.

      “Special” people have always existed and have always demanded batty things. The difference is that now the authorities are falling over themselves to accommodate. The fault lies with the authorities, not the odd gender dysphoric person.

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    We have here the idiocy of advocacy, where those in favour of “lavatory access” will not concede the possibility that as it stands now, there is no good way to rule out the chance that pervs will abuse it. In the effort to “normalise” the “transgendered” out there, the advocates of “lavatory access” disregard that they are possibly making women (and girls), a constituency they should in theory ALSO be championing, rather uneasy about using the loo or changing rooms.

    Those who raise the question of possible abuse by pervs of the use of the loo intended for persons of the other set of chromosomes are, if they are men, accused of “white-knighting,” and if female, accused of betrayal of the cause. In BOTH instances, the word “transphobia” is invoked, as if it were the unfortunates themselves who are being attacked, rather than those who would cynically take the piss (you should pardon the turn of phrase!).

    One wonders how “transgendered persons” in the US attended to their excretory functions whilst out and about, prior to 2016. (Very discreetly, I should imagine– and just why this state of affairs should have been tampered with to no good purpose is yet another good example of the Social Justice Warriors “creating a problem only government can solve.”)

    • “[T[he advocates of “lavatory access” disregard that they are possibly making women (and girls), a constituency they should in theory ALSO be championing, rather uneasy about using the loo or changing rooms.” In fact, one of those laws in issue was the very one were to make women and girls feel more comfortable outside of the home and in school. Forty years ago, creating this comfort was seen as essential to achieving equality between the sexes. Either it was BS then or we are cowing before a bully special interest group.

      • DollarPound

        No one seems to be asking whether – as a man – I might be uneasy or uncomfortable about women coming into the men’s room.

        Let me guess; you have legitimate concerns, I have pathetic insecurities?

        • See comment above.

        • Let me guess; you have legitimate concerns, I have pathetic insecurities?

          That’s it in one. Women need exclusive spaces and they need men to be denied the same. It’s all about what women ‘need’ and nothing Leslie has written on this gynocentric site suggests that men have any purpose other than to provide it.

  • “This is all the more ironic given university trends to safe spaces. Somehow a woman who has been the victim of abuse by men must be protected from words or readings that might “trigger” distress, but if she seeks a locker room or abuse shelter of only women, then she’s a Jim Crow bigot.

    Somehow this makes complete sense.”

    These things come in twos – one to distract us from the other. So, we fight against female genital mutilation whilst also insisting that a man should be permitted to have his genitals mutilated on the NHS. It is wicked for a sprinter to use performance-enhancing drugs but it is good for a male to be a professional female wrestler. And so on…

    Having read through the DoJ’s lawsuit, it is clear that the State is now taking the word Sex to mean Gender. So, sex no longer exists in law. All that remains of sex is the word itself.

  • What I’ve come to call all of this is ‘prerogative power’. Because it takes as its theme, if we have completely contradictory rules (and laws) in place then we can arrest, fine, or imprison anyone at our pleasure. We have for the most part returned to Henry VIII’s rules of government. What will happen eventually is ‘Who is John Galt?’

    The election? Yeah, the election of the clones, one is bad, the other worse, which is which, I have not a clue.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    WaterClosetGate has been at the forefront of LGBT activism for some time. The scope for abuse is immense too. A man can declare himself transgender just to gain access to a restroom full of women for reasons of perversion. I would be very concerned for my wife and daughter under such circumstances.
    My daughter once worked in a fashion shop. It was normal practice for the female staff to help (female) clients undress and try on clothes. There was one man who claimed to be transgender who cam in regularly to try on dresses and asked the girls to help him undress. They all refused of course because they felt too uncomfortable about it. It is all getting out of hand. it’s ironic that the LGBT culture war is being fought out in the toilets.

  • Colkitto03

    Your last paragraph is spot on. The contradictions involved here will lead to bizarre outcomes. A lot of older radical feminists are not at all supportive to transgender men indeed some detest trans people. Now they have to support them in female toilets.
    The real test will come in the area of prisons. These are the last great segregated instiutions. Any man who does not fancy doing time in a male prisons should by logical conclusion be able to claim he belongs in a womans prison? Its only a matter of time.

    • DollarPound

      Old radical feminists have realised that the fact that there are so many men wanting to become women – and comparatively few women wanting to become men – knocks a huge hole in their thesis of “being a woman is terrible”.

      • And it also lets men back in to dominate. See the Seven Sister’s link in the link I gave you above. US women’s colleges are letting in trans women and then finding that that those organic men beat out organic women in athletics and leadership. It’s all very Escher’s staircase.

        • Colkitto03

          Just read your Federalist article on the link. How long till the world catches on to these absurdities? Obama must feel the zeitgeist still favours the transexuals.

  • DollarPound

    Why is no one interested whether men have a private space for hygiene?
    I suppose that’s a different matter is it? If I don’t want some woman watching me urinate, I’m sure all the feminists think that makes me insecure in my masculinity, blah, blah.
    But the other way round, well, that’s different isn’t it?

    • Actually, besides the sexual predator claiming to be a transgender woman and the male/female strength and stature differential, which is a small number of the population, I think the general problem is menstruation. http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/16/whats-the-big-deal-about-school-bathrooms/

      • I don’t menstruate and never have. The problem, as far as I am concerned, is that women enjoy seemingly unfettered access to the open spaces in which I must urinate while I have no reciprocal right to enter the open part of the closeted spaces (often with two water closets, one for a friend) women enjoy.

        On one occasion I had of necessity to use a public lavatory in the presence of two women, one simply the gossiping friend of the female cleaner. On another my objection to the presence of a female was waved away with ‘oh it’s all right love, I’ve seen it all before’. It happened that about that time, and in the same building, I very nearly walked into the women’s lavatory. The ‘ladies’ were not nearly so relaxed about my near intrusion, although I had by then long seen it all before, and they have the benefit of doors and partitions between them and curious onlookers.

        The problem is the aggressive feminisation of male space.

        • DollarPound

          I’m sure they would just like us to build the safe space for them, then conveniently die (after leaving them a few million and inventing a few things to make their lives much easier, of course).

          It must be a source of slight irritation to women that – a few decades after they declared themselves victrices of the sex war – we stubbornly cling on to life doing all those silly little irrelevant things that we seem to think are so important. How amusing they must find us!

          And all the electricity keeps flowing, the internet keeps running, the raw materials keep appearing, the houses keep getting built. All that irrelevant stuff that comes from nowhere…

          The river is drying, girls.

          • At the risk of feeding trolls, you two are pretty pathetic. You come onto one of the few sites where women are treated respectfully, and do your pathetic whining. Maybe you should man up and quit whingeing.

          • DollarPound

            So no reply to my central point then? Let me say it again in the vague hope that this time someone will actually answer it:
            Having same sex bathrooms puts men at just as much of a risk as women. The risks for men are different but just as real.
            But you simply aren’t interested in the challenges men face. You dismiss it as pathetic whining. If you are ever accused of sexual assault by a woman, you will find that everyone turns their backs on you. It will ruin your life.
            You perpetuate the same old myths and attitudes towards men with phrases like “man up” and assumptions that so few website are respectful towards women. Have you tried visiting, for example, the NHS’s cancer screening website lately? Or maybe the UN website? Or the Prison Reform trust website? Or the BBC website? Or the EHRC website?
            Open your eyes.

      • DollarPound

        You don’t need to read Sun Tzu, do you Leslie? You know him in your bones.

        Sun Tzu teaches us that in certain contexts, things are transformed into their opposites. Strengths become weaknesses, and weaknesses become strengths.

        But you already know that, and you’re keeping very quiet about it.

        There will be women in men’s toilets watching men urinate, then screaming they have been sexually assaulted, and settling out of court for a few thousand, and you know it.

        But you’ll keep playing the sugar and spice card.

  • Davidsb

    On the other hand, this solves the thorny problem of “The Pay Gap” – all each organisation has to do is persuade 50% of its board, 50% of its salesforce, 50% of its lab technicians, etc, to declare as “male” and the other 50% to declare as “female” and pay equality is automatically achieved…..

    ;¬)

    • Colkitto03

      Brilliant!

  • 5th column traitors

    Just more evidence that humanity has gone truly insane.

  • And the regulatory chain reaction just exploded. From the NYT late last night:

    “WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is planning to issue a sweeping directive telling every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

    A letter to school districts will go out Friday, adding to a highly charged debate over transgender rights in the middle of the administration’s legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The declaration — signed by Justice and Education department officials — will describe what schools should do to ensure that none of their students are discriminated against.

    It does not have the force of law, but it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.”

    This is mostly a threat that won’t hold up long term in courts. Congress is curtailed for most blackmail and bribery type tactics and exec actions don’t have the force of law, as mentioned. But a mighty threat it is. A couple of lower courts go the Admin’s way, even for a while, and that can wreak havoc in school budgets and stability.

    • My goodness, have these fools ever let a sleeping dog lie. If there is one thing we do NOT need in our school’s it’s less stability, and more budget battles, and a couple of lower courts will, of course go the administrations way, and by the time it gets to SCOTUS..well, who knows? Education is already a mess, as we all know, and no matter what, this will make it worse. [Deleted rant here!!]

      • I got your rant at PJMedia. (You know I write there too, right? I did the schools part there because as of yesterday there was a big blow up in Fort Worth. I just added the NYT link as I submitted.)

        • I do, and will check it out, part of the reason I deleted it, was that I figured most already knew what I was going to say.

          • I’ll still read it!

          • I appreciate that greatly, but it was unconsidered, unresearched, and not in particularly good taste. Besides you already know more about it, and I mostly got it out of my system. This so-called ‘administrative law’ nonsense is getting pretty far out of hand. Goodness, how we need Ted Cruz.