Archive - Jan 2009

January 13th

America: A Big Girl With A Wang

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Florida is proof that America is not a melting pot, it's at best a vinaigrette. If you don't want it to separate and turn disgusting, you have to grab it by the fucking neck and shake it until everyone gets along. And nowhere is this more true than Florida, where its mix of tourists, urban areas, elderly migrants from colder climes, and swamps full of right-wing hicks makes for an exciting, volatile primordial soup that can spawn new forms of dumb.

For example, Gainesville. It's a college town in North Florida. Because it's a college town, it's full of people who've, you know. Been to fucking college. Learned some things. Met people from other places or other walks of life. Because it's in the middle of North Florida, it's surrounded by people who, to put it kindly, haven't.

The city has an anti-discrimination law. A year ago, they updated that law to include gender identity as part of the law's protections. There are about 100 transgendered people in Gainesville, and the upshot of the new law is that a man who identifies as a woman and is passing as a woman can go to the women's restroom.

This is just common sense. I don't know anybody like this, but I assume there are people out there who watch the doors of restrooms like hawks, lest a dress-wearing individual enter the room without the dress symbol on it, or vice versa. Since these people lack X-Ray vision, they will be making their observations based on external clues like clothing and breasts, and not internal cues like prostates and ovaries. As a society, we will all be calmer and happier if we don't spend a lot of time freaking out about where people pee.

But there are, among us, people who cannot be calm, and refuse to be happier. They are called "conservatives", and they fear society's collapse to such an alarming degree that they ignore wars, economic collapse, and systematic torture to focus on the more important threats we face - TV shows with swears in them and penises entering a women's restroom. They are, to use a sexist term in a non-sexist way, big fucking girls, and Florida is their wang.

The generically-named Citizens for Good Public Policy, whom I will henceforth abbreviate as the Citizens For Good Pee-Pee, have waged a campaign to overturn the gender identity protections on the grounds that they are creeped out by manladies. Or, as Citizens For Good Pee-Pee chairman Cain "I'm Named After The Bible's First Murderer, So I Get To Tell You Right From Wrong" Davis put it:

"We know when men go into women's restrooms, bad things can happen." Well, no. We know that when men go into men's restrooms, secret exciting things happen if you tap your foot the right way. But that's Idaho for you. Apparently, in Florida, what you have to worry about is dark skulking sex predators following blonde white six-year-old girls into the restroom, with the police unable to take action because the child molester told them he identifies as a woman. This ludicrous scenario is laid out in a TV campaign designed to get people to repeal the Gainesville protections.

Of course, the referendum they've come up with doesn't just overturn the transgender protections. It would also keep the city from adding any protections beyond what the state protects. In what I'm sure is a complete coincidence, the state protects discrimination against things like race, religion, and disability, but not against, oh, hey, what do you know, homosexuality.

The most important thing to remember in all this is the following sentence from a news report about the whole mess. "Since the ordinance took effect, police have reported no problems in public restrooms stemming from the law." Of course there haven't. You know why? Because the world as it actually exists is not the world that fundies think exists. There are no sexual predators searching the US for small, liberal communities with public restroom accommodation laws they can take advantage of. And the only reason Citizens For Good Pee-Pee is making a fuss is because they're paranoid and full of hate.

The referendum comes up in March, and will probably pass, because if kind, tolerant, smart people were in the majority, our history would be vastly different. The only solace we can take is that because they're in Florida, they're probably old and will die soon. And because they're in North Florida, they'll probably get eaten by an alligator.