Unquestioned Assumptions

« April 2016 »


I know everyone is talking about the hilarious move by Ted Cruz to name Carly Fiorina as his running mate, and we'll talk about that soon (probably tomorrow), but I have another bit of business with Cruz that takes priority.

I've mentioned in recent weeks that the whole "bathroom bill" issue raised by a bunch of retrograde pigfucker states like North Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama is the single dumbest fucking issue I've seen raised in national politics in the entire time I've been doing this. Because the right-wing's case against where the transgender community whizzes is completely and utterly irrational. It doesn't even have the handful of cherry-picked Biblical references they use to justify opposing gay people.

It's pure tribalistic tradition-humping ignorance. Decades of treating gay people as if they wanted to be the other gender just because they wanted to have sex with people of their own gender permanently associated people who actually were a different gender than their chromosomes and plumbing indicated with the Deviant Enemy. It's completely illogical, and to demonstrate that, let's look at Ted Cruz's defense of bathroom bills promted by Trump's seeming ambivalence about them. Here's his first statement.

"He (Trump) thought that men should be able to go into the girls’ bathroom if they want to. Now let me ask you: Have we gone stark-raving nuts?"

Throughout this, Ted Cruz will misrepresent the gender identity of trans people. This is a given with these asshats, and I've already discussed in detail how that's just denying another person's basic comfort and happiness because of the irrational discomfort that comfort causes. So let's just take that as read and look at the rest of the argument.

Women's restrooms are not "girl's restrooms". We generally do not age-segregate public restrooms in our society. So Cruz right off the bat has to resort to infantilizing women to make his political point. Well, to be fair, he may have resorted to infantilizing them out of habit because he's a right-wing Christian Dominionist. It's tough to tell when Ted Cruz is being genuinely awful and when he's being awful for political advantage.

But even then, we get to the crux of the matter, the unfounded assumption upon this whole stupid fucking tempest in a toilet is based. Why, exactly, is it wrong for a 40-year-old man and a 10-year-old girl to pee in stalls next to each other? Who is being protected, and what are they being protected from?

One might suggest that the little girls are being protected from pedophile men. Maybe, but first of all, there really aren't that many pedophiles out there, nobody making these arguments ever mention pedophiles as a separate threat enabled by accommodating people's stated gender, and none of these people have ever suggested doing something about the threat to little boys of same-sex pedophiles in public bathrooms, so that can't be it.

It's possible they think they're protecting the "innocence" of little girls by not exposing them to people who may have penises peeing, but women's restrooms have stalls. So a man using them would use a stall. Therefore no inadvertent sighting of adult genitalia, ergo no loss of innocence.

Not to mention that throughout history, via accident, immodesty, and now the Internet, lots of kids of both genders end up seeing adult dicks at some point or another and they turn out OK. So this supposed "loss of innocence" not only is wildly ulikely to happen, but it's wildly unlikely to even be a thing.

Later, Cruz said something similar to Glenn Beck:

"ESPN fired Curt Schilling for making the rather obvious point that we shouldn’t allow grown male adult strangers alone in a bathroom with little girls. That’s a point anyone who is rational should understand.”

No, that's a point someone with an ingrained set of cultural and gender-role traditions assumes is rational. But if it's rational, you can explain it. And they don't explain it. They treat it as an obvious truth apparent to anyone with common sense, but there's no actual reason why we shouldn't allow grown male adult strangers alone in a bathroom with little girls. Grown male adult strangers end up alone with little girls all the time. In lots of situations. Even now, when decades of fearmongering tend to prevent children of any age and gender from being left alone for most of the time anyway.

It's not rational. It's a pile of unquestioned assumptions. And just because we base a lot of public policy on piles of unquestioned assumptions all the time doesn't mean it's right to do it. Especially when that policy objectively hurts people.