“Real men protect their wives and daughters from predators in bathrooms.”
With the first part of that sentence*.
I need to change the second part though.
Real men protect their wives and daughters
by speaking out against the objectification of women.
by not tolerating language that demeans and degrades women.
by not reducing females to sexual objects whose purpose is to give men what they want.
by speaking up to sexist comments they hear at work, at home, among friends. Every single time.
by actively participating in conversations to denounce rape culture where we look for reasons to justify why “she had it coming” rather than pin ALL of the blame on the criminal, the perpetrator, the rapist.
by not excusing dangerous and violent behavior by saying things like “boys will be boys.”
by standing shoulder to shoulder with other real men to denounce sexual assault of any kind by anyone–including religious leaders, coaches, community leaders, and “good” people who “made mistakes.”
by teaching their sons to not be predators.
Real men protect their wives and daughters by showing them they don’t have to worry about what they wear, or say, or do, or where they go so they can avoid being raped because real men will be a part of creating a culture where all those things are irrelevant.
Real men will lead the way making sure women and girls are seen as more than tits and ass and an opportunity to score.
As North Carolina digs deeper into this “fight to keep our women and children safe,” we have to recognize this isn’t about “protecting” women and girls from men who claim to be female for the moment to gain access to potential victims in the bathroom. Let’s be real: A predator looking to attack a woman or child has NEVER been deterred by the sign on any door. Hell, they haven’t been deterred by the LOCK on a door or any law already on the books. There are no predators celebrating because “Yay!! Now that I can legally go into the women’s bathroom, I can assault and rape them without any barriers! It’s so easy now!”
NEWSFLASH: the despicable beings who assault and rape women and children have never given two flying fucks about any barriers or laws. This doesn’t make it easier. This doesn’t change a damn thing for them. The only thing this “bathroom bill” does is play into the unfounded fears of those who are uncomfortable and skeeved out by people who are different from them in some way.
This bill isn’t about stopping boys and girls from sharing bathrooms or keeping male teachers out of girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms as the Lieutenant Governor of NC is trying to make people believe.
This isn’t about allowing boys who “decide they’re girls” to walk into the girls’ bathroom to stalk and gawk at girls (that’s illegal–with or without this bill).
This is about trans people who live their entire lives–day in, day out, all day, every day–as the gender they identify with. We’re not talking about burly dudes who “suddenly feel like a woman” walking into locker rooms and bathrooms. We’re talking about girls–who look like girls, dress like girls, wear makeup like girls but just happen to have been born with a penis–being able to use the girls’ bathroom. We’re talking about boys–who look like boys and dress like boys who happen to have been born with a vagina–being able to use the boys’ bathroom.
I’m a whole lot more worried about what’s going on in someone’s brain than what’s in their pants. I’m more worried about the intentions of a predator and criminal than the trans person in the stall next to me peeing. And I’m a whole hell of a lot more worried about the discrimination, humiliation, and intimidation of LGBTQ Americans by those who feel compelled to “protect” women and children in the bathroom.
For these “real men” who want to protect women and children from predators, there’s a whole lot more to be done than stand in protest outside a Target bathroom.
*I don’t believe it’s men’s duty to protect women as an inherent role in being a man or that women need to be protected by men. I do believe we ALL need to stand up for one another as humans because we care about each other’s safety and well-being. I also don’t buy into the whole “real” man or “real” woman bullshit. We’re all real … but that’s a different post for another day.