The Man in the Women’s Room, and Why He Can Stay There
“He wasn’t even peeing, washing his hands or doing anything else that you’d do in a restroom. He was just standing off to the side looking smug … untouchable … doing absolutely nothing.” This would be weird enough in a men’s room, but he was doing it in a women’s room.
At Disneyland, of all places, whose women’s rooms are filled with young mothers with small children. Then, writes Kristin Quintrail, the man “did a lap around the restroom walking by all the stalls. You know, the stalls that have 1 inch gaps by all the doors hinges so you can most definitely see everyone with their pants around their ankles and vagina clear as day.”
Do you know where this kind of thing leads? It leads to families being pushed out of public spaces. It leads to giving a tiny minority what it wants by taking it away from the majority.
The man, apparently a fairly large man, wasn’t a man “transitioning” to try to be a woman. The “very progressive” Quintrail would have been fine with that. He was a predator. His way of being a predator was to transgress a boundary — the women’s room door — so that he could intimidate women and their children.
“Everyone was visibly uncomfortable,” says Quintrail, who is writing for a blog called The Get Real Mom. “We were all trading looks and motioning our eyes over to him … like ‘what is he doing in here?’ Yet every single one of us was silent.”
They stayed silent, she says, because they all worried that he might respond by claiming to identify as a woman. Then (she believes) they would look like jerks. Just five years ago, the women in the room would have told him to leave, but not now. They can’t, because “We don’t know what gender is anymore.”
We must know, she insists. “Gender just can’t be a feeling,” she says at the end of the blog article. “There has to be science to it. DNA, genitals, amount of Sephora make up on your face, pick your poison. … I’m sorry it can’t just be a feeling when there’s but a mere suggestion of a door with a peep hole separating your eyes from my vagina or my children’s genitals.”
Quintrail doesn’t seem to have thought of calling security, and I think we know why. Suppose security came and the man claimed to identify as a woman? Would the officers remove him anyway? Not likely. That way lies a p.r. nightmare. Disney does not like p.r. nightmares. Especially when the company makes such a big deal of having annual “gay days.”
There’s No Science
There has to be a science to it, says Quintrail. We need some objective way to tell men (however defined) from women if transgendered people can use the private space of their choice. She says this as someone “very progressive” who will comfortably share a women’s room with a man who believes he’s really a woman.
What science can you have when the society and the law treat sex and gender as choices? You can’t have a science when the choices have no agreed outward signs.
But what science can you have when the society and the law treat sex and gender as choices? You can’t have a science when the choices have no agreed outward signs.
The predator in the women’s room might claim to identify as a woman who likes to dress like a man. Who’s to say he’s not? He might say he stood in the women’s room because he felt safe there among other women. Who can deny it? Even a judge who thought the man was gaming the system for his own perverse reasons would have no legal grounds for telling him to stay out of women’s rooms.
This kind of thing makes even a restroom a contested space. It makes the classic “safe space” unsafe. Treating “gender” as choice makes some people powerless to guard that which they must guard, like husbands their wives, or mothers their children. It leaves Quintrail and the other women in that women’s room feeling they can’t eject a pervert who wants to watch them.
What Will a Father Do?
Imagine the father who sends his thirteen-year-old daughter into the women’s room and then sees a man go in. He knows he can’t call security. If he goes in, he can’t make the man leave. If he tries force, he’ll get arrested. The father has to accept that the women’s room his daughter uses may have a predatory male standing off to the side looking smug. Or worse, walking around and peering into the stalls. And there’s nothing he can do about it.
What will that father do? The only thing he can do. He’ll retreat from the public space and never come back to Disneyland, or anywhere else with similar policies. A space that his family should be able to enjoy has been taken away. It’s an amusement park, for heaven’s sake. But it’s no longer safe, not when a man can hang out in the women’s room and stare at the women and children.
If transgender laws continue to spread, more families will find themselves excluded from public places. That’s the inevitable practical result of enforcing an idea of sex and gender as personal choice.
Follow David Mills at https://twitter.com/DavidMillsWrtng.