One of my favorite blogs, as I’ve noted here before, is “Juanita Jean’s, the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.” In a recent post, Juanita Jean takes Texas’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to task for being, as she delicately puts it, “a damn fool.”
Juanita is too restrained.
We have a few minor problems in Texas. We are next to last in education. We are first in uninsured children. Our maternal death rate has doubled, making it twice what it is in Turkey and Chile. Our roads and bridges are crumbling. A quarter of Texas children live in poverty.
Keeping men out of ladies’ rooms.
There ya go. This man is burning rocket fuel to Crazyville.
You can write this on the barn with waterproof paint: Dan Patrick thinks about sex waaaaay too much.
If this idiocy was confined to Texas (a state which sometimes seems to have invented embarrassingly bad public policy), that would be one thing, but this fixation on who uses what bathroom is hardly unique to Texas.
Given the real issues America faces, it seems incomprehensible. But I do have a theory. (Yes, I always have a theory…cockamamie as some of them may be.)
We have a cohort of Americans–mostly older Americans, and mostly but not exclusively men–who wake up every morning to a world they no longer understand. Technology is complicated. Their position in society is no longer secure. Minorities are asserting legal rights. Change is constant. Media outlets looking for “clicks” and eyeballs tell them that terrorists and criminals are everywhere, just waiting to pounce.
They are convinced that they are losing America–and it’s true that they are losing the America they imagine they used to occupy. So they support Patrick and Trump and others like them. They desperately want to put black people back on the other side of the tracks and gay people back in the closet. Those efforts aren’t going so well–so they’ve shifted the focus to transgender folks. After all, transgender equality is a “Johnny-come-lately” civil rights movement–and fewer people actually know transgender people.
They may not understand climate change or economic policy or what’s happening in Aleppo or what the hell Snapchat is, but they do know what restrooms are.
On the other hand, most of them definitely do not know what irony is.
As a number of people have pointed out in the wake of the “grab her by the p—y” tape, the same men who have been absolutely horrified at the thought of a transgender person urinating in the same restroom with their wives and daughters–the same men who are hellbent to protect the “sanctity of the stall”– are the ones dismissing Trump’s braggadocio about his sexual assaults as “locker room talk.”
This isn’t about transgender folks. This is about the loss of male privilege. If anyone is going to assault their women, it had better be (their version of) a real man!