The Transgender Threat to Boys and Men
Almost all counterarguments against allowing transgender individuals into sex-segregated spaces focus on the high likelihood of what harm will be caused to girls and women. However, to my knowledge there have been very few if any well-developed cases regarding the ramifications of allowing female transgender individuals into male sex-segregated spaces and what could happen to boys and men.
Furthermore, the vast majority of rebuttals to allowing transgenders into sex-segregated spaces have focused almost solely on private areas such as restrooms and locker-rooms without further emphasis on incidents of privately owned, male-only businesses that have been coerced into accepting transgender individuals.
On the contrary, there exists a strong case for how boys and men have been negatively affected by the inclusion of females who identify as transgender into both private, sex-segregated spaces, and sex-segregated spaces of privately owned businesses.
There are at least four main areas where boys and men are put at risk in regard to transgender laws. Such areas include cases of false accusations of rape, assault, and harassment, the trampling of freedom of association in male-only private businesses, and exposure to exhibitionism to name just a few.
Although not well known, there are actually many incidents of females who identify as transgendered who have entered into private, male, sex-segregated spaces. For example, in December of 2012, a female who identified as transgendered (Levi Pine) sued Kings Spa and Sauna because the manager asked her to use a private shower or leave due to customer complaints. Ms. Pine, was transitioning with hormones but had not undergone surgical transition which made some men uncomfortable. The male customer’s complaints in this event should not be trivialized as “nonsense” or as “they should just get over their discomfort.” Rather, the males’ privacy rights in single-sex spaces should be upheld just as the same rights for women should be upheld in situations where women have complained of male transgendered exhibitionists.
Another event occurred when a woman who identified as trans named Bryan Ellicott sued NYC Department of Parks and Recreation because its employees kicked her out of the male’s locker room. Ms. Ellicott was on masculinizing hormones, but she had neither top nor bottom surgery to disguise the fact that she is a woman which led her to be reported by a male in the locker-room to city employees. How does Ellicott’s case taken in the context of trans-affirming legislation hurt boys and men? For one, little boys will have to be exposed to confusing pseudo-metamorphic bodies like Ellicott’s. The risk for adult men, is being charged for harassment if they reflect a look of disgust or looking too long at such an individual as Ellicott. Moreover, the employees would also risk being fired for reporting or acting to remove an individual such as Ellicott.
Such a false accusation did indeed occur in March, 2014 at Hercules High school in which a transgendered identifying female lied about being sexually assaulted by three boys in a bathroom. Here we have an argument unique to female transgenders being included into private, male, sex-segregated spaces as opposed to the contrary. While males don’t have to be worried about being raped or assaulted by transgenders, as is the case with women, males however are put at a much higher risk of false allegations of sexual assault and harassment by female transgenders. There have been many cases where males have been falsely accused of rape by women, and women who identify as transgendered will be no exception as more pro-trans legislation is enacted.
There are surveys and testimonies by females who are transgendered that have reported being raped, bullied, and harassed by men at work, in schools K-12, and universities. How many of those reports are false is difficult to know. In addition, if heterosexual males are as violent and patriarchal as female transgenders make them out to be, then why do they reject solitary, gender-neutral alternatives? The inclusion of females who are transgender into private male spaces creates problems for themselves and men.
There is a non-gender binary case from March 2016, where a girl who describes herself as having no gender defiantly used the boy’s restroom and then accused the boys of bullying her because they took pictures of her washing her hands. When offered to use a single-stall bathroom, the girl rejected. How will boys be affected if a gender-fluid girl is allowed to use their private spaces due to transgender affirming legislation? As can be seen from the above incident, they could easily be accused of bullying and suffer the consequences under anti-bullying regulations even from something as small as a disdainful grimace at the “non-gendered” female.
An even more bizarre situation occurred when a woman who identified herself as neither male nor female sued the management at Bon Appétit for $518,682 because coworkers used female names in reference to her despite the fact she had communicated the desire to be addressed only with gender neutral pronouns. The pronouns the coworkers called her by included “little lady, “lady,” and “miss.” New York City recently enacted policy that fines individuals up to $250,000 for “intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title” in regard to transgenders.
Recently, a woman named Seamus Johnston, who identifies as a man, settled a lawsuit against her university who banned her from the men’s locker room. Noteworthy is that Ms. Johnston had taken no steps to transition into a “male” at the time she filed her lawsuit. The risk of false accusations against men in the presence of Johnston is multiplied due to the high numbers of rape hoaxes in university settings perpetuated by women. Over a week ago, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has expanded Title IX to include transgender people as seen in the case of a female who identifies as transgendered. The result of this decision changes the meaning of law and basic biology for everyone in five states.
Privately owned businesses that only extend their services to males have also been challenged by females who identify as transgendered. In March, 2016 a woman who identifies as a male filed a lawsuit against Hawleywood's Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor because the manager told her that they don’t cut women’s hair. What’s the risk to men here? They lose a male-only space to frequent, the manager loses clientele and is forced to buy equipment for women’s hairstyles or risk a lawsuit. Most importantly the private owned business loses its freedom of association to choose to do business with whom it pleases, and property rights.
Should a privately owned business be fined or coerced by the state to provide a service which it does not provide? Moreover, in a free market should freedom of association be atomized due to the demands of an instigator who only represents maybe 0.3% of the total population? Furthermore, there are countless examples of privately owned female-only services such as Curves gym, women’s only Lifetime Fitness, Pretty Woman Day Spa, women’s only cabs, women’s rape shelters, etc. Why should men not have male-only spaces and businesses as well?
Taken together as a cumulative case, the arguments for how pro transgender legislation harms girls and women, and how this same legislation hurts boys and men, not just in private spaces but also in privately owned businesses, is more than enough to settle the issue against enacting such policies.