A blog post on the myth that allowing transgender people into the bathroom that matches their gender identity will encourage or at least enable predatory behaviour.
This conversation in 2021 seems ridiculous to me; I won’t lie. It looked like we were heading on an upward curve regarding society’s views on transgender people in the UK. I watched the Netflix documentary, Disclosure, which involved selecting highly influential transgender people sitting in front of a camera and having a raw, open and honest conversation with society. They talked about personal troubles and conflicts and this societal dichotomy between accepting trans people for entertainment purposes but not for who they are. I would describe a brief history of gender non-conformity in the media. It was tough to watch. Tears were shed, fears were raised, but it made me angry more than anything. I am mad that I have been a longstanding joke in media since the first films were made. It feels like the whole of western society has made fun of me for over 100 years, and in reality, probably longer.
This is why trans people aren’t taken seriously in society. In America, conservatives are simple-minded. “Guns or no guns”, “evil or no evil”, “normal or socialism”, “deal or no deal”. Well, it comes across that way. The complex and intellectual approach that the Conservative party takes when it comes to stripping the rights of transgender individuals scares me, only topped by the sheer terror that comes with the fact that the media somewhat justifies their bigoted politics. It’s summed up very well in that documentary. The portrayed humour of the disclosure perpetuates the public’s perception of transgender people and thus the justification of individual speculation on the genitalia another person was born with as if it is somehow anyone else’s business. It’s not. The disclosure of one’s identity to someone else is terrifying as it is, but the message perpetuated by the media on many fronts is that it is okay for someone to then react violently, or at least negatively because of that, especially when it comes down to straight men becoming intimate with trans women. Some believe that transphobia is isolated to the states and that the UK is much more progressive. However, the BBC and Forbes reported that last year , transphobic hate crime quadrupled in the UK.
But what’s this got to do with the perception of predatory behaviour? The media has played an instrumental role in the negative perception of trans people, painting them as this subspecies that aims to seduce straight men and assault straight women. This message has penetrated our governing bodies. The Conservative Party recently released a consultation to gain public opinion on new legislation that would remove gender-neutral spaces and prevent trans people from entering areas that match their gender identity. It’s with both nations that the right-wing have taken it upon themselves to reject that trans rights are human rights and that somehow their existence is a threat to women and young girls, to the point they have toyed with the idea of genital checks to make sure women with penis’s aren’t entering the toilets that match their gender identity. Unfortunately, a large number of the population agrees that the very existence of a penis means that women will be assaulted, especially if said penis is given access to a toilet. This author’s opinion is that this long-lasting joke about disclosure has led government officials to believe that these notions are not just appropriate but acceptable.
However, unfortunately for the Conservative Party, transphobia is transphobia even if it’s perpetuated through the mask of women’s protection. I think it is both insulting to trans people and women, portraying women as damsels in distress who are so weak and innocent that they need strong protections from penises and trans people as these predators who will defile all-female flesh in their path.
It is disgusting.
This myth, perpetuated by media and politics, is part of one big transphobic propaganda machine that aims to strip trans people of their rights and understand it fully; we must cast our minds back to the epitome of fascist propaganda.
False Feminism in Fascism
Do you recognise this picture? You should. This image depicts a young, innocent woman being coerced away from her siblings by a large man in a dark suit with a large nose, crooked grin. He looks wealthy and deceitful. A predator of innocent flesh. This is Nazi propaganda painting Jewish people as predators. You see, to establish the public enemy, the Nazis painted them as predators. These people would take women and do all sorts of unspeakable things to them, painting Jews as these morally deviant monsters whose animalistic impulses would force them to assault women. This image is a clear example of this rhetoric. A young woman is being taken away by a predatory Jewish man.
This technique is often used by Fascist leaders to unite a population against a particular minority group for their own political gain. This was obviously effective in Nazi Germany. They managed to instil so much anti-Semitism throughout the people that they would assault Jewish people in the streets, refuse to serve them in their shops and ultimately cart them off to work, concentration and death camps. Painting a group as predators will, and constantly will, stir up hatred for that group within the population.
This was also a propaganda technique used by the USA during the cold war, depicting Soviet baboons kidnapping helpless, white American women. They also used similar techniques in “informational” films about homosexual people, showing them child predators. The message stayed faithful, though. It has always been a widely used technique to paint groups you want to dehumanise as predatory and threatening young women. The irony is the women on these posters would often be depicted with their shirts off to attract the attention of men, so who really was the predatory force?
What I have referred to as False Feminism is a propaganda technique by which the governing body used the image of a damsel in distress, kidnapped by a force to whom they want to rile up public opposition. The “if we let x group do x thing then women will get hurt” has permeated every single fascist regime and right-wing government. Banish the Jews, or they’ll assault women; hate the gays, or they’ll assault children; don’t let transgender people into the right bathroom, or they’ll assault women. The governments take a group whose rights they don’t necessarily care about but know the public and hold them up to symbolise meek purity. If another group is allowed their freedom, their innocence will be destroyed.
It’s a fascist lie.
In fact, the group that is statistically most likely to assault someone is the same in power. The straight white man. According to rainn.org , 57% of sexual assaults are committed by white men. Not Jews, not homosexuals, not transgender people.
American Case Study
I am not accusing the Conservative majority of being a fascist regime; however, I draw dialectic parallels. We know similar fear tactics to “Letting trans people use the toilet matching their gender identity is dangerous” have been used in fascist regimes and homosexual smear campaigns, yet when all the evidence points away from the fact, our population still chooses to blindly take their word for it.
For a case study, I chose to observe America. Their Bathroom Bill allowing trans people into the correct bathroom was widely implemented. I thought to myself that if there was any correlation between it and a rise in sex offenders, it would show more easily there due to the large population. Lucky for me, due to the vast conservative population, there is a wealth of evidence to help debunk the myth in question. I say myth because it has turned out to be . Vox published an article in 2016 combining the extensive evidence in favour of trans people and debunking the conservative rebuttals. It is true that “these are plainly myths with no evidence behind them. They’ve been used in attempts to perpetuate discrimination since the Jim Crow era”. I even said it myself, American conservatives are simple-minded, to the point where they can’t even come up with a claim based on factual evidence, let alone an original lie. PolitiFact found that Chris Sgro’s claim that “There have not been any public safety issues in those other communities” was “mostly true”, stating, “We haven’t found any instances of criminals convicted of using transgender protections as cover in the United States. Neither have any left-wing groups or right-wing groups” whilst also acknowledging one incident in Canada. .
According to Media Matters, 15 experts in 12 states “including law enforcement officials, government employees, and advocates for victims of sexual assault — have debunked the right-wing myth that sexual predators will exploit transgender non-discrimination laws to sneak into women’s restrooms, calling the myth baseless and ‘beyond specious’.” . The more I got into this case study, I saw the word ‘myth’ thrown about more and more. I could find no factual evidence supporting the claim that it is dangerous to let transgender people use the toilet to match their gender identity.
This is yet again an example of false feminism. Using fear tactics to prevent transgender people from going into their bathroom of choice is unfactual propaganda and to continue to perpetuate this idea is not only transphobic but dangerous.
We currently have the biggest transphobic party in power here in the UK. Now, they are proposing one of the most significant attacks on transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) people in the UK. According to their consultation, “Women are also likely to feel less comfortable using mixed-sex facilities and require more space”, and so, therefore, we must put into place more gender-specific and less gender-neutral toilets. We know that there is no evidence that cisgender people face increased violence in gender-neutral toilet facilities. However, we prove that 48% of trans people don’t feel comfortable using public toilets due to verbal abuse, intimidation, and physical assault . The policing of gender in bathrooms is a wasteful use of government funds, drawing unwarranted attention to a political and prejudicial ‘debate’ resulting from a broader climate of transphobia in the UK. [Email response template below]
The only motivation possible here for the Conservative party, considering there is no evidence to support their inference that there is an increased danger in gender-neutral spaces, is their own bigoted transphobic viewpoint. This is it. This is the result of being the but of a joke for over 100 years. The myth that transgender people are predatory has been perpetuated in the media for decades, now we see its result. Conservative MPs suggest protections for women where they’re not even needed.
I meant this when I said they take a complex and intellectual approach to revoke trans rights. They’re not doing it all at once. They’re not using the basic talking points. They’re being calm and calculated in their approach, and it’s scary.
I think that this author has made their intentions and viewpoint very clear. I believe all transgender people deserve the right to live out their life identifying freely with their gender identity. Still, unfortunately, the Conservatives have decided that it is moral and ethical to balance trans rights with a confirmed myth. There is no basis in reality for their viewpoint whatsoever. Governments who use this sort of propaganda to push their agenda usually do it because they know what they are doing is wrong. If they stood by what they were saying, they wouldn’t feel the need to hide their argument as they are; they would just do it.
The Conservative agenda is to revoke trans rights, if not entirely then, to the point of true preposterousness. They hold up women as a shield in the same way the Nazis did, in the same way, the Americans did against gay people in the 50s. This is not up for debate; their fear tactic is obvious. Unfortunately, the general population is silent. The Torys know that transphobia is increasing within the people, but rather than standing with the trans community, they are standing with the people, which is not only cowardly but directly against The Equality Act, which states that sex and age are characteristics and disabled and transgender people that are and should be protected. This should not be tolerable, but it is – even within the Labour Party for many. The idea that transgender people are predators is a fascist notion and is being portrayed as such by the majority party, one of the biggest reasons trans hate crime is on the rise. It is a myth and should be understood as such.
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 – https://www.rainn.org/statistics/perpetrators-sexual-violence
 – https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/5/13/17938102/transgender-people-bathrooms-locker-rooms-schools
 – https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2016/apr/01/chris-sgro/equality-nc-director-no-public-safety-risks-cities/
 – https://www.mediamatters.org/sexual-harassment-sexual-assault/15-experts-debunk-right-wing-transgender-bathroom-myth
 – https://www.stonewall.org.uk/system/files/lgbt_in_britain_hate_crime.pdf