Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ignorance and Hate in the Tar Heel State

Okay, what's up with this whole bathroom thing?

Back on March 16, the North Carolina General Assembly passed HB 2, banning employers and businesses from discriminating against employees or customers based on their race, color, country of origin, religion, age or “biological sex.”

Which is good... ish. Problem is, by saying what can't be done, Carolina's new law is actually implying what can be done. Omitted from the bill's language is any prohibition on discriminatory practices against those who identify with a different sex than the one designated to them at birth.

Before we go too much further, help me understand why—what were the true motivations behind such a strange rule? Why did a state's congress spend so much time and energy crafting this legislation? Here's all I could come up with, as explained by Davy Doug Duggar, Carolina kissin' cousin to the celebrated Duggar clan of Arkansas:

a) Fear—"Y'all just watch. Y'all gonna see those goddamn abonimabations settin' up shop in every laydees room from here to Stoney Creek. 'Specially that one down the hall from the food court at Raleigh Mall. Y'all never mind how I know that, I just do, a'ight?"

b) Power—"Case y'all forgot, we're the waht gahs. We in charge. Y'all can take yer baby killers, Mexicans and freaks and dump 'em on off in San Francisco or Seattle or one o' them other shit holes in California."

c) The convenience of dealing in absolutes—"Ever since Adam and Eve was cast out of the Olive Garden, men have held sole possession of the penis. Except that Jamie Lee Curtis, and ah do love her work."

Feel free to add your own theory, because this whole thing freaking flummoxes me. And in terms of item c), while life is mostly grey, there are plenty of black and white issues I can get behind. Here's three off the tip of my tongue:

1) There will never be a perfect ratio of chips to salsa. Ever.

2) The coat closet can never be left partially open. Since moving in, I've closed it 6,022 times. Yes, I figured it out.

3) Cats are weird.


I mean, sure, at my current proportions I'm imposing enough to be Leo's prison daddy, but if I ever shrank to the size of a troll doll, first he'd torture me by slowly gnawing off my arms with his toothless gums, then finally halt my misery by clamping down on my little Adam's Applet.

Fickle beasts, they are.

Given more time to consider the concept, I'm sure most of us would be able to conjure up a few more examples of good and bad, of black and white, of right and wrong. But gender isn't one of them. What right have we to label someone as wrong or bad after what has surely been years of struggle and shamed secrecy in pursuit of his or her true identity?

I'll answer that one, too—we don't have that right. If you're uncomfortable with your kid using a public restroom, go in with them or find a single-occupancy "family" facility. And speaking of family, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, of the 69,000 child abductions that occurred in 1999, about 82 percent of them were perpetrated by family members, and 11 percent by friends of the family (or other adults that the child knew well). So, North Carolina, if you really want to keep your children safe, maybe y'all should look a little closer to home. 

This is simply another in a long line of smoke screens churned up by repressed conservative men to keep the usual suspects in line. Anyone who disputes that our lives contain shades of grey apparently hasn't figured out how to utilize the grey matter God gave them.

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