Why fix a problem that doesn’t exist?

We all know what this symbol means:


Two people are not allowed to share an iPad.

Just kidding. It means the lavatory in the airplane is occupied. Also that it can be used by persons of either gender.

Which gender you are is of no concern to the airline. Or to the lavatory. Because it doesn’t matter.

The fact that lavatories outside airplanes generally sort visitors by gender is also not a big deal. They’ve done that for a long time. To my knowledge this is a matter of custom more than of law.

But for some damn fool reason, “conservative” legislators (you know, the kind that supposedly don’t like new laws and bigger government) in North Carolina, which was my home state for two decades, decided to pass the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which was meant to overturn a piece of local legislation in Charlotte prohibiting operators of public facilities from discriminating on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Much freaking out has ensued since then. All of it could have been avoided if conservative sympathies actually applied. Meaning, leave well enough alone.

Or just don’t be stupid and pigheaded, which North Carolina’s legislature and governor are clearly being right now.




  1. vanderleun’s avatar

    You know Doc, pretending that you don’t really know what’s going on in this particular phase of norming the perverted in the culture wars is really sort of beneath a guy with your intellect.

    You don’t have to virtue signal like this. We all know your are a good guy who always does goodthink and who never does crimethink.

  2. Joe Clark’s avatar

    Very nice as an analogy, but what MTF transgenders and their apologists actually want is the unfettered right to enter sex-segregated female private spaces, very much including athletic changing rooms and battered-women’s shelters, on nothing more than their claimed subjective belief they are “women.”

    They aren’t.

    Ask the women in your life if you’ve been wrong all along and there have always been two kinds of women, those with penises and those without.

    Despite the misapprehension communicated by your cute American alliteration “bathroom bill,” the live question here is not “bathrooms” but male-bodied persons in all-female spaces. If you want to enable those men to enter women’s spaces at will, please explicitly say so here so we know you actually understand the only actual real issue.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Joe, I’ve known more than a few MTF transgendered people over my many years. Some have “passed” perfectly, others less so. But, far as I know, all have been welcomed and supported by other women, including random ones they encounter in rest rooms. I also don’t know any women who are unsympathetic to the trans members of their gender. Quite the opposite. And I know a lot of women.

    Anyway, my point with this post, for what it’s worth, is the lack of a need for new laws restricting who can use which gender-identified facilities. Guess you think we need some. I don’t.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Not pretending anything, vanderleun. Just remarking on an absent need, for the benefit the my many dozens of friends and relatives back in North Carolina. Thought they could use a little bit of help. As for “norming the perverted,” I tend to agree with Yuval Noah Harari: everything that happens in nature is natural, even if we don’t like it.

  5. Dr Marketing’s avatar

    Doc you’re one of my idols. But you’ve just reassured me that in the realm of your vast and powerful intellect there are corners of blank space. Your position is not at issue. But an airline restroom as your example of a public one?? Come on – surely there would be NO debate if ALL public facilities were of the single user variety.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Dr, thanks for the kind thoughts. FWIW, I regard my mind as neither vast nor powerful, and the blank spaces there are more like galaxies than corners.

    I know my position is not at issue. That’s why I bring it up. To me neither the Charlotte nor the State lawmaking on the matter of public lavatories were necessary. Now that they’re fully politicized, and the positions on them fully polarized, that simple position — let well enough alone — is all but lost.

    I would have no problem with removing gender segregation from all public lavatories. I also appreciate the fact that incumbent plumbing and architecture, which put urinals in one room and nothing but stalls in the one next door, will take decades to change, and will surely happen only if regulation requires it, which will probably take decades as well, with countless arguments of the current variety raging along the way.

    Our culture is only beginning to cope with the simple fact that the number and variety of LGBT folks in our midst is actually quite large, and requires many new forms and degrees of respect for which there is little precedent. Gay marriage, now enfranchised by federal decree, is still not welcomed by a huge percentage of the American public, and even less accepted elsewhere in the world. I am sure in the fullness of time it will become ordinary. Transgender people will also become far more accepted. One of my best friends in (our all-boys) high school became a woman only recently. It hurts to reflect on the hell she went through trying to operate as a male for most of her life. While life in transition has been hard for her, I’m glad she finally lives in a time when changing gender is far more welcomed by society than it used to be. I don’t know how much of an issue choosing a public bathroom was for her before the current fracas broke out, but I’m sure it’s worse now.

  7. Dr Marketing’s avatar

    Thanks Doc. I do hope that we all evolve to a time where none of this matters.

Comments are now closed.