Over the past year, a lot of the focus in the debate over accommodations for transgender individuals has shifted from the “bathroom wars” of a few years ago to questions of equity in women’s and girls’ sports. The jury is still out on the sports question, but some of the original concerns over privacy rights have not gone away in the meantime. Another of these issues cropped up recently in a dispute involving a well-known spa named Wi Spa in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles. As the Washington Post recently reported in the most woke, politically correct fashion possible, a “transgender woman” entered the spa, went into the women’s section and disrobed in front of one woman and two young girls. This was described as a traumatizing event, particularly for the children, and a dispute ensued.
In their typical fashion, the Wapo relies mostly on quotes from transgender advocacy groups when breaking down the encounter. Here’s one example. (Emphasis added)
Women-only spaces should be protected, said Zac Boyer, manager of programs and outreach for the central Ohio-based LGBTQ organization Stonewall Columbus, but that doesn’t mean all women have the same genitals.
“If you don’t want your child to see a variety of bodies, don’t take them to naked spaces,” Boyer said.
Keep that comment about not taking your children “to naked spaces” in mind.
There’s plenty more along those lines, so I’m sure you get the general drift. The article points out that California is one of the states that has already passed laws barring “discrimination” against people who identify in this fashion. But what’s clear is that the customer in question hasn’t had any sort of trans surgery, so the young girls wound up in the spa’s locker room looking at a naked individual with a penis and testicles. This, we are asked to believe, is part of the “new normal.
In response to this story, James Joyner of Outside the Beltway described it as “an ugly situation that’s getting uglier.” I wanted to include his comments before adding my own.
The overwhelming percentage of the population has genitalia that conforms to their gender identity. And most people would prefer not to be naked in the presence of strangers with different genitalia. There’s a reason, after all, that we gender segregate restrooms, showers, and spas.
At the same time, transgender individuals face an enormous amount of trauma. A transwoman would certainly feel unsafe in a men’s locker room or spa, particularly if she’s partly transitioned.
I honestly don’t know what the answer is here. But telling the overwhelming majority of women that, if they don’t like seeing strange penises at the spa or locker rooms, they should refrain from going out in public is not it.
James is trying to take the most reasonable approach possible, which I can appreciate, but there isn’t always going to be a reasonable resolution to every dispute that will be accepted across the board. He’s correct to point out that there is “a reason we gender segregate restrooms, showers, and spas.” That reason is thousands of years of medical science and a societal consensus that people are entitled to privacy in places where they may be undressed (and potentially vulnerable) outside of their homes.
He is also correct to opine that telling parents who don’t want their young daughters exposed to the male genitals of adult strangers to not go out in public is not an answer.
We aren’t going to resolve these disputes when we have one side (with the full support of most of the media and liberal politicians) skipping over the fundamental, underlying questions. Up until very recently, the entire medical profession recognized gender dysphoria as a mental illness wherein a small percentage of people had beliefs that were in direct conflict with physical reality and medical science. It was grouped in with similar patients who have been diagnosed with clinical lycanthropy and Cotard’s syndrome. These are all maladies that are described as delusional breaks with reality.
Sadly, in recent years, some professional medical associations have bowed to woke social justice pressure and modified their medical terminology without one new bit of scientific evidence to back it up. These concessions have been taken to the courts and allowed to run wild. But the underlying reality has never changed. The human race is comprised of two genders, male and female, both of which are required for reproduction. With the exception of a vanishingly small number of people born with aberrant chromosomal structures, your gender is determined by one pair of chromosomes in your DNA.
The number of people who “identify” differently than the reality of their own bodies is minuscule. But the answer to any objections at this point is obviously the one quoted favorably in the WaPo article. The 99% of the population who recognize actual gender have to adjust to the other 1% or “stay home.” This is not an acceptable answer in a democratic society and should not be meekly accepted because a group of activists demand it.