Discriminating against the majority

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  • The first time I stepped into a café where the bathrooms are unisex, I felt very uncomfortable. I grew up with two brothers, but they are relatives, and I had to share the bathroom with two other siblings aside from them. The thought of using a bathroom that was pre-occupied previously by a man did not agree with me, but then again, that is a personal preference. The problem is, when a personal preference is being arm-wrestled into a law,  it only serves a few, and I have a serious problem with this.

    The Rules of Law state that the laws should be “clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights.” They should also be “delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.” Using this premise, let me show you why the genderless bathroom law does not sit well with me.

    First, because the genderless bathroom only serves the transgendered, the law does not apply evenly to all. It violates core human rights, like mine and many other women, who have been raised culturally, socially and psychologically to keep our privates private, especially from the opposite gender. It also violates our security and the sad part is, it disables us to behave and react in certain ways in response to our biological systems such as our ovulation and menstrual cycles. Most women, especially young girls, do not like to discuss, much more expose themselves and their period to total strangers, and to think that they have to share this experience with men in the bathroom stall next to theirs is unthinkable.  While transgendered women are surgically-enabled women, they do not share our psychological and physiological systems in order for them to understand what we go through every month. Being a woman is a right, I was born with this right and so did many others, and for that right to be encroached for the sake of political correctness is unfair to my biological gender. Last time I checked, there were more of us than them, which means we constitute a majority, and I don’t remember being asked by lawmakers if we women agreed with this law or not.

    Second, were these laws really delivered by “competent, ethical and independent representatives” and are “neutral of sufficient number”? Do they reflect the makeup of the communities they serve? I live in Surrey, and there are a lot of families in our community that do not agree with laws like these, yet bylaws are enacted despite the outcry of the majority. Take for example the “universal” change room at the North Delta Recreation Center that seeks to provide facilities for whole families, meaning people of both genders can be in the same change room to help with their children. While it all seems harmless and rosy, most residents of Delta wrote, emailed, and sought an explanation of the decision to no avail. They were not consulted, and concerned parents just decided not to use the facilities. If the Rule of Law does seek to reflect the communities they serve, how could North Delta Rec Centre have missed their community?

    And where are the feminists in all of this? Where are the rabid fighters of women’s rights? This is an issue of women’s rights, so why aren’t they fighting?

    When a law is enacted because of the controversy perpetrated by a few, for example, the three same-sex couples who fought the law for civil liberties in 1999, which eventually became same-sex marriage law of 2005, it only sought to answer the needs of six people versus 25 million Canadians. How does that reflect the needs of an entire community?

    I truly understand that the transgendered community wishes to be recognized for who they are, and I am all for it. There are ways for this issue to be resolved and not put anyone to a disadvantage, especially young girls and their parents who worry about predators that may take advantage of this provision of law. Availability of unisex bathrooms should be an option, and establishments just need to fork out a few more dollars to build one. If having just one universal bathroom or change room is a way to penny-pinch, then it does not serve all the members of the community but only a few. I grew up in a democratic system where the rule of the majority is followed. Discriminating against the majority turns all the Greek philosophers in their graves.

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