Guns don’t kill people. People kill people, and there are already laws against that. I’ve heard this argument about gun control for at least 20 years, and it never changes anyone’s mind. I’ve lived in rural America, grown up around guns, and even won my extended family reunion’s target competition. I’ve also lived where guns flood the street and the sanctity of life is a foreign virtue. You can hear the gunshots from my bedroom window almost every night. But this isn’t a post about gun control. That’s a whole other topic for a whole other day, on which I’m sure we’ll spill plenty of ink.
What I don’t understand is how people use this argument for guns but not for other criminal activity.
I know this may be a controversial position to take, but here goes: Bathrooms don’t rape people. People rape people, and there are already laws against that. With the exception of a fascinating Japanese bidet at an airport in Tokyo, I have never once felt violated by anything that a toilet has done to me. The stall doors, sinks, and urinals are innocent too.
Yet there are folks who think that bathrooms at Target are the biggest problem America is facing.
Guess how many instances have been reported in American history of non-cis folks sexually assaulting someone in the opposite gender bathroom? None. That’s right, it has never, ever been reported. Not a single time.
Call me crazy, but I think the reason most non-cis people go into bathrooms is because they have to pee.
There are plenty of people who have been assaulted or raped by family members, but we aren’t outlawing the nuclear family. There have been plenty of people assaulted or raped by acquaintances while on dates, many more at frat parties. You know who rapes people? Rapists. And they don’t really care where it is. And guess what? There are already laws that are in place to prosecute those who are responsible for these dehumanizing and abhorrent acts.
Outside of the fact that some ridiculous laws like this would be virtually impossible to police (are James Dobson, folks from the American Family Association, and State Troopers from North Carolina checking everyone’s genitalia before they go inside?), this does more to destroy the witness of the people of God than any sort of safety it might provide. In fact, we really need to ask whose safety we are really concerned about. Dehumanization always precedes and seeks to justify violence and exclusion. When non-cis folks are made a target (no pun intended) for boycotts and protests, they are robbed of the simple dignity of going pee in the bathroom they feel most comfortable in.
Is this a movement you are proud to be a part of? If it is already illegal to sexually assault, rape, or peep at people, why don’t you just focus on enforcing the laws already on the books instead of further alienating a population already on the margins? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things to be outraged about. Sexual assaults and rapes happen every day – on college campuses, churches, homes, and elsewhere – and we participate in this culture when we sexualize, objectify, and dehumanize each other (particularly women) in a million ways. If you really want to protect your daughters, maybe start there.