Via The Sexist:
Barney Frank says he supports transgender protections in ENDA, so why the fuck is he talking like this?:
“There’s no chance of doing it without it,” he said of the transgender protections.
Frank said he’s told wavering Democrats that “the principle is the same. It’s discrimination.”
He said concessions were made in the drafting of the language to address moderates’ concerns. For instance, Frank said, transgender people with “one set of genitals” would not be able to go to a bathroom for people with another set of genitals.
And, Frank said, they also would have to have a “consistent gender presentation” in order to be able to sue for discrimination.
“They can’t sit there with a full beard and a dress,” Frank said.
Language in the bill says that trans people cannot be forced to use a restroom that is not consistent with their gender presentation, but apparently, trans people who haven’t yet had surgery can be barred from the restrooms consistent with their gender presentation.
This kind of restroom panic is not new to Barney Frank, as Marti lays out in excruciating and extensive detail. Barney has always been obsessed with trans women’s genitals, constantly bringing up scenarios of helpless cis women being confronted by trans penises in restrooms, showers, locker rooms, as a reason to keep trans people out of ENDA. Barney is not simply trying to compromise with so-called moderates on the so-called issue of trans women in women’s restrooms, he has consistently advanced the arguments that they should use to either demand such compromises or refuse to support a trans-inclusive ENDA. Some examples from Marti’s post:
Miranda Stevens-Miller said of Barney Frank:
A little while later, I found Barney without a group of people around him, so I once again engaged him in conversation. “So,” I said, “does your support of transgender inclusion in the VAWA mean that you might be changing your mind about inclusion of gender-variant people in ENDA?” An innocent enough question, but you would have thought that I was threatening him with a loaded weapon. He got red in the face and started shouting, “Never.” His problem was that until we could answer the question of “people with penises in [women's] showers,” there is no way that he would support it. The conversation got rather heated to say the least. And with Barney speaking very loudly and repeatedly about “penises in showers,” we attracted a lot of attention in the restaurant.
In fact, it was déjà vu, recalling a similar conversation we had almost two years ago when Barney was in town for a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats. At that time, it was “men in women’s bathrooms.” I pointed out to him that while he was discussing urinary rights, I was talking about human rights and employment discrimination. His only come-back was, “What’s the matter? You too good to talk about bathrooms?”
She has several more quotes at the link.
This is strictly an appeal to transphobic emotions as well as establishing that trans people are to be separate but equal in the eyes of the law. As Gudbuytjane says:
Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to critique this, and if folks can read it and still not see why it is transphobic I’m at a loss. Policing us is no less oppressive when it’s done by gay people, and Barney Frank is using the language of oppressors here.
Classist (only those who can afford or choose to have genital surgery get to use the bathroom?), misogynist (women aren’t women if they have facial hair), anti-Intersex (there are only two kinds of genitals in Frank’s world)… I could go on, but I’ve said it before: Social justice is not going to come from cis, white men.
I’m tired of this, tired of one of the foremost proponents of ENDA being the foremost opponent to transgender protections. If he can’t excise us completely, he wants to be sure the law reminds us that we’re not as deserving of human respect as cis people.
As Mercedes pointed out last month, the supposed trans woman predator hasn’t materialized in the real world. It’s used to attack every attempt (many successful) to get transgender protections of any kind, but it just doesn’t happen:
Society grows, adjusts, and absorbs each new experience into its vernacular, although it has to be occasionally reinforced if it’s to be kept from being forgotten…. And by accepting the repeated expression of individuality of others, society grows less threatened by any one individual.
This is part of what has been happening with transgender and transsexual communities, and we see it in sharp focus in the “bathroom predator” meme that has been taking place in recent months. Panic about the possibility of transsexual women using the same public washroom as someone’s wife, daughter, girlfriend, etc. has been used to oppose legislation that would protect transsexual and transgender people — and gay, lesbian and bisexual folks — frequently in recent years, even if the legislation in question said nothing at all about restrooms. Panic sometimes used successfully.
But the fearmongering that this argument has been able to achieve has also started to wane. Society is largely coming to terms with the reality that with over 130 pieces of similar legislation — some dating back to the 1970s — this fear has never been realized, and there is no quantifiable evidence to connect LGBT people to predatory behaviour in public washrooms. Sometimes the naysayers will find some predatory washroom incident to point to as “proof,” but inevitably it becomes obvious that sexual orientation or gender identity were not part of the equation at all.