My Side of the Fence

The danger isn't going too far. It's that we don't go far enough.

Catching Up

Just a few random things….

Good response to last weeks post on part of the CIP program.  Got some interesting responses from a couple of our elected leaders.  Whatever happens it is pretty clear this hasn't been well communicated or even thought out….why else would you buy property before "anything has been decided"?  This is bad for an expenditure of this type.  Hopefully our government gets it together although I see nobody picking up the standard and making it happen so I'm not all that optimistic.  Saying you support something is a lot easier and politically cheaper than building the consensus necessary to make things happen.  I hear a lot of the former and none of the latter.  We shall see.

I had occasion to travel to the Chicago suburbs this week.  I didn't like it much.  The roads were horrible and they have unattended toll booths there.  I expect a love note from the state of Illinois on that matter.  They also have "right turn on red" there but many of the intersections are marked "no turn on red".  I expect a further love note from my friends in Illinois on that front.  The weather continues to suck anywhere that I happen to be and the place where I was this week was just kind of "meh".  Chain restaurant hell, lousy hotel gym.  No pool.  Long meetings.  It seems odd to say but I am glad I went as I learned a lot but I didn't much enjoy the experience.  The first night the thunderstorms were so intense I kept checking my phone for tornado alerts.  Interestingly, the tornado shelters in O'Hare airport are the bathrooms.  Wonder if it matters which one you go in during a tornado?

Speaking of which.  While I was waiting for my return flight I went into the bathroom and was standing at the urinal when a person dressed in a skirt and blouse walked up to a urinal a couple down from mine, hiked up their skirt and peed in the urinal.  I am proud to announce that the world didn't end.  It was unusual for sure and, as I was busy, I have no idea if that was a male or female.  I honestly don't care.  I understand that my lady friends may have to conduct more complicated business in the restroom but if you want to dress up like a woman (or be an actual woman) and go into the Men's room, be my guest.

My take on this issue is two-fold.  First off, from a cynical point of view, I'm suspicious of the timing.  I hate to be that cynic but it reminds me of the I-66 toll "issue" last year.  It seems like a convenient way to distract folks from the persistent and, as of now, unsolved problems in our country.  It's a powerful, visceral issue and, in the hands of our political machines, sure to turnout voters on both sides of the issue while leaving our more serious problems untouched.

As to the issue itself, I understand that people have real and deeply held opinions on this issue.  Many of those opinions are tied to their faith.  I get that.  I also get that folks in the LGBT crowd feel as though their rights have been abridged. My take on this comes from my years in municipal government and in civil administration simpler is better: if you look like a woman, use the ladies room.  If not, use the other one.  I realize that answer will make nobody happy but it does work in the real world….and quite frankly has been how the world has worked until this debate arose.  Imagine a place like Fedex field with men wandering into the womens rest room….and vice versa.  I think that's chaos.  Laws that say "go to the restroom of your original sex" just seem problematic to enforce.  It's going to take about 10 minutes until there is a "prove it" moment in a public place….and it is going to be a woman dressed as a man….going into the ladies room.  Not hard to see that coming.

There's some problems that maybe the government shouldn't solve?….and maybe some problems right up the governments alley that are being ignored?

1 Comment

  1. I used to have to travel to Chicagoland quite a bit. Has one of those experiences with the unattended tolls as well, which involved exiting my rental to access the change in my laptop bag…which was in the trunk. The trucker behind me wasn't too pleased.

    As far as the bathroom issues go, I am a bit amazed that people seem to think this issue is limited to who pees or dumps where, and they also seem to think public facilities are only visited by adults. If it were limited to adults, my concerns would be different. Ladies who want to brave the funk of a men's room…rock on. My concern is when there are kids involved. Public school showers and locker-rooms. Those who say "that ain't part of the discussion" need to read up on this a bit. They are wrong, but they can still fix themselves with a bit of education.

    Also, I am amazed at the lack of familiarity with the purpose of title IX. Title IX was put in place to ensure equal funding & access to sports programs, in schools taking Federal money (ie. pretty much every public school). If a girl wanted to wrestle, the school had 2 choices: Either start a girls wrestling program, or let the girl try out for the boys team. This is why so many NE schools now have a girls Ice Hockey program, and now many colleges do as well. Title IX wasn't intended for "everyone can go everywhere". Applied to restrooms, locker and shower facilities, it should be "use the facility that corresponds with your sex, and if you are uncomfortable, here's a private facility…just for you. It's about equality of access to funds…nothing more.

    I agree that the timing of this is meant to exploit "IDG": Ignorance, Distraction, Guilt, and you may not have a problem with it. Your daughter is off to college, and is an adult. Mine is 9 years old. She has to use the women's locker rooms at Freedom or other public facility…like say Stonewall Pool. The potential for abuse of any policy is huge. How can you kick a teen-aged boy out of the womens locker-room when he "self identifies" as a girl? Manassas (City Of) hasn't had to deal with this…yet.

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