Without surcease, the progressive law-givers scold the rest of us about the evils of bullying. Much of it, they say, is the bullying of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning and gender fluid children by those ugly, ignorant little monsters who can’t stand change and who are on the wrong side of history.
The latest reprimands are directed at parents, students and anyone who objects to a transgender male who, under federal edict, has been given unfettered access to the Fremd High School locker rooms and bathrooms in Chicago’s northwest suburban Palatine. And if you read Edwin C. Yohka’s Chicago Tribune op-ed (”Taunting transgender children is off limits,” May 6, 2016) you’d definitely get the idea that straight, narrow-minded and mean-spirited straight children are the only kids who are doing the taunting.
This, of course, is right in line with the progressive ultimatum that anyone who disagrees with their agenda, even gently so, is homophobic and transphobic.
The only problem is that Yohka, director of communications and public policy at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, has got this only half-right. The straight Fremd girls, their parents and friends are being viciously targeted by other students for trying to defend their right to bodily privacy.
According to the Obama administration’s gender definition cops, five “changing stalls” in the girls’ narrow locker room should be enough to protect the privacy rights of girls who don’t want to change in the presence of a biological male. Yet bullying is a two-way street at Fremd. The lawsuit alleges:
A Girl Plaintiff in [transgender] Student A’s PE [physical education] period used one of the changing stalls on a single occasion because she is uncomfortable changing in the same locker room with a biological boy. While she was in the changing stall, other girls who were in the locker room began calling her names, including “transphobic” and “homophobic.” Word spread that she had used the stall to change during PE class and she began being harassed by other students in the hallways. Both boys and girls called her names, yelled derogatory, slang words for female body parts at her, and accused her of being transphobic and homophobic. As a result of the ridicule and harassment this Girl Plaintiff received over her use of the stalls, she has not used them again.This Girl Plaintiff is the student described above who now wears two sets of clothes to school so as to avoid having to undress at all in the locker room.
The school, at the prodding of the Obama administration, is making sure that “any objection to the Locker Room Agreement (or the Restroom Policy) will be viewed by District administration as intolerance and bigotry.” To make sure the message is drilled into everyone’s head, the school district is holding meetings in each district school and in the community, run by “experts on gender identity issues.” One not need to ask whether experts from the other side will be there for a more informed discussion. The answer is obvious, because we are instructed from on high that there is no other side.
Experts such as Yohnka, objected in his Tribune op-ed to what he would have everyone believe is concerted homophobic attack by anyone who disagrees with him and the Obama administration. He intoned:
In three decades of working on public policy, there were a few rules that every thoughtful person in this work followed. On top of that list was the principle that personal attacks on children are off limits. No matter how fierce the advocacy, you never single out or demean a child in order to advance a particular position. Not any longer, apparently.
Yohnka made clear in the next paragraph that the Parents and Students lawsuit constituted this kind of “personal attack on children.”
Why the girls are embarrassed
It should be interesting to hear how Yohnka and others of the like mind will respond to the lawsuit’s statement of how the girls are being intimidated and embarrassed. The suit lays out the complaints:
Because of Defendants’ Policies and actions, the girls are afraid of having to attend to their most personal needs, especially during a time when their body is undergoing often embarrassing changes as they transition from childhood to adulthood, in a locker room or restroom with a male present.
The embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation, and loss of dignity these girls experience because of Defendants’ Policies and actions are heightened because as adolescents they are at a time in their lives when they are the most shy, embarrassed, and aware of their bodies and the differences between their bodies and the bodies of their male classmates.
The Locker Room Agreement and Restroom Policy have had and continue to have a profoundly negative effect on the girls’ access to educational opportunities, benefits, programs, and activities at their schools:
(a) some girls actively avoid the locker rooms at school; (b) one girl has started wearing her gym clothes underneath her regular clothes all day, so she only has to peel off a layer instead of exposing her unclothed body in the presence of a biological male in the locker room; (c) other girls are changing as quickly as possible in the locker room, avoiding all eye contact and conversation, all the while experiencing great stress and anxiety over whether a biological male will walk in while they are unclothed; (d) some girls are avoiding the restroom altogether, and others are waiting as long as possible to use the restroom, so they won’t have to share it with a biological male, thus risking certain health problems; and (e) still other girls are risking tardiness by running to the opposite end of the school, during short 5 minute passing periods, to try to find an empty restroom.
None of this matters to the so-called gender experts who say that bodily sexual characteristics should make no difference to a 14-year-old girl–clearly a ridiculous statement to many women and parents of those young girls.
Among those to whom its matters not is reliably liberal Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke, who ignores any assertions that young girls might be damaged. Huppke, like others, concocts a ridiculous straw man of opponents:
While I’m sure protectors of the sanctity of bathrooms will conjure scenarios in which horny teen boys try to get into the girls washroom, those already unlikely scenarios become pure fiction with the caveat that a parent must confirm a student has come out as transgender.
No, that’s not the point. And if Huppke and others could just momentarily consider both sides of the argument in an honest way they’d understand what the girls are afraid of. They shouldn’t be, we’re told, because their discomfort or embarrassment should not prevent someone from exercising their “rights”–as if it is a right to self-define where you can change your clothes, shower or use the toilet. It’s a measure of the how ignorant and heartless we have become.
Related: Thomas More Society argues that the Obama administration lacks any federal legal backing or authority for the bathroom guidelines issued today to public schools and universities nationwide.
I warned in a Weekly Standard article that this battle was about to come to a high school near you. Here is the Obama administration’s directive as reported by the Tribune.
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