Everyone Poops the 1977 children’s book by Taro Gomi is a story I remember being read to me growing up. Looking back on the text of the book, it’s actually kind of interesting. The whole point of the story is to de-stigmatize the idea of defecation in the minds of children who may not yet realize that this is a completely normal bodily function, experienced by all living things.
An elephant makes a big poop.
A mouse makes a tiny poop.
A one-hump camel makes a one-hump poop.
A two-hump camel makes a two-hump poop. Only kidding!
A number of incidents have come up over the past few months that makes me wonder: do the people who oppose letting transgender people use the correct bathroom understand the moral of Gomi’s story? From Fox News to Roseanne Barr to recognized hate groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, it seems as though these individuals have forgotten that, yes, transgender people poop, too.
They brand efforts to provide equal public accommodation rights to transgender people as “bathroom bills.” They support legislation that would bar us from the bathroom that best matches our gender, putting us at an elevated risk of rape, assault and murder. They push for a “separate but equal” approach of letting schools and businesses says, “sure, you can use the bathroom, but it’s going to be one further out of your way, across campus, or maybe even in an old storage closet.”
In March of this year, Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh introduced SB1432, a bill that stated: “a person commits disorderly conduct if the person intentionally enters a public restroom, shower, bath, dressing room or locker room and a sign indicates that the room is for the exclusive use of persons of one sex and the person is not legally classified on the person’s birth certificate as a member of that sex,” they are guilty of disorderly conduct, carrying with it a $2,500 fine and up to 6 months in jail.
Additionally, he presented the bill as “an emergency measure that is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety.” A transgender-specific emergency? Really?
The common argument brought up by these individuals is an obscure hypothetical situation, usually along the lines of, “we’re not doing this to stop people who actually are transgender; we’re doing this to protect women and children from a man who might throw on a dress just to go in and assault them.” Where do I even start with that one?
- Even if restrooms were gender-neutral and there was nothing stopping men from entering, assault would still be illegal.
- Someone terrible enough to assault someone in a bathroom isn’t going to let a sign on a door stand in their way.
- In the 174 cities and counties where transgender people are explicitly protected in terms of public accommodations (like bathrooms), I cannot, for the life of me, find a single instance where a man has thrown on a dress and assaulted a woman or a child. This is a case of a solution in search of a problem.
- While their “man in a dress” argument isn’t based in reality, transgender women forced to use men’s restrooms do find themselves targets for that kind of abuse.
Is the well-being of transgender people really so inconsequential? Do you really not care whether or not we’re raped, assaulted or murdered? Do these same people who argue that it’d be pointless to have stricter gun laws because “criminals will break the law, anyway, because they’re criminals” realize the hypocrisy in taking the exact opposite side of that argument by suggesting that would-be attackers are deterred solely by a sign on a bathroom door?
Assuming I use a public restroom twice a day for the past year, if I were in a world where Kavanagh’s law was in place, I’d find myself in a position where I’d be liable to serve up to 365 years in prison and over $1.8 million in fines. Still, it’s better than fearing for my life, which is what would happen if I was forced to use a men’s restroom.
All living things eat, so
I am a human being, and I poop.