Proponents of anti-trans bills, which are sweeping the country, purport a twofold argument about safety: 1. A man is a man no matter how he dresses, so letting him into the women’s bathroom is absurd. 2. Male perverts and pedophiles disguised as women (faux transgender people) will troll women’s bathrooms and sexually assault our wives and daughters.
But the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union say there is no statistical evidence of violence to justify the laws. They argue the bills are irrational, conflict with federal law and veritably endanger trans people. A slew of corporations, from Target to PayPal, agree.
So what is the crux of the issue?
“The anxiety isn’t men in women’s bathrooms, it’s about masculinity in the wrong place,” said Katherine Franke, director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. “It’s portrayed as a threat to women, but on a much deeper level, it’s about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.”