Skip to main content's dishonest distortion of the bathroom issue has "debunked" a story about a man dressing as a woman who filmed real women using the bathroom in California. The trouble is that the story is mostly true- not, as Snopes claims, "mostly false. "

James Pomere's arrest for dressing as a woman and filming women in public bathrooms was reported by Breitbart (not, admittedly, the most reliable of sources) as having taken place "over the weekend." In fact, it occurred in 2013. But other than that, the distorting of the facts is done by Snopes, not by Breitbart.

First, nobody to my knowledge claims, as the Snopes account implies, that the man actually was transgendered. The implication  buys into the dishonest narrative that people who support the North Carolina "bathroom law" or elements of it are afraid of misbehavior by gays (!) and transgendered people in women's bathrooms. It's a necessary lie in order to preserve the false and dishonest argument that the North Carolina law and those concerned about forced elimination of separate bathrooms for men and women are based on bigotry of some kind. That lie is so important to the case for the forced merger of bathrooms that opponents of the North Carolina law often persist in repeating it even after having the real basis of the concern explained to them.

The real issue is the danger posed precisely by heterosexual men who very definitely identify as men and who would be enabled by unisex bathroom laws to invade women's privacy, just as this guy did- or even worse, to rape or sexually molest women and girls using the facilities. Transgendered people and certainly gays are the last people we're worried about!

This does not mean that unisex bathrooms are always bad. Some are located in places where the abuse of the very privacy which bathrooms are supposed to provide to victimize people sexually isn't a threat. Some may be located in churches or other places where close-knit groups of people enjoy a high enough level of mutual trust that the issue doesn't arise. There may well be all sorts of circumstances in which unisex bathrooms might be appropriate; there are plenty of places which have them already with no problems whatsoever. The issue is requiring that all public restrooms be unisex and thereby depriving people uncomfortable about using such a facility of the opportunity to enjoy the privacy they have a right to expect.

The statement that the law does not legalize taking filming equipment into bathrooms is similarly a red herring. Nobody suggested that it does. The issue has nothing to do with either filming equipment or, for that matter, gay or transgendered people.The issue is that facilitating access to women's bathrooms by men is going to make it easier for non-transgendered, heterosexual creeps to spy on and even molest women in a situation in which they have every right to expect privacy.

Snopes should be ashamed of itself. It does exactly the same kind of thing with this story which the site supposedly exists to challenge when others do it.This is not about opening women's bathrooms to transgendered people. It's about opening bathrooms to men who may very well not be transgendered, and may be up to no good. And is' a very bad idea.

Why not at least provide separate bathrooms for those who are uncomfortable using ones in which members of the opposite sex can come casually strolling in, for good reasons or for bad? Why make things easier for people like James Pomere?


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