Skip to main content

Snopes.com's dishonest distortion of the bathroom issue

Snopes.com 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?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jan Chamberlain's rhetoric is too strong. But the stand she has taken is right.

I do not share the religion of Jan Chamberlain. I don't even pray to the same god. But I can't help but admire the integrity of the woman who quit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than sing at Donald Trump's inauguration.

Ms. Chamberlain, like me, voted for Evan McMullin in November. Like me, she holds no brief for Hillary Clinton or her agenda. But she cannot, as she put it, "throw roses at Hitler."

As I've said before, comparing Trump to Hitler strikes me as harsh. I believe that Trump is a power-hungry narcissist who exhibits disturbing signs of psychopathy, like Hitler. Like Hitler, he has stigmatized  defenseless minorities- Muslims and undocumented aliens, rather than Jews- and made them scapegoats for the nation's troubles. Like Hitler, he has ridden a wave of irrational hatred and emotion to power. Like Hitler's, his agenda foreshadows disaster for the nation he has been chosen to lead.

But he's not going to set up death camps for Musli…

Neither Evan McMullin nor his movement are going away

Evan McMullin has devoted most of his post-college life- even to the point of foregoing marriage and a family- to fighting ISIS and al Qaeda and our nation's deadliest enemies as a clandestine officer for the CIA. He has done so at the risk of his life.

He has seen authoritarianism in action close-up. One of his main jobs overseas was to locate and facilitate the elimination of jihadist warlords. Evan McMullin knows authoritarians.

And when he looks at Donald Trump, what he sees is an authoritarian like the ones he fought overseas. He knows Donald Trump. After leaving the CIA he served as policy director for the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives. He tells about his first encounter with The Donald in that role in this opinion piece he wrote for today's New York Times.

In fact, when Mitt Romney and Tom Coburn and all the others who were recruited to run as a conservative third-party candidate against Trump and Hillary Clinton backed out,  McMulli…

Huzzah! Once again, 45 does something majorly right!

First. he appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and now 45 has- at long last- initiated a sensible space policy, with a plan to promote a "rapid and affordable" return to the moon carried out by private enterprise by 2020.  Afterward, it will be onward to Mars and beyond.

This is a great idea for three reasons. First, private enterprise is the future of space exploration, and as far as I know we will be the first spacefaring nation to put most of its eggs in that basket. Second, it's nice to have eggs! Since the Obama administration canceled the Constellation program to develop the Ares booster and the Orion crew vehicle (though it subsequently reinstated the Orion part of the program), the United States has been twiddling its thumbs while China has taken great leaps toward the moon and other countries- including Russia, India, and Japan- have to various degrees intensified their own space programs. It would be both tragic and foolhardy for the nation which first…