After awhile, reporting on the anti-transgender bathroom and locker room hysteria gets pretty old and pretty repetitious. But, it seems to not be getting old for Ruth Jacobs of Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government. On Friday, February 26, 2010, the Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government released another blast of hysteria filled with nothing but blatant fear mongering. Just the crazy font and color schema of their opening paragraphs should give you an idea of the email’s tone:
It’s back! Despite failing to get their Gender Identity/Peeping Tom legislation out of Committee in 2009, the LGBT lobby is trying yet again. They’ve dusted off last year’s legislation, and re-introduced it as HB-1022 (House bill) and SB-583 (Senate bill). With the 2008 Montgomery Co. Gender Identity/Bathroom bill passed- despite the protests of citizens- and the recent rape of a student by a male in a female bathroom in Takoma Park, Mont. Co. MD, the dangers to women of HB1022/SB583 Gender Identity/Bathroom bills are clear.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN!
STOP HB-1022 and SB583Don’t allow men in women’s bathroom, lockers or shower areas.CALL OR E-MAIL NOW
Your calls will HELP STOP IT AGAIN!
Ask legislators to vote NO
It would be too easy to laugh at this email as crazy, and boneheaded, blatantly raising false fears over bathroom and locker room safety — but let’s be honest with ourselves. This is the second year Ruth Jacobs and the Citizens For A Responsible Government have used these kind of tactics to stop a statewide bill within Maryland in the past, and last year the bill was killed — and they’re taking credit for killing the bill.
But let’s point out a flaw or two in the reasoning of the email blast. One significant problem is the citing a the case of a man who raped a woman in a public bathroom. Well, the rapist wasn’t crossdressed, and he didn’t identify as a transsexual — or even under the broader trans umbrella term of transgender. This is seems a case to me of an argument from spurious similarity — where there’s actually no similarity at all.
The main critique of their tactics is something I wrote about in a piece last year entitled Again With The Bathrooms:
[T]o my point about what’s wrong with the fears expressed in this opposition piece about bathroom predators — Maryland Citizens For A Responsible Government needs to be able to tell us exactly how many predators across the nation have crossdressed and entered women’s restrooms to do harm to women and children. Their argument needs statistics, and this organization doesn’t have ‘em.
If Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government can cite some real world examples that back why their fears should guide public policy, I’d like to see these examples. So far, all I see from the organization is arguments that seem to be based on irrational fears.
Ruth Jacobs and the Maryland Citizens For A Responsible Government are engaging in unabashed fear mongering; it’s pretty clear to me that the fear mongering is based within hate for trans people. At least if Ruth and company are going to rail against the bill, they should do it with honest representation of trans people and experience, and not misrepresent what even they know is true about trans people and experience.
* Opposing Views: Maryland Gender Identity Bill Endangers Women and Kids (By Maryland Citizens For A Responsible Government)
* Pam’s House Blend tag: Bathroom
* White Male Privilege & Women’s Fear Of Crime Intersecting With Gender Expression & Public Restrooms
* When It Comes To Transgender People & Civil Rights, It Really Is Always About The Bathroom
* Always With The Bathroom; Always With The Misrepresentations
* AFA Michigan’s Gary Glenn Up To The Usual Fear Tactics — This Time In Kalamazoo
* A Further Update: Why A Commission Is Investigating The Suspension Of A Trans Student
* The Predator Argument Doesn’t Work With Transgender Fifth Graders
* Kevin Moore’s Take On Colorado’s “Bathroom Police”
* If Dr. Dobson Were King, We’d All Be Wearing Depends
* The Non-Trans Woman Thrown Out Of A NY Women’s Restroom Sues
* Outing #2: When You Endanger A Child For The Sensationalism Of It
* Latest Attacks Of Teh HomoSEXual Agenda’s Transgenderededs’s Bullet Points