The battle for North Carolina
Well, here's a more significant crack in the wall. Some state legislators have introduced a bill to repeal the law. While it's unlikely to get far right away, it shows that the wave of boycotts, business withdrawals, and criticism is having its impact. As I observed recently, very powerful economic forces are now arrayed against the primitive taboos and prejudices. The reactionary forces in Indiana surrendered last year, as did those of Georgia this month. Keep up the pressure, and the same will happen in North Carolina and Mississippi.
On a related note: I have been hesitant to comment on another much-discussed aspect of the North Carolina law -- its demand that transgender people use restrooms based on their original biological gender as opposed to their gender identity -- because, frankly, I've been a lot less confident that our side occupies the moral high ground on that issue. I know that the possibility of male sexual aggression causes women legitimate concern, even fear, in many situations. Is the bathroom issue being driven solely by the usual haters who always try to bash and denigrate anyone who is sexually unconventional in whatever way, or is it also women motivated not by bigotry but by an understandable nervousness at the thought of women's restrooms being accessible to persons who are, from a strictly anatomical viewpoint, male? An unambiguous man walking into a women's restroom would, after all, quickly be taken as a possible threat.
A couple of other bloggers have recently provided some reassurance on this. In response to a comment of mine on her blog where I mentioned this point, Shaw Kenawe observed:
It's a real good bet that many transgender men who identify as women have been using the "Ladies Room" everywhere, and no one was aware that there was a problem. It's only since certain red states decided that it is a problem that it's even come to anyone's attention. I've been in a room full of transgender females (at a luncheon) and I'd challenge anyone coming into the restaurant without knowing this to claim they were men.
And Republic of Gilead, back with a welcome barrage of posts after a three-week hiatus, devotes two of them to the topic -- the second of which emphasizes that women's groups and anti-sexual-assault groups are overwhelmingly aligned against the North Carolina law.
So it seems that once again what we're seeing is merely a passel of taboo-driven bigots demonizing an ill-understood minority and trying to turn that minority into a bogeyman to whip up fear. As a civilized society, we cannot allow them to succeed in this.
No compromises. Crush them. We are strong enough for that now.