The Federalist is a conservative garbage rag, which is hardly worthy of any decent person's attention, but this deserves a response: Kaeley Triller is a rape survivor who is using her history of abuse to argue against allowing transgender people to use the appropriate bathrooms, playing on the "trans predator" trope in the most cynical and harmful way.
I want to first say that I'm sorry Triller was abused. It makes me sad and it makes me angry.
But it also makes me sad and angry to see a fellow survivor engage in irresponsible fearmongering about trans people, trading on vicious narratives about trans predators in order to deny trans people—trans women, in particular—the needed and deserved safety that access to gender-appropriate bathrooms affords.
Triller, however, denies she believes trans people are all predators:
Let me be clear: I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot. What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children. It already happens. Just Google Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, or Taylor Buehler, for starters.Okay. So I did Google those names, and here is what I found: Jason Pomares is a cis male predator who dressed as a woman in order to secretly videotape women in a mall restroom. Norwood Smith Burnes is a cis male predator who dressed as a woman in order to expose himself to people in a Walmart restroom. Taylor Buehler is a cis male predator who dressed as a woman in order to engage in voyeurism in a college restroom.
None of them were trans women, and none of them were "pretending to be transgender." They were pretending to be women. That is not a semantic difference.
And if cis male predators are already dressing as women in order to gain access to women's restrooms, then preventing trans women from using women's restrooms is totally irrelevant, unless one believes that trans women are disposed toward predation.
Triller can insist all she wants that she doesn't think trans women themselves are all predators, but denying them access to safe toileting because their very existence gives cover to cis male predators, and conflating trans women with cis male predators in wigs and bras, is no fucking better.
And it's just a bullshit cover, anyhow, because she goes on at length about how allowing trans women in women's bathrooms puts women and children at risk for sexual assault, and then utterly gives away the game by referring to trans woman as "biological males."
Why would people knowingly invite further exploitation by creating policies with no safeguards in place to protect them from injury? With zero screening options to ensure that biological males who enter locker rooms actually identify as female, how could a woman be sure the person staring at her wasn't exploiting her? Why is it okay to make her wonder?Why would a trans woman be any more likely than a cis woman to stare at another woman in a locker room? To believe that, one has to believe that trans women are inherently more predatory.
They are not.
Triller further argues:
While I feel a deep sense of empathy for what must be a very difficult situation for transgender people, at the beginning and end of the day, it is nothing short of negligent to instate policies that elevate the emotional comfort of a relative few over the physical safety of a large group of vulnerable people.Given that transgender women are much more likely to be harmed just for trying to take a piss or a shit, this is projection in the highest order. It isn't trans people's feelings getting hurt which is the most pressing concern here. What a gross minimization of transphobic violence. Though even if it simply were about feelings, feelings of safety and inclusion are no small thing.
...There's no way to make everyone happy in the situation of transgender locker room use. So the priority ought to be finding a way to keep everyone safe. I'd much rather risk hurting a smaller number of people's feelings by asking transgender people to use a single-occupancy restroom that still offers safety than risk jeopardizing the safety of thousands of women and kids with a policy that gives would-be predators a free pass.
...Is it ironic to no one that being "progressive" actually sets women's lib back about a century? What of my right to do my darndest to insist that the first time my daughter sees the adult male form it will be because she's chosen it, not because it's forced upon her? What of our emotional and physical rights?
...Even if there aren't hundreds of abusers rushing into locker rooms by the dozens, the question I keep asking myself is, "What if just one little girl gets hurt by this? Would that be enough to make people reconsider it?"
What if just one (more) trans person gets hurt by this, Ms. Triller? Would that be enough to make you reconsider your reprehensible position?
I'll just say once again: I am a cisgender woman who uses public bathrooms, and I am well aware that there are trans women, some of whom might well have a penis, using the same public restrooms I do—Spoiler Alert: AND I DON'T FUCKING CARE—and anyone who's under the misapprehension that no trans women ever currently use women's bathrooms is a cloistered ignoramus who may well have been deliberately misled by a transphobic asshole with an agenda.
Trans women and men and cis women and men already share bathrooms. This is not a tragedy or cause for alarm. OH NOES BATHROOM PANIC! is unmitigated bullshit. The End.
As is any other transphobic shit that is peddled under the auspices of "trans predator" memes, and justified under some variation of the argument that I need to be protected from trans people.
I am a cis woman, and a survivor of sexual violence. I am exactly the type of person who is routinely invoked as needing protection from trans predators. I don't need your protection. No one has my permission to pretend that they're "saving" me by endangering trans people.
(Further, no survivors are welcome to pretend they speak for all survivors when raising trans bathroom panic in support of transphobic bathroom policies. They do not. They most certainly do not speak for me.)
I am not in danger from sharing a bathroom with trans women. But trans women could very well be in danger from not being allowed to share a bathroom with me.
And trans men could very well be in danger from being forced to share a bathroom with me: "[Trans editor and writer Mitch Kellaway] told ThinkProgress that gender policing and stereotypes are a very real threat to transgender men. 'When we use the women's bathrooms we're 'supposed' to use'—according to opponents of trans equality measures like HERO—'we're seen as predators,' and that perception can lead to violence toward trans men."
Predators using bathrooms as an arena for predation is a real issue. (Though stranger sexual assault is much less common than sexual assault perpetrated by someone known to the victim.) But it's an issue that has fuck-all to do with trans people using the restroom.
Predators prey. Trans people just want to take a piss.