Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bathroom Controversy

The recent fight over who gets to use which bathroom is the latest battle in an obnoxious culture war. It’s a war that doesn’t need to happen. Stop trying to get the government to adjudicate every little conflict. Half the time they’re going to render a verdict you don’t like. I think it’s unfortunate when the government sticks its nose where it has no rightful business, but I can’t help but feel a little schadenfreude for the loser. If you wanted the government to resolve a conflict for you and the resolution isn’t the one you wanted (perhaps it’s the opposite of what you wanted), you were kind of asking for it. We shouldn’t have to explicitly articulate a principle of Separation of Bathroom and State; in a world of mature adults these issues would just never come up in the first place.

It seems to me the buildings’ owner should decide the bathroom rules. If you don’t like someone’s bathroom rules, don’t enter the premises. Or do so anyway, and if you pass for the opposite gender you can use the bathroom that calls the least attention to yourself. I think that this Iron Law of the Bathroom, “Don’t call attention to yourself or to anyone else,” is actually the one that always rules regardless of what the written law is.

Conservatives need to be more tolerant towards “weird people.” Remember, they think *you’re* the weird one, and they’re just as right as you are.

And leftists are doing tolerance wrong. They are trying to force everyone in society to mix together, even though some groups of people don’t like each other and never will. We aren’t all going to join hands and sing just because you force us into the same space. You need to give people the right to cordon themselves off. If someone wants to carve out an enclave of society, perhaps one where you’re not welcome, perhaps one that you believe is culturally backwards, you should let them.  Stop forcing people to bake cakes they don’t want to bake. (What’s that word for “forced servitude”? I forgot.) And stop dictating how people use their private property. (The word for “taking something that doesn’t belong to you” also escapes me at the moment. Sorry guys.)

“But,” you say, “some of these buildings are owned by the government. Schools, for example. So the government can’t simply extricate itself from this matter.” Fair point. This is indeed a weakness of having too many of our institutions in the public sphere. Irreconcilable differences can’t be reconciled, because everyone collectively owns a share of these public institutions. This is a bug, not a feature, of the institutions you (probably) support, and you’re a bigger person for admitting it. Apology accepted.

Sorry, that last paragraph was unnecessarily snarky. But please take my point about the inherent weakness of public institutions. If we all collectively own them, it becomes impossible to resolve some conflicts. This isn’t true in the private sphere, where you can simply leave any employer, retailer, church, club, friendship, or any other institutions you don’t approve of. 

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