CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 15, 2016 — When does a non-existent, non-issue become a major controversy? When politicians meddle where they don’t belong, and when the media create a mountain from a molehill in order to sell more papers and expand TV ratings.
Where is common sense? Until Caitlyn Jenner turned a titillating bit of gossip into a news news storm, transgenderism wasn’t even a blip on anyone’s radar.
Has the world completely lost its collective mind?
If you live in North Carolina you would think the LGBT issue is the only thing we talk about. The Charlotte Observer may have set a record for the most contiguous days to run a story since they won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing Jim and Tammie Bakker.
Many people are still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. Is it a smoke-screen to keep people from thinking too much about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? Just where exactly did this story originate?
Two months ago, everyone knew what signs on bathrooms meant and went about their business. Now it’s all about how we “self-identify” on any given day: stand up to pee, or sit?
The real debate lies in the hidden issues that will arise from this Pandora’s Box. Legal minds across the nation must be salivating at the prospect of all the mindless lawsuits that loom on the horizon.
And all in the name of political correctness.
For weeks, the state of North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory have been taking the heat on the subject, which has embroiled the state and the federal government in dueling lawsuits.
Now that President Obama has intervened, Texas has also joined the fray.
This has gotten completely out of hand. In some convenience stores in North Carolina there are signs posted on the ladies room which read “Women Only, No Men. Mgmt.” Oddly enough there are no signs on men’s room doors.
What does that say about the controversy? The real issue goes deeper than which restroom to use. By extension, it moves into locker rooms, where some critics say it opens the door for boys to take showers with girls if they want to because they “feel” feminine that day.
Without any hard statistics on this subject, it’s a safe bet that there are considerably more Jerry Sanduskys in the world than there are Caitlyn Jenners, which is precisely the reason the ladies’ room door has a sign in that convenience store and the men’s room does not.
That we are even discussing this issue seems like scenario from the Twilight Zone, but Rod Serling could not have scripted this one. This brave new iteration of potty parity has become a major debate. The time has come to address the problem quickly so we can move on to more important issues.
In the 1960s, problems like this one were, if anything, 180-degrees from where we are today. In those days, boys were sometimes given written excuses not to participate in physical education because they were uncomfortable taking a shower with other boys.
Today, are we saying it is acceptable for boys to shower with girls?
In 1975 a professional tennis player who was born as Richard Raskind, underwent male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. In 1976, after becoming Renee Richards, she was denied entry into the 1976 US Open tennis tournament and the United States Tennis Association began requiring genetic screening for female players.
Richards disputed the policy and the New York Supreme Court upheld her argument in favor of transsexual rights. Following the decision, Richards became an outspoken advocate for the transgender community.
In Richards’ case, sex reassignment surgery gave her argument more weight than the simple claim that one is getting in touch with one’s masculine or feminine self on any given day.
From the fuss and the hectic legislating it seems that there are so many transgender children attending public schools that transgenderism has reached epidemic proportions. In earlier years, a transgender student would not even have been eligible for hormone therapy, let alone sex reassignment surgery. That was for adults, who are better equipped to make such a life-changing decision. The student almost always lived with his or her birth sex. In rare cases, school officials might have been informed and made accommodations prior to enrollment.
But we have seen over and over that catering to such a small minority only serves to provide people with fringe agendas with the ideal excuse to pursue those agendas and impose them on everyone else.
We should think this thing through rationally rather than politically. Let’s close this Pandora’s box before it’s too late.
Or let’s just create a new award for government officials and call it the “Congressional Meddle of Honor.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod