There have been some topics in the past that I'd wanted to blog about but just couldn't, simply because I had nothing else to say beyond one sentence -- maybe two. For example, lately I've noticed a disturbing number of adults who cross the street with a child in tow, and with the little one on the dangerous side. Sometimes it's an adult and a child strolling on a sidewalk, with the child on the dangerous side and whose hand his/her older companion isn't even holding. I had wanted to write about it because to me that's a pretty important matter to point out. But I couldn't think of anything else to say besides "Don't people know the concept of 'the dangerous side'? Why do grown-ups cross the street with kids and let the little ones stay on the dangerous side?" Nothing else comes to mind, because in my opinion, this is something basic.
Another example is littering. You probably see a lot of them, too, specially if Manila is your home -- dudes flicking a cigarette butt just anywhere while walking, tossing a candy wrapper out of a car or jeepney window, and other such sights. Even now that care for the environment has become a concern that's broadcasted and marketed in the mainstream, these things still happen a lot. But I can think of only one thing to say regarding this:
That's it. Ah but there's one other thing:
"I am tempted to make a citizen's arrest each time I see some fellow toss litter just anywhere."
As you can see, elaborating on the point is difficult for me. It's just so basic that more words seem superfluous.
Now lately, there have been instances which demonstrate that something I consider one of the most basic of all basic principles in life is not so basic to some people after all. And that is: boys belong in the men's room, and girls belong in the ladies' room. By that of course I mean males -- biological, natural-born -- and females -- biological, natural-born. The only exceptions I would consider are instances involving toddler and pre-schooler boys (and maybe a year or two more) in which the absence of their dad, uncle or any male relation necessitates their mom, aunt or any female relation bringing them to the ladies' room to do their bathroom business. So, basically, in my mind it's as simple as what I stated above: boys belong in the men's room, and girls belong in the ladies' room. Nothing else to say.
However, even in these times that the basic principle seems to be questionable in some quarters, I couldn't think of anything else to say to drive home the point. And then I saw this on Facebook:
Cute baby huh? The little one made me realize that it's largely about privacy.
And then, recent developments in other parts of the world regarding what have come to be referred to as "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" have helped me see that just because a person says and believes he is something doesn't mean it is so. More specifically, just because a guy says he feels that he's a girl does not mean that he is a girl and that he should expect the environment and everyone else to make adjustments to suit his belief about himself. As a matter of fact, those of us who know better are aware that condoning such a person by affirming his ideas about himself is akin to telling a dude who believes he is a superhero who can fly that he should be proud of himself for being a superhero and to go ahead and launch into flight. It simply is not helping the person any. What he needs is compassion, treatment, and to cultivate a life of faith. What he does not need is other people telling him that his delusions are real and congratulating him for being delusional. That does not sound compassionate to me; if anything, it sounds convenient -- for the people around him, because of course helping the person become grounded in reality can be immensely difficult and will require much effort.
That being said, here is one of the incidents involving the matter of bathroom privacy and the rest of society being forced by institutions to compromise their privacy (not to mention, safety and hygiene) for the sake of individuals who insist on their delusions and therefore demand that rules be adjusted to cater to these delusions. If I may say so, individuals with such a psychological condition need and deserve treatment (psycho-spiritual), not special treatment.
In this situation, a 17 year old boy decided he was actually a girl, and thus should be entitled to use the girls’ locker room and bathroom. The school bent over backwards trying to find a compromise, even offering the guy a private, unisex facility, but that wasn’t good enough. He wanted the girls’ bathroom, and of course, what the girls wanted was entirely irrelevant.
Encouragingly, some of the students in the school didn’t stand for it. They protested this week, insisting it’s not fair to expect girls to use the bathroom or undress around a boy. They’re right, obviously, but it’s worse than that. Let’s be clear: it is ABUSIVE to coerce, intimidate, or otherwise force young girls to share their facilities with a boy. I don’t care if he’s gender confused or not. I don’t care if he wears a wig or not. All I care about, all that matters, all that make a difference, is that he is a boy with boy parts, a boy’s body, a boy’s genetic makeup, a boy’s brain, a boy’s everything. He’s a boy. That’s all. That’s it. That’s the whole story.
Girls (and boys) deserve and are entitled to a safe and private place to change and do their business. It is simply unconscionable and despicable to take that away from them.
Read Forcing girls to share a bathroom with a gender-confused boy is abuse
Here's more food for thought -- involving privacy in locker rooms this time.
"Women and men being naked together in the same locker room, taking showers and doing all this and they're saying that doesn't have any component of a sexual nature to it," [Atty. David] Kallman said.
"You don't have those facts in this case," [Midland County Circuit Court Judge Michael] Beale replied.
Kallman said "we don't have to wait for that to occur" and that the transgender-friendly locker room policy itself is "sexual in nature by allowing men in the women's locker room."
Beale came back to the threshold required for sexual harassment claims several times and Kallman continued to respond by saying the policy itself is sexual in nature and that no actual sexual incidents needed to occur for that to meet the threshold.