A leading North Carolina newspaper issued an editorial last week telling girls to attempt “overcoming discomfort” at the sight of “male genitalia,” should transgender bathroom laws be enacted.
In a defense of President Obama’s order compelling schools to allow access to restrooms on the basis of gender identity, the Charlotte Observer editorial board compared the discomfort of school-aged girls seeing male genitalia in locker rooms to the discomfort of white people being around black people in post-segregation America.
“This is what the Obama administration nudged the rest of the country toward Friday,” the editorial said. “Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms — and vice versa — might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort — with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage — then realizing it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.”
While admitting that exposure to male genitalia is a possible outcome of transgender bathroom laws, the editorial said the notion that such laws constitute a threat to the privacy and safety of women and children is a “political fiction” pushed by Republicans.
“Those safety issues are political fiction — non-transgender men wouldn’t have been allowed in women’s bathrooms under the Charlotte ordinance that HB 2 killed, and the 200 or so cities with similar ordinances have had no incidents involving bathroom predators,” the editorial said.