Why is the Bathroom such a big deal?

I was reading about a five year old going to the Nova school in St Paul. There are a few different articles out there. It isn’t the school’s actions that have me concerned but the reactions of the other parents. We are talking about five year olds here. Their child was being bullied at school and the school in question has a zero tolerance policy:

Their son would come home and tell them about his experiences — like when another student had told him he couldn’t be Cleopatra during playtime. And they saw, firsthand, some of the pointing, snickering and name calling that took place when they’d come to pick him up from school.

In response to wanting to have a book read to help the kids understand a little better the other parents became disturbed:

The school’s climate committee was charged with reviewing the book and holding community forums. Thus began the saga of debates at committee and board meetings, which left the Edwardses feeling incredibly frustrated and targeted.

Can you imagine? The boy’s parent’s, hardly liberal paragons just wanted their kid to be happy and safe. The other parents response is to throw stones.

In another article, the parents are reported as having withdrawn their child from Nova. I’ve read elsewhere that he is happily attending a public school (I’m using the     pronoun the parent’s are using):

The Edwards withdrew their child from Nova in February and filed a complaint with the St. Paul Human Rights Department a month later. Nova has until April 20 to respond.

What’s particularly sad is some of the comments on the articles. We see the same old tropes over and over. I urge all of you to resist the temptation to respond to statements like these in anger. If the writer is unwilling to examine other information then arguing will serve  no purpose other than to perhaps justify some stereotype the writer has. If the writer feels justified on the basis of a value system you and I don’t share you will not convince them. If there is hope then you’ll only accomplish something by accepting their right to an opinion and asking if they’re willing to hear a different viewpoint.

Here are some excerpts, without identifying information.

To call a male a “female” because he identifies as one is not being honest or helpful. We need to expand what we consider to be “acceptable behavior” by both males and females to allow them to express themselves freely, without sacrificing “truth”.

I think this comment reinforces how difficult it is for folks who don’t experience gender dysphoria to understand the difficulties this causes in the lives of transgender people and what “truth” means in our case.

How uncomfortable it must be for a female student who has recently reached puberty and is taking care of her feminine hygiene…

I find this one kind of bizarre and out of left field. I’m unaware of any woman using the bathrooms at work who deals with “feminine hygiene” issues, by which I’m understanding her to mean changing pads and tampons, except in a bathroom stall. Why this would be exceptionally difficult because of a trans girl/woman is beyond me. For that matter, as far as I know all post-op transwomen end up with a month to a few months of needing to deal with the rough equivalent of this and I can’t say I would have cared had I know an “anatomical male” had been using the bathroom.

The only reason a girl would be uncomfortable would be if her parents made a point of continuously stating that boys were using the girl’s bathroom.

I really have to do wonder if this kid is actually “gender non-conforming”.

The kid is FIVE. This kid likely doesn’t even understand the concept of gender, let alone what “non-conforming” means.

Perhaps this is someone who has never raised a child. I certainly knew what was gender non-conforming by six and it’s well documented much earlier.





One thought on “Why is the Bathroom such a big deal?

  1. Your post is profound. It is really a call for calm logical responses to ignorance and hysteria. It is a call to show by our example kindness and caring in the face of hypocrisy.

    By the way, i knew who i was and am by age 5 even though i was clear on what.female plumbing looked like externally until was 18.


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