Thursday, August 18, 2016

Transgender Bathroom Access In All Federal Buildings Based on Incoherent Rationale: Will Unisex Restrooms Become Mandatory?

   I'm not sure what to think about the actual policy, but the rationale is based on a blatant blurring of the sex/gender distinction. This is basically what the gender studies left has been doing for years now: insisting on the sex/gender distinction when it helps lead to the conclusion they want, and ignoring it when it doesn't.
   The point is that no law against discrimination on account of sex entails anything about gender (except insofar as there is some middling-strong correlation of gender with sex). However, the most salient point here is that, if this stands, it seems extremely unlikely that we can legally maintain sex-segregated restrooms and locker rooms. Which means that a liberal/leftist activist DoJ (and DoE) obsessed with a tiny minority of people, deploying a false--and, in fact, incoherent--theory of transgenderism is using patently invalid reasoning to achieve a pre-determined, ideologically-driven conclusion that, if applied consistently, will force us to give up an institution that is based in important biological realities, that is not obviously discriminatory, and that most of us will be very uncomfortable to see the end of.
   I do think that there are cogent arguments against sex-segregated public restrooms. I suspect that they are weaker than the opposing arguments--but they're non-trivial. What's so infuriating about all of this to me, however, is that most of the arguments being used to extend the arguments in the transgender direction don't work at all, and commit us to crazy versions of relativism / social constructionism. If applied consistently, that is. Though another thing that's afoot here is a certain ad hoc approach to these matters. Certain conclusions are deemed correct prior to evaluation of the reasoning, then arguments are accepted ad hoc in order to persuade people that the conclusions are rational. Of course accepting an incoherent metaphysics with respect to practical matters does give at lest some kind of rhetorical boost to those metaphysical positions. And courts may not be as willing to accept inconsistency once the first step has been taken...so if these propositions about sex-segregation get accepted, there's a decent chance that courts will order us to take them to their logical (in the narrow sense) conclusions. That is: public facilities fully integrated by sex. We might avoid that by pleading harm to women--which is a reasonable point. Needless to say, mere considerations of irrationality, or bad philosophy, or harm to men are unlikely to do the trick...
   As a sidebar: even if I'm wrong about all of this, the liberal tendency to support virtually any claim made by virtually any group that represents itself as a sexual (where that includes preferences) minority will go wrong at some point. I'm not sure that liberals are as irrational as conservatives on this issue--but this stuff is putting them in the ballpark.
   RIP reality-based community...

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