Days of Change

I Pee Freely | May 14, 2016

Barack Obama has been pretty ineffectual of late. I suppose it gives us all time to focus on the sideshow of a nomination process on both sides. One thing that did happen was a strange directive that states should not stop anyone from using a bathroom in a school or public place on the basis of their physical characteristics. In other words, even if you can use a urinal, you should be able to squat in a stall in a “Ladies” room.

Much like all Obama political moves, this one in fascinating. In some ways, it energizes the people who would oppose the Democrats. However, since Donald Trump is the closest thing to the Republican candidate, his tacit support for bathroom anarchy may peel off more cultural conservatives. One thing it does, however, it open a new front on the culture war. Gay relationships are already the same as straight ones, and that was on a court with Antonin Scalia.

This is where Libertarianism is the ear worm that won’t go away for me. The Libertarian Party is the embodiment of Indifference 2016. Their opinion is that the owner of the bathroom decides who uses it. They’d say gay marriage is fine, but the state should stop issuing licenses entirely and churches can choose who they marry. As for those wedding cakes? You guessed it. Libertarians would let the business owners set their own rules.

I’m young enough that I knew what gay was since I was a kid, but I suspect even “old” people knew pretty early on as well. But what does that really mean? By discussing homosexuality openly for the last few decades, there’s a spectrum that has developed in cultural understanding. You can be gay, but have a history of being confused and be with the opposite sex. You can think you were straight and then become gay later on. You can be gay and then end up being straight. You can be gay or straight and experiment. Or you can be bisexual. Then there are some other options.

Many of us either know people or know about people like this. They were in one group, but defied that definition, as humans often do. Then there’s the even less concrete realm of gender identity. You can dress a certain way or not. You can feel like one gender or another. You can be surgically altered to be more like one gender, but that is no intellectual barrier to living as a different gender. Or you can try denouncing the concept of gender altogether.

What we end up with is a kind of game where the definitions change constantly and people are forced to devote more mental energy and eventually tax dollars to distinctions without a difference. More and more, what is labeled “discrimination” is simply having a different opinion, not denying something. It’s hard for many of use to care about bathrooms when we don’t give a crap anymore.

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