Originally posted at Gender Detective
The traditional argument for transwomen’s right to female-only locker rooms, athletic clubs, fitting rooms, and, yes, bathrooms is generally We’re women too, so we deserve in. This is, of course, a completely meaningless justification, considering it begs the question against radical feminists and other gender abolitionists who would happily respond, No, you’re not. And then you’re at a standstill. So you get the backup argument We have to have access to women’s bathrooms because men will abuse us if we use theirs.
At first glance, this seems like a reasonable point. I don’t think there’s a woman alive who doubts that men can be exceptionally violent when confronted with someone they see as weak or capable of domination. It always troubles me the way members of the queer community discuss the violence they endure – always as if the women they’re addressing are not intimately aware of what it means to be a target for male aggression. And it makes sense, obviously, that transwomen would want spaces away from the group most likely to rape and murder them.
The problem arises when you go a little bit deeper and ask what the argument is really saying.