On Sunday, Fox News’ own Chris Wallace blew up the premise behind the numerous Republican “Bathroom Bills” by pointing out the emperor had no clothes. After conservative columnist Ben Domenech spouted the ridiculous claim that men would pretend to be transgender women to peek at little girls in the bathroom, Wallace dropped an atomic truth bomb:
We actually tried to find out whether it is a public safety issue,” the Fox News host explained. “Whether it is a problem with transgender people misusing bathrooms to prey on others.”
Wallace noted that PolitiFact had looked into the issue and found that there was no known “instance of criminals convicted of using transgender protections as cover in the United States.”
“This seems to be a solution in search of a problem,” he concluded.
And that’s the crux of the entire debate: Has it ever happened? No? Then why are we pretending that it’s a problem? Republicans have been even more transparent about their motives here than with Voter ID, and that’s saying something.
Republicans and conservative talking heads have been getting ready to launch their assault on the transgender community for a few years now. Ever since it became obvious that they’d lost the battle against The Gay, they needed a new group to demonize and transgender people fit the bill quite nicely. Men dressing like women?! Women dressing like men?! Oh, the Earth-shattering horror of it all!
The problem was finding some way to scare people. With the LGB community, there was the “threat” of gays stealing your children and converting them. Or “spreading” HIV. Or seducing “normal” people. Etc. Etc. But the transgender community is vanishingly small (about .3% of the population) and the idea of “recruiting” someone into switching their gender is laughable. Oh, and there’s actual confirmed scientific evidence that can be shown on a brain scan to prove it’s not a “lifestyle choice.” There’s scientific proof of homosexuality as well but it’s on a genetic level and far more subtle.
So instead of putting a lot of effort into denying the existence of transgenderism, a tactic that failed utterly with homosexuality, Republicans decided to go with “They might be perverts or maybe perverts will pretend to be transgender! We don’t really know but we have to protect the children!” And so the GOP started passing “Bathroom Bills” and acting shocked when anyone pointed out how stupid they sound.
When even Fox News tells you you’re full of shit, it might just be time to drop the charade.
Featured image via screen cap.