First, I’m tired of hearing discussions about how transgender people will deal with restrooms, and how wider society will deal with transgender people dealing with restrooms, because the much more serious problems of how police deal with transgender people needs to be addressed first. Seriously, on the scale of priorities, “bathrooms” is way down on the last from “prison” and “jail.” Right now, transgender women are locked away in men’s cells and being treated as men by police officers, meaning that they’re regularly being molested and strip-searched by male officers, not to mention being placed–as women–into cell blocks filled with typically violent, horny men. And we’re discussing bathrooms. Again.
So I’m going to propose a solution that will decide the matter once and for all. It’s easy to implement, and it will permanently solve the problem. However, you’ll have to bear with me, because what will strike you as an extremely radical, possibly insane, idea will take some time to adjust to, but I think you’ll agree it’s the only way. So let’s not beat around the bush. What is the answer?
I’m not joking.
First, it must be pointed out: what business does the state have recognizing anyone’s gender and forcing them into segregated areas based on that gender? We’ve done all this before, when people whose race was black were segregated off from people whose race was white. It’s just accepted still that it’s okay to do this in regard to gender, but it actually isn’t, and I think you’ll agree with me by the end of this. Just as governments, businesses, and people have no moral authority to segregate people based on race, neither do they have the moral authority to do so over gender. And here is where we meet our first hurdle:
“Ah, but boys and girls can have sex… You put a bunch of naked boys and girls in a bathroom together, and there’s no telling what will happen.”
And… No. That’s wrong.
In the 1890s, a psychologist named Ivan Pavlov did an experiment where he rang a bell each time before he fed his dog. It did not take long–a few weeks–for the dog to begin salivating any time the bell was wrong. It is called Classical Conditioning, and it is the phenomenon that we come to associate one thing with another. In the case of Pavlov, the dog associated the bell with food, and thus hearing the bell caused the dog to salivate.
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I hate to break this to you, but we’ve all been conditioned to associate nudity with sex. Now, I’m not a nudist, and though I do enjoy wearing only a bra and shorts, I’m not comfortable enough in my skin to just run around naked all the time. This, too, is conditioning–I’ve been conditioned to think that there is something about my body that must be hidden, and in time I’ve become so accustomed to wearing clothing that not wearing clothing feels unnatural. In fact, there are generally only three instances during which a person isn’t wearing clothing:
- When about to shower.
- When changing clothes.
- When about to have sex.
I would hazard the guess that the average person becomes inexplicably 25% more likely to masturbate or feel the urge to masturbate while changing clothes, but that is just a guess. The sound of running water and the location–the place where we, you know, use the bathroom–being a not-very-sexually-appealing-place surely override the other associations, so it often feels rather natural to stand naked in the bathroom while waiting on the shower to warm up or the tub to fill with water. Again, these feel normal because we’ve been doing it that way for twenty to sixty years. It would be weird if we did it some other way. I live alone, and it still feels weird on those occasions when I’ve removed all my clothes, am waiting on water to run, and have to run into the kitchen because I forgot my lighter or something. On a few occasions, I’ve even put some clothes back on before doing so, simply because it feels weird.
But why should it feel weird? We enter the world naked. If anything should feel weird, it should be wearing clothes. But we begin wearing clothes almost immediately, so any discomfort we experience from it happens when we are three months old. By the time we are old enough to really think about these things, we’ve become more comfortable, simply out of habit, with wearing clothes than not wearing clothes.
It’s my guess that the entire clothing thing began not because our species needed to keep warm–since we originally hailed from the plains of Africa–but because men with “lesser packages” wanted to hide that until after some sort of marriage or mating ceremony had been performed. I’m serious. Because clothing began with the loincloth, and between men and women it’s men who have something dangling out there with something to see. Is it really that hard to imagine that the entire trend began because a select group of men on the smaller side felt insecure, and so began wearing loincloths? I don’t think it’s that hard to imagine; in fact, I really do suspect that is how the entire ordeal started.
I mean, if you were a man in 150,000 BCE with limited machinery, wouldn’t you be quietly seething, angry, and thinking, “We should cover these up! It’s not proper! No one wants to see Big Jim flopping around all the time during his dance around the drum circle!”
My point is that there isn’t anything inherently sexual about nudity. In fact, it’s just the natural way for a human to exist: naked. We could make the case that we wear clothes because of cold weather, and there’s certainly something to that, though it wouldn’t have been a problem in the very, very beginning.
However, the only time you’re likely to see a naked person is either when you’re about to masturbate or when you’re about to have sex. At all other times, you and the other person are fully clothed. Think of “being naked” as the ringing bell, and think of sex as the food. We hear the ringing bell, and because we only hear the ringing bell when we’re about to eat the food, we’ve become conditioned to associate the ringing bell with about to eat. So any time we see nudity now, in almost any context, it brings up sexual thoughts. Don’t believe me?
Don’t even try to say that you felt no arousal whatsoever when you saw the above picture. I did, you did, everyone did. There might even be some 15 year old kid reading this and masturbating to it right now, and why? Because we’ve been conditioned to associate nudity with sex.
So of course, yes, if you took three naked boys and three naked girls and put them in a closed room together, they would almost certainly end up having sex. Because even seeing the other sex naked will make them excited, and the next thing you know, yes, they’ll be having sex. But, again, these people have already been conditioned. We have to think of a world where that conditioning doesn’t exist. We have to think of a world where nudity isn’t automatically associated with sex.
And, thankfully, nudist colonies and beaches provide us with those examples.
I’m not going to find any links because many of these sites show a lot of children and teenagers in completely non-sexual images, yet they do appear naked. But even a fourteen year old girl and a fourteen year old boy who find themselves alone on a nude beach don’t have sex, because that conditioning has already been broken. To them, it’s just like seeing the other person in clothes; it’s not sexual.
So what bathroom should transgender people use? The same bathroom everyone else uses.
Schools across the country should implement co-ed bathrooms on a curve, year by year: the first year, it’s kindergarten. The next year, it’s kindergarten and first grade. The next, it’s kindergarten, first, and second grade. Then, it’s kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. And that should repeat until those kids who broke the association of “nudity = about to get laid” in kindergarten would be college students, and colleges would adopt the same policies, starting with those once-kindergarteners who are now freshmen, and continuing until they graduate. Within only 16 years, we will have completely solved the problem, and done society a tremendous amount of good in the process.
For example, as Jim Sterling points out in one of his videos, penises are considered okay to appear in popular media. There is a game on Steam right now called “Floppy Penis Attack” or something like that, where your goal is to play as a floppy penis putting your head in another floppy penis’s anus while avoiding getting a floppy penis in your anus. It’s considered funny. Haha, floppy penises.
Yet at the same time, Watch Dogs 2 explicitly apologizes and issues a patch because one of the female NPCs in their game actually had a vagina that, if you killed her in the right way, players could actually see. The moral of the story? Penises are okay, vaginas are not. Breasts face the same kind of crap. Men can go totally shirtless and it’s no problem at all, even if they have manboobs that make me feel insecure about my boobs. But a woman with even the smallest cup size isn’t allowed to go shirtless. Again, it’s because of classical conditioning: we’ve been conditioned to associate vaginas and breasts with sex.
If you want to talk true egalitarianism, then this is how it is implemented. It’s not implemented by laughing at the floppy wieners and frothing at the mouth over a poorly drawn vagina.
Just like Jim uses artificial penises in his gags quite often, the artificial vagina is perfectly normal, and perfectly acceptable. There’s nothing more sexual about the vagina than the penis. And there’s nothing explicitly sexual about either; it’s only because we only bring them about when we’re about to have sex that we’ve come to associate them solely with sex.
So if you really want to fix the transgender bathroom thing, the double standards on nudity, and all the other silly crap that should really take a backseat to the transgender women thrown into male prisons where they are raped a reported two thousand times, then this is the way you do it. That’s the plan. Co-ed bathrooms, starting at kindergarten, and going up each year until nudity is normalized.
I’m not saying that we should accept people running around naked in the streets. But hey, if they want to, why shouldn’t they be able to? By that point, no one would care, and no one would think, “Oh my god, there’s a naked chick jogging! She must be looking for sex!” because that association will have been broken.
And that association needs to be broken, because we’re talking about freaking bathrooms, where people go to piss and shit–bodily functions that are gross, unappealing, and unavoidable. No one is thinking about getting laid when they’re squatting over the toilet or standing at the urinal. No one. And no one wants to have sex with someone who is squatting over the toilet or standing at the urinal. We would know this, if we hadn’t gotten so far wrapped up in our conditioning that we’ve simply come to accept it as truth and as the way things naturally are.
But things naturally aren’t that way. Break the conditioning, and all of this crap stops being an issue entirely.
I realize that you, the person reading this, have similarly been conditioned to associate nudity with sex, and this may very well make it extremely difficult for you to separate the two things even theoretically. But I promise you that it’s possible, and that we have countless examples of people doing exactly that. Again, I’m not going to provide links, but fifteen minutes on Google will teach you everything you need to know about nudism. And, once more, I’m no nudist, but they’re correct. We only associate sex with nudity because we’ve been conditioned to, just like Pavlov’s dog only associates the bell with food because the dog has been conditioned to.
So just stop conditioning the dog.