It appears that President Trump is on the verge of reversing another of President Obama’s national policies.
This time, it is the policy that told school districts they would lose their funding for special needs students and lunch programs unless they allowed anatomical males who desire to be female to undress in the girl’s locker rooms.
Per usual, this is being met with howls of indignation from the left about returning to the days of Jim Crow, or whatever.
“He’s repealing protections for transgender students” they insist.
Let’s talk about that for a moment.
Which rights, exactly, would he be repealing?
Is it the right to go anywhere you want any time you want?
Or is the right to undress in front of people you want to undress in front of?
Or maybe it’s the right to force others to undress in front of you?
I don’t recall any of those rights being discussed in law school.
I do, however, recall the right to bodily privacy. Which, by the way, includes the right to control who sees you with your clothes off.
If you’re inclined to be indignant about the fact that President Trump would allow local schools districts the freedom to deal with these unique challenges on a case-by-case basis, maybe an analogy will help.
Imagine that, in an effort to cure homelessness, President Obama had issued an executive order declaring it illegal to have a lock on your front door because locks on front doors discriminate against the homeless.
Then imagine President Trump reversed that national policy to allow homeowners the right lock their doors again.
People wouldn’t be outraged by the “roll-back of homeless people’s right to shelter” because we still acknowledge the importance of private property rights.
It is discriminatory to lock your front door, but it’s also completely appropriate.
Why then, have we so easily given up on our daughters’ right to bodily privacy?
The same voices that howl about the rape culture scorn women who fight for the right to make healthy boundaries.
But what about the rights of the transgender people?
I hear you. And, yes, they too have rights.
They should have the right to live how they see fit. If they want to live as the opposite gender, the law should not prohibit them from doing so.
Similarly, children who experience gender dysphoria also have the right to be treated compassionately in school and otherwise.
However, their reasonable expectation of respect and kindness does not carry with it the right to ignore the privacy rights of every other student. Nor does their right to identify how they prefer carry with it the right to force everyone else in the world to agree with their new identity and change the way they think, speak, and act to accommodate it.
You cannot reasonably demand the right to be who you are while seeking to punish others for being who they are.
If you wish to receive tolerance, you must also give tolerance.
Tolerance has never been about finding agreement about everything but achieving civility despite our inevitable disagreements.
Should President Trump reverse the Obama administration mandate, he would simply be affirming the idea that parents, teachers, administrators, and school boards are in a much better position to find a solution to these school specific challenges than Washington DC is.
It doesn’t repeal anyone’s rights. In fact, it once again restores an environment where everyone’s rights are allowed to be taken into consideration.
No one should object to that, unless, of course, you think the best way to solve homelessness is making it illegal for people to lock their front door.
Initiative 1552 has been filed that would require schools in Washington to maintain separate facilities in schools based on students sex and allow businesses to set their own policies. They need 330,000 signatures by July 7th to qualify for the ballot. If you wish to help that effort go to www.JustWantPrivacy.org