Oregon women seeking shelter from homelessness or abusive men are being forced to share sleeping and bathroom facilities with men who “self-identify” as a woman. State anti-discrimination laws in that state require these women’s shelters to take in men who “self-identify” as a woman, a sheltered woman reported.
Malka Davis was trying to find shelter, like many other women, from living on the streets after running out of options, she wrote in an opinion piece in The Oregonian. While returning to the shelter one day, Davis noticed several of her female shelter companions in distress. She said one woman had “left the shelter in terror.”
Why? The shelter admitted a man to the facility who “self-identified” as a woman. The realization of a man in their midst brought shock and fear to the female residents of the shelter.
This illustrates the transgender “bathroom issue” is not about bathrooms at all. These aggressive policies are much broader in their scope and intent. In many cases, like the Target transgender policy or the Fort Worth school district situation effecting bathrooms and locker rooms, the policies go to areas where women are changing clothes or showering. The policies usually include the “self-identify as a woman” phrase meaning the man does not actually have to be transgender, but can simply make the claim that they “self-identify” as a woman on that particular day.
Many stories have been written about creeps who have gone into store bathrooms and dressing areas and taken photos of women or girls in vulnerable situations. There are laws against that behavior. But what about the man who simply wants to go in and look around while women are showering or changing clothes in a school, gym, or other such facility.
These policies also put business owners at risk who now, in many states, must choose between being sued for not allowing a man into a women’s bathroom or dressing room, or being sued by a victim of some kind of assault or privacy invasion because they didn’t keep a man out of the bathroom or dressing room. Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s HERO Ordinance was a prime example of this.
Here, in the Oregon women’s shelter run by Transition Projects, women who are at their lowest point of vulnerability and fear are being forced to share these facilities with a man. Many of these women are fleeing from situations where they have been violently abused by a man and are suffering from physical and emotional trauma.
Davis described the situation:
The realization that a man was going to be sharing sleeping and bathroom space with us (in this particular area, there are no private or even semi-private rooms) was understandably met with tremendous anxiety, and, yes, even outrage. After all, not a few of these women were escaping domestic and sexual abuse committed by men, a trauma that doesn’t magically disappear once you’re away from your abuser. They thought they had found a haven exclusively for women. Little did they know that because of anti-discrimination laws any man who claims to identify as a woman can be admitted.
Over the next few months, most of the women came to tolerate, or even accept to one degree or another, “Clarence’s” presence. I became acquainted with him early on, and he often sought me out to talk about his experiences both inside and outside the shelter. In return, I listened and sometimes offered words of consolation. But at no point did I come to regard Clarence as a woman, nor did I refer to him as one. I saw him as an intelligent, sensitive, but very fragile and confused man. That is to say, I afforded him the dignity he deserved as a human being without denying the truth of his gender.
Despite her compassion for the man who “self-identified” as a woman, Davis said the shelter is wrong in putting women in a situation that interferes with their peace of mind, the very reason they sought shelter. “It jeopardized the security of a dozen or so women for the benefit of one man’s sense of belonging. Not only that, but for every man who is admitted into a women’s shelter under the speciousness of gender ideology, untold numbers of bona fide women are left waiting on the streets. That is not just unfair, it’s unjust.”
Davis was forced to live the reality of this policy that many are arguing in theoretical terms. She, and her female shelter companions, were deprived of their privacy as women and were placed in a fearful situation to appease the left’s pursuit of its aggressive agenda to “protect” a tiny percentage of the American population.
“Many of us, like those in homeless shelters, do not have the luxury of choosing how much we’re going to be impacted by the liberal zeitgeist’s latest cause célèbre, or the ability to exercise other options,” Davis concluded. “The issue is thrust upon us when we are at our most vulnerable.”