Lance Berkman, who played college ball at Rice before manning the outfield and first base for the Houston Astros, dodges high heat thrown by sports journalists outraged over his opposition to a spaced-out Space City law giving transsexual “women” access to the ladies’ room.
The city’s voters decide on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) this November. Berkman urges voters to cast “no” ballots in a commercial:
No men in women’s bathrooms. No boys in girls’ showers or locker rooms. I played professional baseball for 15 years, but my family is more important. My wife and I have four daughters. Proposition 1, the bathroom ordinance, would allow troubled men to enter women’s public bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. This would violate their privacy and put them in harm’s way.
Mark Townsend at Yahoo Sports calls Berkman’s position “a troubling display of intolerance that simply can’t be defended or outright ignored.” NBCSports.com’s Craig Calcaterra dubs Big Puma’s stance “pretty damn vile.” At Deadspin, Kamer Salaf insists to his readers of the former Astro’s ad: “This is not a joke.”
Not so long ago, on The Milton Berle Show and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, men dressed as women as a joke. But transsexualism now ranks as an uber-serious subject. Laugh at your own risk.
Along with Bruce Jenner, America transitioned. The United States of Tolerance isn’t big enough for Tone Loc (he “don’t fool around with no Oscar Meyer wiener”), Crocodile Dundee (“That was a guy, a guy dressed up as a sheila”), Mr. Garrison (“Hey, I’m pregnant everybody! Now I can go down to the clinic and have an abortion!”), and Ray Davies (“I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man and so is Lola”). They now join Lance Berkman in the “pretty damn vile” pile.
Come to think of it, the exclusivity of the ladies’ room discriminates against not just transwomen but cismen (Yes, that’s a word. You’re welcome.) as well. The benighted glimpse a mere triangle topped with a dot on the door. The enlightened see a swastika. Public ladies’ rooms remain the last bastion of bigotry, with their symbols of hate effectively announcing “no men allowed.” If HERO lived up to its acronym, it would allow dudes and not just dude-looks-like-a-lady dudes equal rights to these chauvinistic enclaves.
However jarring to 21st-century, urban-hipster sensibilities, some people feel uncomfortable undressing and using the toilet around strangers (and even close friends) of the opposite sex. Even more shocking, some people regard human beings born with a penis, XY chromosomes, and the capacity to produce massive amounts of testosterone as male. Modesty, and a desire for privacy, compels such atavistic beings to assert a right to use the bathroom among their own kind. Alas, the Constitution’s penumbral right to privacy applies to a woman’s freedom to harpoon a baby with a saline needle, not to use the restroom segregated from the stares of that creepy, crossdressing dude in The Silence of the Lambs. The WC must become PC.
People who hang out in public restrooms generally fall into two camps: the really sick or the really sick. It’s likely that very few transgenders wish to remain past their welcomes. But like Vince Wilfork or Abe Vigoda or Andy Dick or John Tesh in the girls’ room, the welcome runs out once they walk in. Even in public restrooms people desire privacy. Co-ed works for college. The water closet? Not so much.
One suspects that a majority of voters in America’s fourth largest city cast a “pretty damn vile” no vote. To loosely paraphrase Richard Nixon, we’re all bigots now.
Later, those forgoing gender-reassignment surgery undergo a frontal lobotomy. Rejecting a transgender suitor’s entreaty to go to the prom, laughing at John Cleese playing Anne Elk, and quickly evacuating the lavatory when a woman made in a laboratory enters to evacuate all morph from normal to microaggression to hate crime.
I have seen the future, and it’s berserk.