Columnist becomes a bathroom cop, keeping women safe | PostIndependent.com

Columnist becomes a bathroom cop, keeping women safe

Jessica Cabe

Yesterday, I did something brave: I used a public bathroom.

This is an especially heroic act because I’m a woman, and ever since North Carolina made it illegal for transgender people to use the wrong bathroom but Colorado didn’t, the women’s restroom has become a hotbed for sexual predators.

I haven’t actually heard of any cases of a man putting on a dress and harassing women in the restroom, but it’s bound to happen, and we need to be proactive in preventing it.

I’m appalled by Colorado’s inaction. By not making it illegal for people with male anatomy to use the women’s restroom, our leaders are opening the door to rampant rape and sexual assault. Because I never thought of this issue before, trans people must have only just recently started using the bathroom that doesn’t match their genitals. So we need to make sure that stops, for the safety of all our women.

I feel especially afraid for all the poor young girls in the Roaring Fork School District, which recently added gender to its non-discrimination policy, basically supporting men who use the women’s restroom.

I don’t have children, certainly not a transgender child, but I’m pretty confident I know best when it comes to who can use which bathroom. I’m also certain that little boys couldn’t possibly be victims of male sexual predators in public restrooms, so we just need to make sure all the perverts are in the men’s room where they belong.

Because our lawmakers are not taking action, I’ve taken it upon myself, as an upstanding citizen of the United States of America, to make sure every person using a public bathroom at the same time as I am has the correct lady bits. It’s a frightening task to take on, but I just care about the safety of my fellow women.

So yesterday, when I used the public restroom, I began by checking if anyone else was in the other stalls. There was one person. She (or he) was wearing women’s shoes, but that wasn’t enough proof for me.

“Excuse me,” I said as I rapped loudly on the door. “Are you a woman?”

“Ummm, yes?” she (or he) said from the other side. But she (or he) sounded unsure. So I asked a more specific question.

“So, you don’t have a penis, then?”

There was a long pause on the other side of the door. I had a feeling she actually was a he. After all, that was a very simple yes or no question. I wouldn’t need any time at all to think of my answer.

So I asked him (I was confident it was a man, at this point) to please hurry up and get out of my bathroom. Then I waited outside the outer door to the restroom until he left. When he walked past, he looked shaken and afraid. “Good,” I thought. I was glad I had turned him into the victim here.

I’m just doing my small part. I hope the rest of the country comes around to reason soon, or God help us all. We need to do everything we can to protect each other from sexual predators, even if it means interrogating our stall neighbors about what equipment they’re working with.

This is America, after all. We deserve to have public restrooms that are safe, don’t we?

Jessica Cabe is pretty sure we all #JustWantToPee. She can be reached at jcabe@postindependent.com.

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