The room of doom?

Dear Annie: Boys Age 7 Are Old Enough to Use the Men’s Room


Yes, yes, we must support our fellow parents as they grope — sorry, bad word choice! — their way through this whole child-rearing thing. I don’t recommend scolding them in public. But when a pop culture advice dispenser actually recommends tseikreksb
worst-first thinking (dream up the worst-case scenario FIRST, no matter how unlikely, and proceed as if it’s likely to happen), we must register our dismay, as a reader did when she sent me this recent Dear Annie column:

Dear Annie: I am a single mom with two boys, ages 4 and 7. We recently took a trip out to Chicago to visit my parents. Our flight was delayed by over an hour. My 7-year-old asked whether he could go into the men’s bathroom alone. I said no and decided that the three of us should stay together while at a busy airport. I took him into the ladies’ room with me. As I directed him to go into a stall and I held my 4-year-old’s hand, a woman said, “You know, he really is too old to be in a ladies’ room.” I explained that I didn’t want him to be alone in a large public place; all it takes is one creep. Afterward, though, I began doubting myself. Was she right? Did I do the right thing? When is a child old enough to go to the bathroom alone in a public place? — Cautious Mom

Dear Mom: You made the best decision for your family. And frankly, I would have done the same thing. If anything had happened to your son while he was unattended in the men’s room, you never would have forgiven yourself. We must look out for and support our fellow mothers, not make them doubt themselves or feel uncomfortable about their decisions. You did the right thing.

The reader who sent me this clip wrote:

Question for this mom: What are you doing to ‘creep proof’ your son?

Great question and here’s the answer: Teach your child to recognize, resist and report abuse. Or as my friend put it yesterday: “Anytime someone says, ‘Don’t tell your parents’ — tell your parents!”

That advice will keep kids a whole lot safer than telling a mom to always fantasize about terrible things happening to her child, and the angst she will feel because she wasn’t clutching his hand 24/7. Catastrophizing childhood only leads to preventing all sorts of very safe (but never perfectly safe) activities that help children grow up and become — ta da — street smart, problem-solvers! In other words: SAFER. – L.


The room of doom?


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116 Responses to Dear Annie: Boys Age 7 Are Old Enough to Use the Men’s Room

  1. Dienne May 8, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    If you follow the link, it goes to today’s Annie column which doesn’t include the kid in the airport bathroom letter. It does, however, include a letter about a deceased daughter’s husband who was “captured” by another woman. See what happens if you don’t protect your kids? They grow up to be adults who get captured.

    But seriously, this Annie woman is a really lousy advice columnist. Her advice to the airport lady was way off, and today she needed to tell these parents that, yes, people move on after a death and, yes, it’s her responsibility to deal with it maturely for the sake of her grandkids.

  2. R Hookup May 8, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    “Creeps” really love going to places where they have to pass through security, show valid identification and are constantly being captured on video. The airport is a *perfect* place to molest children incognito, right?

  3. Workshop May 8, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    Reason number 3,496 why I don’t engage with “popular media.”

    Jeez, and this after I took my 4-year old to the bathroom on Sunday at church. He finished, promptly turned towards me, and proudly proclaimed “I’M ALL DONE!” while holding his shirt up . . . with his pants and underwear around his ankles. Of course that was the moment other men started walking into the bathroom. I kept calm, because there’s really no other response if I don’t want to turn my kid into a neurotic freak. “And now, you can pull your pants up.”

  4. SKL May 8, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    I have to admit that airport bathrooms were not the first ones I sent my kids into alone. The reason is that things are so chaotic in an airport, and some of those bathrooms have two or more entries. I myself, as an adult, have walked out the wrong door and wondered where the heck I was. A young kid would likely panic at that, or wander and get lost, unless s/he was a seasoned traveler.

    Nowadays, there are often “family restrooms” in airports to deal with the fact that young school-aged kids might not be ready for the airport bathroom on their own. No judgment from me on that one.

    I agree, though, that a 7yo is big enough to resist and report rather than “be victimized” in an airport (or other) bathroom. Though, that’s not to say there aren’t some places that are just too seedy.

  5. Beanie May 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    The first time I sent my kids into the airport men’s room on their own, I anxiously stood outside the door, waiting. As men came out of the bathroom, they smiled and gave me updates. “They’re washing their hands!” It was a pleasant experience, and I realized that a busy airport bathroom is a great place to send kids–there is so much traffic, and really, so many nice people in the world.

  6. lollipoplover May 8, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    @Beanie- same here. Most fellow travelers were helpful to me and kept an eye out for my boy when he used the mens room. He was a big boy (still is) and would be mortified if we took him in the women’s bathroom, which always had lines…easier for him to pee fast in a urinal and get in and out faster and no full bladder dancing waiting in line. Nothing worse than urine soaked clothes when traveling!

    Every kid is different. Ask your kid where they want to go and make it work. Stop judging, there’s no right answer to this question, it really depends on the kid.

  7. Lyndsay May 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    I send my two older girls (4 and 7) a lot of places alone or, in the case of the younger one, “alone together.” But I think I would still hesitate to send them into an airport restroom. Only because, as others have noted, they are crazy chaotic places with multiple entrances. I am not worried about creeps or trouble, I’m worried about missing them when they come out or getting separated. I don’t even like to separate from my 40 something year old husband in a busy airport.

  8. James Pollock May 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    But… you CAN run into a creep in an airport bathroom. Ask former Senator Larry Craig.

  9. Anna May 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    Luckily, when we’ve been to the airport, my husband’s been there to take our 5-year-old son the bathroom. Not that I think it’s particularly unsafe, but those bathrooms are often so huge I think he might get a bit bewildered and lost in there.

    But anywhere else, he now goes on his own: our church, the library, the grocery store, the park. At first, I thought of it as a case-by-case decision, like “Well, here at church how dangerous is the bathroom anyway?” Then recently I realized there isn’t really anywhere left that I’m not comfortable with him going. And even at 5, I’ve started to feel like he’s a bit old to tag along into the wrong bathroom with me. So he waits for me outside when I use the ladies’ room at those places.

    After all, next year he’ll be in school, and if we’re being realistic, something bad (bullying, harassment, or even molestation) is a whole lot likelier in a school bathroom than in any other public bathroom we ever encounter.

  10. Beth May 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    @R Hookup, that was my thought too, along with having to have a ticket! Granted, we don’t know if the particular bathroom above was pre- or post- security, and the valuable contribution about Larry Craig notwithstanding, how many creeps buy an airline ticket in order to hang out in the bathroom? I don’t find that logical at all; there are plenty of places to be creepy that don’t require spending hundreds of dollars on a ticket.

  11. Jess May 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    I’ll just add, as a woman, there’s nothing more awkward than a boy over six in the ladies room. I get that there are actual, practical reasons why this might happen, but if your kid doesn’t have any developmental delays and can wipe their own butt and wash their own hands, don’t make them come in the wrong restroom with you.

  12. SKL May 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    I would note that just because someone passed through security at some point, that doesn’t mean he is a highly moral person. They don’t check your personal history or moral character in the security line. I’m sure many not-so-nice people have flown in airplanes, and they do use the airport facilities before, between, and after flights. Airport workers are also using the facilities.

    I don’t assume people in an airport are either more or less likely to be creeps.

  13. brian May 8, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    Jess–What in the world is “awkward” about a 7 year old boy using a stall in the ladies room? I just dont get the hysteria on either side of this one. No one is waiting to molest in the mens room but if a boy in the ladies room who cares? What in the world are you worried about them seeing/doing? They are 7.

  14. John B. May 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    Here’s my take on the situation and I’m sure there are those who will disagree. But if the public restroom is a high traffic restroom , i.e. an international airport or a convenience store off the freeway or a public restroom at Disney World, I don’t believe there is any reason why you should not allow your 7-year-old son to use the restroom by himself providing it would be convenient for you to do so. Unless ALL 10 or more men in that restroom are perverts, which is as likely as all of the galaxies aligning in the universe, your son s/b perfectly safe. Primarily because the other men in the restroom would pummel the pervert into the floor if he touched your kid! So I think we need to use some common sense here.

    Now, if the public restroom is fairly low traffic and in a bus station or greasy spoon restaurant or city park where any weirdo can walk in off the street and be alone with your son in that restroom, then I might be somewhat hesitant of allowing my 7-year-old kid to use the restroom by himself.

    So it really depends upon where the public restroom is and the volume of men who use it IMO. Years ago when I visited Disney World with some friends, the lady we were with would not allow her 9-year-old son to go into the men’s restroom without us being present with him. We would oblige her request but her fear, in MY opinion, was unfounded considering all men’s restrooms at Disney World were packed with nothing but dads and their young sons.

  15. Marie May 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    If anything had happened to your son while he was unattended in the men’s room, you never would have forgiven yourself.

    I used to use this argument. For example: How could I live with myself if something bad happened to my child because I hadn’t insisted on safety first?

    Then it dawned on me that it is completely wrong to give more weight to my fears than to the child’s satisfaction/joy at growing up. My feelings don’t come first. I can deal with my own fear while encouraging the kids to do more, to learn how to take on more responsibility for themselves. I have never been sorry that I let them learn to do things on their own.

    I like that my kids are kind to the oddballs and weirdos. If I raised them to fear strangers, maybe they would be less tolerant of the strange.

  16. Krystal May 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    When my daughter was 4-5 years old my husband would take her to football games without me. After an accident because he was unsure of which bathroom she should go in, I told him…. put her in line. Tell the women in front and behind her that she is here with all men. Would they please make sure she gets through and washes her hands? He never had a problem after that and she always came out with clean hands. After that, I would have my son with me, just told a friendly man that he likes to play too long in the water, so would they mind making sure he got out without soaking the bathroom. Most strangers want to be helpful if asked.

  17. Jessica May 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    That’s a great idea!

  18. Donna May 8, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    “all it takes is one creep”

    No, in the instance of a busy bathroom in the airport, it would take one creep and a bunch of other men and boys who will stand by and do nothing while a 7 year old is being molested despite having some of the easiest access to security personnel in any location outside of a police station itself. A busy airport bathroom is probably one of the safest places for a young boy to go by himself.

    And while I agree, that airport bathrooms can be large and confusing with multiple entrances such that not wanting an inexperienced child to go alone may be justified, that was not her concern. She stated plainly that her concern was a creep in the bathroom, not that the boy would be confused or get lost.

  19. Jason May 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    If you assume that all potential molesters are also methodical premeditators, then they are unlikely to choose airports for their crimes. But, since children and adults have been molested even on planes, and even by an off-duty pilot in at least one case, I wouldn’t say airports are all safe and secure. In fact, a woman was raped at a gate a few years ago at a late hour of the evening.

    I once saw a teenage girl traveling with her younger brother at the airport. The boy went into the men’s room, and the girl plopped down with their coats and carry-ons right between the adjacent entrance and exit doorways, ensuring that he couldn’t leave without her knowing. I wondered if that was their idea or a parent’s.

  20. theresa May 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

    I always figure if a kid is old enough for school where it unlikely teacher will be hand holding is plenty old go by yourself.

  21. Jess May 8, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    I’m not talking about boys using the stalls in the ladies room, because most of the time what I see is a boy, sometimes up to 10 or 11, standing embarrassed, inside the ladies restroom as they wait for their mom, or worse, getting pulled into the handicap stall with their mom. It’s awkward for me because it’s awkward for them. I’ve never seen a kid that looked pleased about being made to wait in there.

  22. Donna May 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    “If you assume that all potential molesters are also methodical premeditators, then they are unlikely to choose airports for their crimes.”

    To the contrary, I assume that many potential molesters are opportunists. Opportunists are also highly unlikely to choose BUSY (the mother’s term, not mine) airport bathrooms for their crimes. A quiet airport bathroom at 2am? Far more possible.

    “I wouldn’t say airports are all safe and secure.”

    There is no such thing as 100% safe and secure in the world of public bathrooms, but a BUSY bathroom anywhere would be pretty damn safe.

  23. LGB May 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    I’ve left this comment before, it seems, but it bears repeating.

    Parents. Can’t. Win.

    If I let my 7-year-old son use the men’s room alone, I’m exposing him to all sorts of creeps and perverts. If I let him use the ladies’ room with me, women feel outraged and embarrassed to see a boy in there.

    Our local rec center requires boys ages 6 and up to use the men’s room. But they also require that children be “visually supervised” at all times. Am I, a grown woman, expected to accompany him into the men’s room, then?

    The State is so determined to parent its parents but can’t make up its mind how to do it. Perhaps the Nanny State needs a parenting class?

  24. LGB May 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    @R Hookup, having just endured the TSA groping of a lifetime, I can assure you that the airport is a great place for ANYBODY to go get molested.

    Children in airports are in much greater danger in the security line than the restroom.

  25. Donna May 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    “if a boy in the ladies room who cares?”

    All the tween girls that I have ever known. My daughter would be horribly embarrassed to be in the bathroom with a boy close to her age. It may not be particularly rational, but it is the women’s bathroom so she doesn’t have to be rational about not wanting boys old enough to pee on their own in there.

  26. Renee Anne May 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    Oh lord, the airport…..if the bathroom is within sight from where I am, I let him go by himself. Otherwise, I will go over there with him but he can go in by himself. For the record, he’s 6 years old. Actually, he’s now getting to the point where he’ll say, “mom, I can do it by myself.” Booger. He has also learned to wait for me if I have to go into the bathroom (or change his little brother).

    He’s been going to the bathroom by himself in places like Target/Costco since he was 4 years old. Now he pretty much does it wherever.

  27. James May 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    For my money, here’s the key quote of the “advice” quoted in this post:

    “We must look out for and support our fellow mothers, not make them doubt themselves or feel uncomfortable about their decisions. You did the right thing.”

    Taken at face value, this is fantastic advice. We should be supportive and helpful and generally good-natured towards people who are doing one of the most difficult tasks that can be done: training a human being to live in modern society. However, that’s not what paranoia-mongers are doing. They’re not just shaming but outright CRIMINALIZING behaviors they dislike, and which objectively pose less of a threat than behaviors these parents routinely allow their kids to participate in.

    Plus, self-doubt can be good. A mother asking herself “Did I make the right call?” is really saying that something doesn’t feel right about what she did, that some aspect of it contradicts something she believes. Rather than smothering that feeling, we should encourage people to explore them. WHY did she feel the need to write to an advice columnist about this? Because part of her believes she was acting irrationally. Was she? Objectively speaking, yes–while “it only takes one creep”, the odds of that one creep actually attacking her son are lower than the odds of her son dying on the car ride to the airport. Not sure about the odds of her son dying on the plane, but I want to say it’s still lower (more comparable, since she has no control over whether her son will be harmed in the plane). The fact that she already believes herself to be acting irrationally–evidenced by the fact that she sought “expert” advice–is a very good warning sign that she’s erred, and one that should not be dismissed as “making her doubt herself or feel uncomfortable about her decisions”.

  28. Anne May 8, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    “All the tween girls that I have ever known. My daughter would be horribly embarrassed to be in the bathroom with a boy close to her age. It may not be particularly rational, but it is the women’s bathroom so she doesn’t have to be rational about not wanting boys old enough to pee on their own in there.”

    My tween girls agree. Also, we have been in plenty of bathrooms where you can see out through gaps, or the lock is so flimsy and/or warped that a bump sends the door flying open, so I do sympathize with their discomfort.

  29. Eric S May 8, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    Dear Annie, I write to you to get sage advice, but you sometimes give uneducated, and emotional ones that have no shred of proof. How can I trust what you say is what is best for ME and my family, and not just because you get paid to do this, and you’re just as paranoid as many ill informed parents out there? Who base everything on emotional responses. Should you really be giving parenting advice to parents, when you don’t know any more than they do?

    Dear Annie, not dear annie.

  30. Eric S May 8, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Bang on James!

  31. James May 8, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    “if a boy in the ladies room who cares?”

    Well, let’s start with the child. I mean, he IS a human being, right? (The “worst-first” folks never seem to think so…)

    At 7, he’s been in school for 2 to 3 years. Unless his teacher follows him into the restroom at all times (an impossibility in a class of more than 3 people), he’s used the bathroom by himself a few hundred times. He’s got this suite of skills more or less mastered. And you, as a parent, are taking that away from him. You are saying “I don’t trust you, to such an extent that I’m going to defy ingrained social norms to avoid needing to trust you.” Your intentions are irrelevant; this is what your son will interpret these actions as. That’s just one issue; there are others.

    Then there’s you. This is a complete waste of time–the odds of there being a creep are so low that they’re essentially nil, yet here you are, wasting time trying to prevent something that’s not going to happen anyway. Once in a while it’s not a big deal, sure–just as once in a while eating ice cream for supper isn’t a big deal. But it becomes habit-forming. And that can lead to resentment.

    Then there’s the facilities management. They have assigned bathrooms for a reason. Men and women require different facilities. When they’re a toddler it’s not so important (mine are giants, yet are too short to stand while peeing), but at 7 this can become a substantive issue.

    Then there are the people around you, women who don’t want to replace tampons or deal with menstrual pads or take medication around an inquisitive male. Your actions are making them uncomfortable. Dismissing their rational discomfort because your actions alleviate your irrational discomfort is irrational.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

  32. Jason May 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    I agree that busy airport bathrooms are extremely safe, and that even not so busy ones are pretty safe. But, that safety comes more from the actual presence of the other people and their likelihood of intervening, rather than relying on rational behavior from a potential assailant, who might be drunk, mentally ill, or who knows what.

  33. donald May 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

    Good decision making comes from weighing up pros vs. cons.

    Should I allow my 7-year-old in a public bathroom by himself?

    Con – Creeps, Kidnappers, Sex slave traders

    Pro – Learns self-reliance

    DON’T STOP THERE! Ask another question

    Should I hinder my child from learning self-reliance?

    Pro – Immediately relief. (I don’t have to worry)

    Con – This builds resentment. Each time I overprotect, my child resents it. Furthermore, When my child achieves adult age but does not achieve adult mentality, he’ll blame me for his depression! This will result in that I can no longer keep him safe. The resentment will make him refrain from listening to me. This may still be the case when I advise him not to hang around his friends that are frequently using drugs!

  34. donald May 8, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    “Well, let’s start with the child. I mean, he IS a human being, right?”

    You are 100% right! Sadly this fact gets ignored frequently. People often don’t consider the resentment they feel. They want to grow up. However, they are constantly being treated as if they are helpless infants. They get this treatment from:

    1. Worrisome moms
    2. School administrators and bureaucrats that only considering CYA (cover your …..)

  35. James May 8, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    “Good decision making comes from weighing up pros vs. cons.”

    I was thinking about this, and I don’t think simple pros/cons are good enough. A worst-first mentality can ALWAYS overwhelm you with cons. I mean, there’s a certain chance the ceiling will fall down and kill you. Remember, we’re dealing with people who think their mere presence will stop sports injuries. There’s a chance your kid can get stuck in the toilet and need pulled out–it happened to my sister (granted, it wasn’t an accident–I attempted to flush her down the toilet as a child–but still, it COULD happen accidently). Once you accept that any risk is relevant, regardless of probability, the con side always and inevitably wins.

    I think a weighted pro/con list would help. So, for your example:

    Should I allow my 7-year-old in a public bathroom by himself?

    Con – Creeps, Kidnappers, Sex slave traders (extremely unlikely–odds of 1:30,000,000 or less)

    Pro – Learns self-reliance (certain–odds of 1:1)

    The main problem here is that amplitude is also a factor. What I mean is, the worst-first people will respond “But you would never forgive yourself if your kid was kidnapped because you were too lazy to accompany him!!” And they’re right, a kidnapping is an unusually traumatic event, and that trauma bears consideration. On the pro side, the effect of a single instance of using a bathroom alone (or, in converse, the negative effect of being accompanied by Mommy) is pretty small, nearly negligible in isolation. A dishonest person could easily use that to make the two still appear equally balanced–the Pro side has even odds but small effect, while the Con side has long odds but a potentially catastrophic effect. I would need to know a great deal more about psychology I’m hesitant to add this concept to the model above, to avoid creating that false equivalency.

  36. Donna May 8, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

    “But, that safety comes more from the actual presence of the other people and their likelihood of intervening, rather than relying on rational behavior from a potential assailant, who might be drunk, mentally ill, or who knows what.”

    Isn’t abstaining from committing a crime where there is a high likelihood of someone intervening (and you being arrested) rational behavior from a potential assailant? Sure, “don’t commit crimes at all” would be best, but “don’t commit crimes where you have a high likelihood of being caught” is pretty damn rational.

  37. donald May 8, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    Welcome to my class of:
    Successful Kidnapping 101

    DO NOT kidnap in an airport. There are too many cameras. They have almost as many cameras as casinos. The footage will be reviewed. You will get caught.

  38. James Pollock May 8, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    “Isn’t abstaining from committing a crime where there is a high likelihood of someone intervening (and you being arrested) rational behavior from a potential assailant?”

    Yes, it is. But drunk, high, or mentally ill people don’t do rational thinking very well. So they might try to commit crimes even when it is highly unlikely that they will get away with it. It’s unwise to rely on irrational people acting rationally, because irrational people don’t act (reliably) rationally.

  39. donald May 8, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

    “A worst-first mentality can ALWAYS overwhelm you with cons.”

    Again I agree 100% It takes more than Pro Vs. Con. I was highlighting the importance of looking at more that one side. Unfortunately, a person that’s overwhelmed with, “What if” can become ‘paralyzed’ to see another side of things. Horrific thoughts can have an effect similar to being electrocuted. Being electrocuted can force your muscles to grip the wire tighter – the wire that’s causing the harm in the first place! The limbic system (emotional part of the brain) can declare martial law and take 100% control of decision making. Unfortunately, the neocortex (logic and rational) can get completely disregarded!

    I also get angry that some ‘worst first thinkers’ think that this type of thinking is a ‘gift’ for them to hand down to their child. They want their child to become a worst first thinker as well. They pat themselves on the back for giving them this wonderful gift. I shake my head and think that their ‘gift’ is the same as giving hepatitis!

  40. Leigh May 8, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    7 year olds have a wide range of abilities. Some can handle all public bathrooms without issue; some cannot. I wouldn’t judge a parent either way. People know their own kids. They know if they will come out quickly, or if they will have to go in or send a man in to find their kids after a long wait. I’ve had to send men in to find my kids before (they couldn’t reach the soap and were not coming out until they washed their hands). My partner and I (both women) have 4 boys. It was complicated when they were younger. I think it is even harder for dads out with their little girls. At least most women are understanding when you bring little boys in the restroom with you.

  41. Peter May 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Marie, that is exactly the problem I have with this argument.

    “How would you feel if something bad happened to your kid?”

    Uh…no matter how bad I might feel, I think it’s safe to say that my kid would feel worse. But, hey, having kids is all about me, me, me!

  42. James Pollock May 8, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    ” I think it is even harder for dads out with their little girls.”

    Not really. Partly because part of the protocol is that men largely pretend not to see anything or anyone else in the men’s room, partly because I followed (roughly) the procedure described above. (“Excuse me, would you mind escorting my little girl in the ladies’ room?”) And partly because my offspring unit went on her own from a fairly early age.

    The hard part is waiting, just outside the ladies’ room… close enough that my daughter can find me when she comes back out, but not so close that other women feel threatened by the man hanging out outside the ladies’ room.

  43. donald May 8, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

    “Uh…no matter how bad I might feel, I think it’s safe to say that my kid would feel worse. But, hey, having kids is all about me, me, me!”

    LOL I love it! You hit the nail on the head!

  44. lollipoplover May 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

    @Leigh- Yup. Kids are all over the place and age is just a number. My oldest son was very uncomfortable being dragged in the women’s bathroom at a very early age. I respected his wishes and let him use the men’s room at 4 or 5, can’t remember. He was in and out in record time!
    Being female, I never had these issues with my girls but have plenty of empathy for parents wanting to send young children into an opposite sex bathroom (or not) and will gladly help them reach the soap or get a towel. And not judge, but praise independent, self-sufficient kids.

  45. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 4:22 am #


    It’s more awkward for the kids than adults as they start getting older, and the larger issue is Annie’s reply. “If anything would have happened to your son while he was unattended in the mens room you would have never forgiven yourself”. God forbid a boy be unattended around men. We know they’re all strange and evil, and lurk in every corner, waiting to pounce.

    The ‘you made the best decision for your family’ line or you followed your instincts are often used as excuses. Before you know it that kid will be 12 and his mom will still be making him use the ladies room (it’s sadly common now) because she followed her instincts/mothers intuition and made the best decision for her family.

    On a personal note… When I was 3, almost 4 (before kindergarten) I used to go to the restroom with a boy close to my age. He was 6-7 months younger. Our moms always took us into the ladies at the same time and if the were busy we would go without them. It was all fine and dandy until his mom walked in and found us playing I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. I will never forget her screaming, covering his eyes and running out of the bathroom. It was perfectly innocent. We both noticed we were built differently and were discussing it, while standing 4 feet apart, but his mom had a melt down. She yelled at my mother, we were forbidden from going to the bathroom with each other again and kept yelling, “Only married people do that!!!”. So we asked the preacher if he would marry us. This didn’t go over well either.

    38 years later and the woman still hates me and thinks I’m a hussie

  46. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 4:24 am #

    ^^ To clarify that was at our childhood church, hence the preacher.

  47. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 5:57 am #

    @ Anne

    Oh yeah! Most tweens would be incredibly embarrassed.

    During the whole trans bathroom melt down one story in particular stuck with me. I still think about it often. A trans middle school student in Ohio… i think it was Ohio… had asked administrators to allow for the use a different/non legally charged name on all paperwork/class assignments and had gotten a thumbs up. How, I’m not sure. I keep seeing people saying it’s unconstitutional and in violation of anti discrimination policies to not use a NON LEGAL name and crazy pronouns someone made up on the fly. Next the student asked for permission to use the girls restroom and was given a green light. Play on the girls sports team? Sure. Shower with the girls in the locker room? NO!! 51 tweens expressed deep concern and said they did not feel comfortable sharing the showers.

    Keep in mind this is a middle school. The trans student is a bit too young for any reassignment measures and had made it perfectly clear that reassignment was something that would never be happening. She had no interest in it.

    I personally have been sharing bathrooms with trans people since I went to my first gay bar with my best friend well over 20 years ago. I don’t have an issue, and most trans people I know have absolutely no idea why this bathroom bill drama was even started or who actually asked for it. There is a lot of debate on that matter due to the number of (what many call) trans trendies in middle school – colleges. It started spreading via blogs by college students on Tumblr and thanks to Gender Studies classes where professors proclaim biological sexes do not exist and your gender is so fluid that it can change 25 times a day, along with your pronouns. It all too common to see people proclaiming they they are trans persons who will never do the thing that’s in the name and partially defines being trans… transition. So, when I see a story about a middle school trans student who is confident and sure enough to know they will never have the desire to transition I am incredibly leery. Gender Dysphoria, a psychiatric diagnosis, is part of the criteria of being trans as well and many of new trendy trans crowd seem to completely lack it, while others proclaim the word mother should be removed from all issues of reproductive heath and pregnancy discussion because it causes them to feel dysphoria.

    I’m digressing (because this goes over board agitates many)

    Back to it… 51 girls came forward asking the school to not allow access to the locker rooms showers. Can I blame them for not wanting to shower with a 100% physically male tween as they are entering puberty? No. It’s often hard for them to shower around other girls at that age. They were of course automatically deemed transphobic, shamed in the media and ignored. I found this incredibly sad. They know this kid, and could have an honest reason to be reluctant outside of anatomy.

    Letting them talk would have been a good thing, as opposed to attacking them.

  48. mer May 9, 2017 at 6:10 am #

    If a boy is old enough to pee out in the backyard behind a tree, he’s old enough to use the mens room.

  49. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 6:20 am #

    I’m not going to pretend I’m a 12 year old faced with the possibility of being forced to shower in front of 12 year old boys, while bleeding like a stuck hog, which I then might be blasted for because it brought about feelings of dysphoria for someone who never wants to transition but wants all things feminine disassociated from pads and tampons. This is the level of discussion brought forth by Millennials that has filtered down into elementary schools. That’s a nightmare. I don’t use locker room showers. I’m not in that boat. I’d be interested in hearing what they have to say to say as opposed to pointing at them and screaming SHAME!! SHAME!! SHAME!!

  50. Katie G May 9, 2017 at 6:47 am #

    The conern about a cofusing setup is entirely different, because it’s analyzing the specific situation and finding something that is reasonably likely. It’s like the difference between “You may not make cookies because you’ll burn yourself” and “You may not make cookies today because we’ll be out all day”.

  51. Dienne May 9, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    Dingbat (aptly named, BTW), is there a reason you need to bring up transgender issues on practically every thread? One wonders just what it is that you’re repressing. Anyone that concerned about other people’s genitals has issues.

  52. James May 9, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    Transgender issues are certainly complicated. That said, they don’t extrapolate to others–transgendered folks face unique challenges, inapplicable to the rest of us.

    “I think it is even harder for dads out with their little girls. At least most women are understanding when you bring little boys in the restroom with you.”

    I’ve had to change my daughter in men’s rooms before, and there’s two attitudes that I’ve encountered (in as much as you can say you’ve encountered anything in an environment where communication is prohibited). Most men are tolerant to frankly happy–seeing a young dad taking care of his daughter is one of those small domestic routines that reminds them of when their kids were young. It makes them think I’m a good father. The other group is annoyed about the presence of ANY infants/toddlers, male or female, and seems (from the fragments of conversation I’ve heard) to view me as week-willed and hen-pecked for doing “women’s work”. Which is moronic; my family taught me there’s no “men’s work” or “women’s work”, only WORK, some of which the husband prefers/is better at, some of which the wife prefers/is better at.

    The real issue is that young girls (sisters, nieces, and kids of friends are my evidence for this) view men’s rooms as unholy horror-dens of foulness and the font of all things unclean. The girls feel uncomfortable going in, for reasons that aren’t entirely invalid.

  53. SKL May 9, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    James, the girls don’t want to go in the men’s room because they don’t want to see guy parts. And that’s really not such a strange thing.

    Maybe it’s just a girl thing, but we look around curiously when we enter a room. There have been times I’ve seen things I absolutely did not want to see. I’d just as soon stay out of the men’s room, thanks.

    I did offer to take a little girl (maybe 5/6yo) into the ladies’ room the last time I traveled. She felt a little funny and left the bathroom without using it. I guess she was waiting for her mom. Whatever works.

    Oh, I have a funny story about other people taking girls to the restroom. We were in Kiev and the tour guide didn’t want me to stop looking at the cathedral wall paintings to take my 9yo daughters to the bathroom. She offered to take them, which was fine – I thought. They came back after a long time, laughing like idiots. Apparently this famous tourist stop in Ukraine’s capital city had only “squatty potties,” and my kids had never used one before. They didn’t know to squat. They were hysterical and the tour guide was horrible. What kind of parent fails to teach kids how to use a squatty potty?! (Word to the wise – all the religious tourist spots we went to in Ukraine had only squatty potties, and some of them were quite filthy. So come prepared. :P)

  54. SKL May 9, 2017 at 10:50 am #

    In my post above, where it says “horrible,” I meant “horrified.” 😛

  55. Carla May 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    I remember years ago being tired of seeing half-grown boys being taken into the ladies room (at church!). My younger sister–around age 18–felt the same. She told me that the next time she saw a woman bring one of them in, she was going to hike her skirt and adjust her pantyhose. (No, she never did really did that.)

    I also had the lovely experience of having a mother snap at me for being too exposed in front of her kids while I was breastfeeding in the Walmart bathroom. (Walmart had placed a chair in the room for this purpose–I wasn’t nursing in a stall.) She was gone too quickly for me to tell her not to bring her boys into the women’s room if she didn’t want them to see, y’know, WOMEN!

  56. James May 9, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    “James, the girls don’t want to go in the men’s room because they don’t want to see guy parts.”

    We have had different experiences. I’m not saying that it’s not a reason for many people–I’m just saying that for the girls I’ve spoken with (or, rather, the girls who have expressed their opinions on the topic, loudly, whether I wanted to hear them or not), cleanliness was the major concern. Different people of course have different concerns, and rank each concern differently.

    Guys look around when we enter a room as well. We note if the tile is cracked, if the grout needs re-done, if the lights aren’t maintained properly, if the plumbing (where visible) is ideal or not. You just don’t look where the things you don’t want to see are going to be. We’re all built the same, so it’s not hard to know where not to look.

  57. SKL May 9, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    What can I say, I did have to clean the men’s room at a factory I briefly owned, and that is something I never want to do again. 😛

    But my friend who had a job cleaning at a bar swore the women’s room was always the filthiest. I will take her word for it on that. I think I’ll just end there. 😛

  58. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    “The real issue is that young girls (sisters, nieces, and kids of friends are my evidence for this) view men’s rooms as unholy horror-dens of foulness and the font of all things unclean. The girls feel uncomfortable going in, for reasons that aren’t entirely invalid.”

    Once upon a time, in my youth, I attended a public university which separated the young women from the young men into separate dorms. The men’s dorm and the women’s dorm were separated by a narrow lawn. The men’s dorm had one ladies’ room, on the ground floor, next to the lounge; the floors above, where all people actually lived, had only men’s rooms.
    Of course, it was not uncommon to have young women visit in the men’s dorm. Some of them would even stay for an extended visit. I lived on the sixth floor, so if I, or my closest neighbors, had such a guest, they would have to walk down six flights of stairs, then walk back up six flights of stairs, to reach a room designated for use by persons of their gender. Or they could walk down the hall. Few of them chose the stairs. Granted, that’s probably a different age range than the one you were talking about.
    There was also an occasional surge in the athletic venues, because their lines were always longer. So a handful would break off from the line outside the ladies’, and they’d seize the men’s room If you’re there to pee, it doesn’t actually make much difference which room you’re in.

  59. Papilio May 9, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    @donald: “Each time I overprotect, my child resents it. […] The resentment will make him refrain from listening to me. This may still be the case when I advise him not to hang around his friends that are frequently using drugs!” Yes, this! Constantly warning children about unlikely dangers surely has a cry-wolf effect?

    @James: “women who don’t want to replace tampons or deal with menstrual pads or take medication around an inquisitive male.” Given how, eh, unpopular it is in some regions to give highschool kids proper sex ed, I wonder how keen moms are to explain to their 7-year-old son why there’s blood dripping on the floor in the stall next to them

    @Dingbat: “It was all fine and dandy until his mom walked in and found us playing I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. I will never forget her screaming, covering his eyes and running out of the bathroom. It was perfectly innocent. We both noticed we were built differently and were discussing it, while standing 4 feet apart, but his mom had a melt down. She yelled at my mother, we were forbidden from going to the bathroom with each other again and kept yelling, “Only married people do that!!!”.”
    Sounds like she was trying to scare her son gay! 😛

    @SKL: “the girls don’t want to go in the men’s room because they don’t want to see guy parts.” I don’t mind seeing guy parts, I just think the guy parts’ owners do mind me seeing them. It’s just awkward because I very clearly don’t belong there and we all know it.

  60. Ann in L.A. May 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    I always found airports to be good places to relax about the kids, especially once they had been through them enough to know gate numbers. It’s a heavily secured area with lots of people around. What can possibly happen? There’s no way anyone is going to grab a kid with a large number of people around, and there’s no where they could go if they did. Once the kids were old enough to find their way back to the right gate, and aware enough of the clock to get back on time, they could go off and get themselves a snack or go to the restroom on their own.

  61. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    @Dienne, I only recall mentioning a middle or high school
    student who was upset that another student came out as non binary on trans visibility day…. because it sounded like Orwellian Sci Fi, one other time. I’ve not brought up bathroom issues before. It largely does not effect or bother me.

    Is there some reason you have a problem with people talking, or with several students being able to talk out there feelings and issues on the matter as opposed to be demonized by others who can’t make a valid argument?

    We didn’t change hearts and minds during the AIDS panic and following years by demonizing and shaming people with concerns and questions

  62. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    @Dienne… You do realize the over kill has to be discussed as well, right? In some countries people actually are recommending/demanding that that the words women and mother not be used during discussions of reproductive health issues and pregnancy because it may cause one of the 2 pregnant trans men in the country disphorya. What about the millions of extant women who are now going to be non mothers, pregnant persons? Is denying basic biology so politicians are not labeled transphobic by people who can do nothing but point and chant accusations worth it?

    Is this not an extended issue of “safety” and protecting the “psyche” above all else?

    I do not know one single trans person who would ask for this. In fact they are appalled and angry at the over kill being requested on their behalf. They are well aware dysphoria is part of the territory and it not something they put off on everyone else to correct for them.

  63. James May 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    “But my friend who had a job cleaning at a bar swore the women’s room was always the filthiest.”

    I’ve heard that too. And it makes some sense–men have fewer needs in that department than women, after all (men don’t use tampons or, for the most part, makeup, for example), so less chances of an accidental mess. But that isn’t convincing to young girls when the women’s restroom is out of order. Something about having brothers and the smells coming out of their brothers’ rooms. 😀

    I’m somewhat curious about Japanese bathrooms. What I mean is, there are a few men’s bathrooms with games in them that you play by using the facilities (I’m trying to be PG-13 here….). I wonder if there was an increase or decrease in how clean those facilities were.

    “Given how, eh, unpopular it is in some regions to give highschool kids proper sex ed, I wonder how keen moms are to explain to their 7-year-old son why there’s blood dripping on the floor in the stall next to them”

    Quite probably true. And our culture breeds a disgust into men regarding menstruation. Most men I know are uncomfortable buying their spouses/girlfriends supplies, talking about the subject, or even being in the same room as people discussing it. And that attitude starts young. Which means we’re creating a situation where the women are uncomfortable because there’s a male in the bathroom, and the male is uncomfortable because this is obviously not a place he belongs–all to pander to this mother’s paranoia.

  64. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

    I don’t give a damn if it’s out of control people demanding more suspension of disbelief, legislation, and violations of others rights to stop the modern day sex slavery that is holding all the children captive, lest you be pointed at and called a pedo supporter/promoter OR those demanding you remove the word women/mother from all discussion of reproductive heath and childbirth, for the benefit of a few. lest you be pointed at and called transphobic.

    They both do nothing but suppress, harm & cause problems in the long run. And the fact that no one involved is willing to stop playing Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Salem long enough to have honest discussions is very telling.

  65. Jason May 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    @Donna – maybe I should have been more plain in my meaning: if there are 2 of us and 1 of you, your rationality, or lack thereof, is your problem, not ours.

  66. Julianna May 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    I too once was a single mother of a young son. He has a disabilty, and so is somewhat naive and very trusting of strangers. When he clearly was too old to take into a public ladies room (7 or 8), I would send him into the men’s with the instruction to keep singing a song loudly. I’d stand right outside the door so I could hear if he stopped singing. We got a few funny looks from time to time, but he got his privacy and independence, and I got peace of mind.

  67. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    “In some countries people actually are recommending/demanding that…”

    In countries with free speech, there are people actually recommending/demanding pretty much anything and everything. Sometimes they’re even right. So?

  68. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    @James P

    So they should be able to have discussions with people about their list of demands instead of finger pointing and pressuring others to make it happen, now, while slowly invading guidelines of particular fields.

    The guidelines/policies given to the British Health Org are based on one trans man who had not yet medically transitioned (it was in the works until he found out he was pregnant) giving birth. Somehow the term expectant mothers is archaic after this?

    There has been a demand for sometime for Paramedics/Emergency Services personnel to stop asking if a patient is male or female because it may hurt a trans person feelings. I’m sorry, I’d rather their feelings be hurt than run the risk of missing or misconstruing their symptoms. Biological males and females do present completely different symptoms when it comes to different illnesses, heart disease being a big one. 911 dispatchers and paramedics have been trained to ask specific questions so they can respond to various emergencies properly. The biological sex of the patient needs to be given.

  69. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    Or do we all allow virtue signaling and screaming Millennials to dictate medical procedures and basic biology to us now?

  70. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm #


    I am aware they face completely different situations, and I am aware that not all can transition due to various medical circumstances.

    My cousin unfortunately inherited his mothers paranoid schizophrenia, he is severely dyslexic/to the point where reading and writing is almost impossible and he has experience severe dysphoria since we were children. I will never forget him coming out of the bathroom at our baby sitters house and telling me he heard a pop in his head, started hallucinating thing flying around him and heard voices telling him he was actually a girl.

    Granted, his situation is more complex than most. We were both taking fashion classes in college in 1995 when the professor asked him if he was dyslexic. We had never heard the word before. With him being 21-22 years old before anyone had addressed it, it was harder to work with him. Due to his schizophrenia he has never been sure if the dysphoria he feels is valid or not he was never sure if transitioning was a valid option. He started doing drag in 96 to see how he felt about it, and sort some issues out. He’s still has not transitioned.

    I know it is rough on those caught in a limbo of sorts. I know trans people face various challenges but we also have to be careful of doing things that exceed rationality and reason, just because it gives us a case of the feels good.

  71. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

    “So they should be able to have discussions with people about their list of demands”
    Hell, no.
    The right to speak does not imply that anyone else has a duty to listen.

    Case in point: The fact you *YOU* are obsessed with trans issues does not imply that *I* have to take anything you say on the topic seriously. You don’t have to take anything I have to say on the subject seriously. And various third parties are free to ignore both of us (and, most of the time, that would be my recommendation.)

    Briefly, here is my opinion, for you to take or ignore at your option:
    Gender is not binary. Oh, it is in most cases, but not all. Furthermore, several of the non-binary cases are quite well-understood, scientifically. Some are rare enough that scientists haven’t had enough study to fully understand. And, of course, the entire issue is highly private, so few people really know much of anything about it.

    It doesn’t take too much empathy to see that treating gender as completely binary might well be fine for most people, because their gender IS binary and clearly-defined, but at the same time be wrong and hurtful to the few people for whom it is not. There’s a lot of history of people not really being kind of others who were or are different… left-handed, albino, epicanthic folds, melanin content, short limbs,… the list of “reasons” to treat people unkindly is a long one. We’ve gone a long way towards addressing some of these… lefties are hardly ever burned alive for being spawn of the devil any more, for example.

    I have a dream… a dream where, my little children and grandchildren can live in a world where they will be judged for what they do and how they do it, rather than by the specific quirks of their DNA.

  72. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    @ James P

    Take a xanax, you are being hysterical. I have no judgements toward trans people.

    I do take issue with those who automatically assume people are transphobic if they dare step outside of dogma current surrounding it to have an in depth conversation on particular situations that could potentially dangerous.

    Do we undo all the medical research that was done surrounding heart disease, and the steps that were taken to help identify it early in men and women and take proper preventive measures, just so less than 1% of the population will not have their feelings hurt when first responders ask for your sex/your biological sex? Do we put the entire population, including trans patients, at risk?

    Do we listen to medical professionals when they state they have an eithical dilemma due to some demands or do we plug our ears and say… LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!! YOURE TRANSPHOBIC AND I CANT HEAR YOU!!!!

    When 51 tweens come forward with objections do we do the same to them or see if people can talk and work it out?

    You have to understand that there truly are a large number of transtrenders out there right now. We’re talking about teens going through a phase, like Goth, except people are attempting to instutionalize it and base laws around it.

    Also, learn the difference in people talking about Orwellian/dehumanizing langue changes, and people discriminating against trans persons.

    In the words of the great Camper Beethoven:

    Had a dream last night but i forget what it was
    Had a dream last night about you my friend
    Had a dream I wanted to sleep next to plastic
    Had a dream I wanted to lick your knees
    Had a dream about nothing…

  73. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    “Take a xanax, you are being hysterical.”

    Whoops. Am I the one who keeps bringing this topic up? Sorry about that.

  74. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    (Must be all that Radfem indoctrination I endured.)

  75. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

    And again… someone in a different discussion, I think it was about NCMEC doing the GMA Q&A about who lost kids should feel comfortable asking for help, asked what people would do in a trans situation and I joking brought up transtrenders and remarked on the teens all upset about their friends coming out as non binary on trans visibility day, taking attention away from those who identify as trans.

    People discussing tween girls being embarrassed easily in this thread made me think of the story I read about the Ohio middle school over a year ago I brought it up. Not sure how this = obsessed

    I’m more concerned with the finger pointing and accusations, that prohibit conversation, in an attempt to get what one wants. I’m concerned about that on multiple levels.

  76. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    Perhaps it’s your daughters indoctrination rubbing off.

  77. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    Let me ask you a serious question. Do you take issue with the methods being used to fight the child trafficking epidemic? Lenore often links a really good Reason article from 2015 about the instutionalized moral crusade against prostitution (and porn), that his been raging on for decades, and that has been headed by Anti Sex Radfem’s and Christian fundamentalists, creating the war on sex trafficking which has turned into the new war on drugs.

    A large part of the problem is if anyone dare questions the less than honest/padded/wildly exaggerated stats on the matter, or says the legislation attempts and rights violations are getting too extreme they are quickly demonized as being pro pedophilla/for the trafficking of “our children”.

    Are you okay with the exact same methods being used in other situations? Do you see no problem with this tactic?

  78. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    We have to remove on line speech protections from all to save the trafficked children!!!

    It doesn’t matter that no one knows how many there are and that most are not children being held in capitivity! It doesn’t matter if it’s 30k or 300,000!!!

    No one has the right to hurt our children!!!

    No one has the right to question my identity and needs!!!

    It doesn’t matter if 100% of the population will potentially be put at risk if we stop asking for a patients biological sex!!

    It doesn’t matter if college professors who have no issues using proper pronouns with trans students are having their career threatened, and facing potential fines, if they do not use the completely fabricated and unpronounceable repurposed pronouns gender studies/trans trending students are making up and changing on a daily basis!!!

    It will trigger and hurt the feelings of some! No one has the right to hurt feelings!!!

    You’re all transphobic pedo’s!!! Shame, s shame, shame.

  79. James May 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

    @Dingbat: Few people (and James P isn’t exactly respected on this blog’s comments section) are arguing that trans folks don’t deserve consideration, or should be dismissed. This is not, however, a good place for that particular discussion, as it distracts people from the core issue.

    If you’re at a baseball game and talk about nothing but football, people will be annoyed with you–wrong time, wrong place. Neither is more or less valid than the other, it’s an issue of venue. This discussion is about cis bathroom issues, which are complex enough. Trans bathroom issues are significant enough to warrant a separate discussion, where they can be addressed adequately.

  80. JP Merzetti May 9, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    John B –
    Entirely agreed. Satisfying common sense.
    And the irony at the end of your comment did not escape me:
    Any kid is safe in there…………as long as all the dads are escorts.

    But wow. has the world changed.
    When I was 7, there was no circumstance in heaven, on earth, or down in hell….
    that would have found me in a women’s rest room.
    (understanding at the time – that it would have been *me* who was the predator.)

    And I’d be real interested to know how far south of the Mason Dixon line of danger defining this would wind up as concerning girls in women’s washrooms alone. (as in – un-escorted)

  81. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    Understood and as far as I know I’m not prohibiting anyone else from talking about that topic which I weighed in on myself (complete with a bathroom story).

    As I mentioned, the issue of girls and boys for that matter being embarrassed easily around the age of puberty made me think of the situation in Ohio, which goes beyond to showers. I did say it was a digression/side topic in that post, and others responded to it.

    That tends to happen in conversations and they generally go back on track (while remaining that way among others).

  82. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    “Do you take issue with the methods being used to fight the child trafficking epidemic?”

    Do you mean the actual methods actually being used, or something you imagine?

  83. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    Read James P… Read. Learn the names and histories of those involved. There are decades of documentation including videos of lectures, discredited studies that are non peer reviewed garbage, and horrible policies, to back it up.

  84. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

    So, it’s the imagination one? OK.

  85. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    Yes. Excessive and unnecessary laws that they government itself has remarked on, along with very public campaigns, are immiginary.

    I would also ask you to look at this, though I know you won’t. I’m done talking to you after this. You have the mind of a washed Millennial

    “Basically, it’s not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex,” Mr. Matte said last month on “The Agenda,” a Canadian talk show, adding that “for over 50 years scientists have shown that that’s not true.”

    Mr. Matte also said gender pronouns — a contentious topic within the transgender community — only reinforce the false idea that humans exist as sexually compatible organisms with distinct chromosomes, hormones and genitalia.

    “I don’t focus on pronouns, because pronouns are actually part of a cisnormative culture,” he said.

    He defined “cisnormativity” as “basically the very popular idea and assumption that most people probably have, and definitely that our structures convey, that there is such a thing as male or female, that they connect to being a girl or a boy, a man or a woman.”
    “Cisnormativity is basically that everyone assumes that there is male and female, and so very little is actually looked at to understand what’s actually the case,” he said.

    The historian also condemned his colleague, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, whose unwillingness to call transgender students by their preferred gender pronouns sparked massive protests on campus earlier this year.

    Mr. Matte said Mr. Peterson “abuses” students by refusing to address them by preferred terms including “zie,” “zim” and “zir.” He said it’s “tantamount to violence” and “hate speech.”


    sex [seks]
    1. the fundamental distinction, found in most species of animals and plants, based on the type of gametes produced by the individual; also the category to which the individual fits on the basis of that criterion. Called also gender. See also gender identity and gender role.
    2. to determine which of these categories an organism belongs in.
    3. sexual intercourse.
    chromosomal sex the sex as determined by the presence of the XX (female) or the XY (male) genotype in somatic cells, without regard to phenotypic manifestations. Called also genetic sex.
    endocrinologic sex the phenotypic manifestations of sex determined by endocrine influences, such as development of breasts and genital organs.
    genetic sex chromosomal sex.
    gonadal sex the sex as determined on the basis of the gonadal tissue present (ovarian or testicular).
    sex hormones glandular secretions involved in the regulation of sexual functions. The principal sex hormone in the male is testosterone, produced by the testes. In the female the principal sex hormones are the estrogens and progesterone, produced by the ovaries. These hormones influence the secondary sex characters, such as the shape and contour of the body, the distribution of body hair, and the pitch of the voice. The male hormones stimulate production of spermatozoa in men, and the female hormones control ovulation, pregnancy, and the menstrual cycle in women.
    morphological sex sex determined on the basis of the morphology of the external genitals.
    nuclear sex the sex as determined on the basis of the presence or absence of sex chromatin in somatic cells, its presence normally indicating the XX (female) genotype, and its absence the XY (male) genotype.
    Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

    AND YES, we are all aware of various forms of intersex and have been for years, but we still recognize biological sex with intersex as a part of this.

    Biological sex is our anatomy as female, male, or intersex.
    It includes our internal and external sex organs, chromosomes, and hormones.
    Some people are intersex rather than female or male.
    Our biological sex is how we are defined as female, male, or intersex. It describes our internal and external bodies — including our sexual and reproductive anatomy, our genetic makeup, and our hormones.
    It’s normal to have questions about biological sex. Here are some of the most common questions we hear about what it means to be female, male, or intersex. We hope they help.

    And furthermore

    Some groups use an old prevalence statistic that says we make up 1 in 2000, or .05%, percent of the population, but that statistic refers to one specific intersex trait, ambiguous genitalia, which is but one of many variations which, combined (as they are in medical diagnostics and coding), constitute the 1.7% estimate

    What the Gender Studies professors are teaching is the idea that biological sex is a social construct that does not exist, and they often compare/demonize the scientific method, scientists and biologists to serial rape/ rapists and try to discredit them.

    It’s the same jargon that came out of radical feminism/political lesbianism (which is not your every day lesbian by any stretch of the imagination) and spread into gender feminism. They pushed the notion that sex/sexuality was a social construct therefore heterosexuality was not the norm/standard. According to them no one really has a preference in their partners orientation. Not some but no one. We have all had our orientations forced on us through societal pressure. This was ridiculous for one main reason that is completely void of judgement. Heterosexuality is the standard because it’s how our species propagates.

    I do know more people kept their orientation hidden in the 1970s and several were living a lie. It’s true that there were pressures from some but saying we’re all actually born homosexual and forced to become heterosexual is stretching it. Saying there is no such thing as biological sex is just as absurd.

  86. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 9:23 pm #

    That should be throws up hands, one or 2 additional pronouns out side of he and she he has no issues with and his job is being threatened if he does not capitulate to the whims of transtrenders

  87. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    I’ll add one more thing… he had to throw up his habds because no one else is dealing with the root cause of most behavioral problems on campus. These students are little totalitarians that have been on a tirade for years. People have been scared to speak up because they run the risk of being demonized, fired and hit with a title IX investigation here.

    It has happened to professors trying to hold mock debates about the bathroom bill when it was at the height of current topics/public discourse. Students could spend hours talking about it online but were too sensitive for a mock debate that might have helped them build talking points outside of hiring accusations.

  88. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 9:42 pm #

    Dang it!!! The wrong link posted for Peterson

  89. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    “You have the mind of a washed Millennial ”

    Oh, dear (I assume this was supposed to be some kind of insult? And I further assume this means someone who won’t pander to your weirdness?)

    It seems you have a really, strong disagreement with Professor Matte. Why don’t you take it up with him, and leave me out of it?

    “People have been scared to speak up because they run the risk of being demonized, fired and hit with a title IX investigation”
    Yes, I’m sure ALL these Canadian professors are terrified of facing a Title IX investigation.

    “These students are little totalitarians that have been on a tirade for years.”
    I’m taking the OVER on whether or not you’ve been on a college campus in the last 20 years.

  90. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

    Full video of your interested which does have a trans person speaking on the matter/excess. This should have been picked up by more self proclaimed only lovers and protectors of the sciences… liberal news sources as well but it’s largely been crickets (because we’re not dealing with liberals), or actual science. A person who studies the history of medicine (classes available on line) is not the same. Neither are the social sciences.

    Now I’m done.

  91. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

    One more small note for clarification (I KNOW). The NYC recognition of upwards of 30 genders, many obviously made up and repurposed. was actually listed. It was verified. After questioning from the public at large, it was removed. I’m not sure if it was something they discussed and added or if was added by a college graduate used to creating and changing policies on campus, which has been a source of problems. They have been known to change policies in campus, be addressed by civil liberties groups, remove the excess to appease and then establish the excess again when they think no one is looking.

    In the case of the NYC debacle, no matter how it came about, it risked persecuting several generations of people/business owners who habe absolutely no idea about 30++ new genders (what… 60 some are listed on Facebook). In the 1990s the term butch was seen as politically incorrect and insulting. Today college students claim it’s a gender. Gender (pardon) Fuck is what David Bowie, Prince, Adam Ant and several hair metal bands did in stage shows…. not an actual gender.

    It’s illogical, excessive and unfair to attempt to fine and persecute people over fictional gender studies nonsense.

  92. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

    “A person who studies the history of medicine (classes available on line) is not the same. Neither are the social sciences.”

    I have a BS in a social science that says otherwise. (Also, I hate to tell you, but medicine isn’t science, either. People who earn doctorates in medicine get a different degree than people who get a doctorate in science. One of them is much harder to get, and it’s not a medical doctorate.)

    “Now I’m done.”

    I doubt that very much.

  93. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

    James P… that is exactly my point. The man proclaiming “there is no such thing as biological sex” says… and I quote…. “I’m a historian of medicine and can unpack that for you at great length, if you want, but at the interest of time…I won’t”.

    Of course he won’t.

    No mention of a degree, actually. Just an assertion that he can “unpack” biological sex because he’s a historian of medicine. Based on the course descriptions he could unpack the Black Plague. He couldn’t unpack his fat ass otherwise.

  94. James Pollock May 9, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

    “James P… that is exactly my point”

    Your point was the social science IS science? Excellent. I guess that’s done with. (You’re done, remember? This time for sure? Sound familiar?)

  95. Dingbat May 10, 2017 at 12:12 am #

    Is biological sex a disease? Is it different among races or class? We’ve absolutely came a long way as far as what’s considered a mental illness, in terms of orientation, but has the physical notion of male, female and intersex (when discovered in the physical sense) !been a mental illness? Did people describe hermaphrodites as having a mental illness or chromosomal issue? Is the recognition of females having different hip placement to accommodate pushing a life into this world mental illness? Is noting that men have greater upper body strength a mental illness? Is noting the different hormones at work a mental illness?

    Is there a crime in noting the difference in your sex? It does not mean better or worse.

    150.726 Survey of the History of Medicine 3: Science and the Practice of Medicine (3 credits)

    In this course we will explore health and healing in the 18th and early 19th centuries. We examine the changing basis of European and North American medical theory and practice, the transformation of specialized spaces for healing such as the clinic, the hospital, and the asylum, the impact of epidemic diseases on the differential construction of public health systems, and the role of medicine in the construction of race, class, and ethnicity. View the course intro video here.

    150.727 Survey of the History of Medicine 4: Biomedicine in Context (3 credits )

    In this course we will explore the rapid transformation of health care from the late 19th century to the present day. We examine the historical connection between the laboratory and the clinic, the transformation of hospitals and medical schools, the shifting epidemiology of disease over the long 20th century, and the role of medicine and healthcare in mediating colonial and postcolonial relations between global North and South.

    150.730 Methods in the History of Medicine (3 credits) Next offered Term 1, August 2016 .

    This course introduces students to basic themes in the secondary literature in the history of medicine, highlighting issues such as the choice of primary sources; varieties of research methods; interpretive strategies; and narrative options. Additional resources from the histories of science and technology will be introduced where appropriate. See here for the syllabus.

    SPH.550.605.81 History of Public Health (3 credits)

    This course examines the historical experience of health and illness from a population perspective. The course seeks to reveal how the organization of societies facilitates or mitigates the production and transmission of disease. It also asks how do populations and groups of individuals go about securing their health? We concentrate primarily on the modern world (i.e., 1750 onwards). A thematic rather than chronological structure will be adopted so that comparisons can be made across the centuries and between different parts of the globe.

    View the course Introduction here.

    150.729 Social and Cultural Histories of Disease (3 credits) Next offered Term 2, October 2016

    Examines a range of infectious and non-infectious ailments to explore how people sought to comprehend disease in the past, what resources they mobilized to make such meanings, and the prevailing cultural and scientific norms that conditioned their thinking. Focus is on how formulations of disease can shape notions of gender, class, race, and childhood, and vice versa. Students will analyze a variety of methodological approaches that historians have adopted in trying to understand and interpret different diseases.

    150.728 Research Seminar A: Healing Spaces: Historical Geographies of Medical Practice (3 credits) Next offered term 3, January 2017

    Provides an historical introduction to how all kinds of healers, medical practitioners, and care-givers have produced and adapted different spaces to facilitate, promote, and authorize particular forms of healing. Examples discussed include homes, streets, dispensaries, and the emergency room.

    150.732 Research Seminar B: The History of Medicine in Place (3 credits) Next offered term 4, March 2017

    This research seminar examines the role of place and place-making in the history of medicine. Building on themes already addressed in 150.728 Healing Spaces: Historical Geographies of Medical Practice, students will conduct research based on the history of medical practice in specific places. Students will choose a particular place or places as their focus to develop a theoretically and empirically grounded written paper that utilizes primary sources to illustrate the role of place in medical practice, knowledge-making, or both. Pre-Requisite: 150.728 Research Seminar A: Healing Spaces

  96. James Pollock May 10, 2017 at 12:32 am #

    Did you fail one of Professor Mette’s classes? Is that what this is?

  97. Eliza Jane May 10, 2017 at 7:44 am #

    What the freaking freak is going on in this comment section?

  98. SKL May 10, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    Not sure which is scarier, sending a boy into a seedy bathroom where he may get corrupted, or checking back into this threat to see how far off the rails it’s gone ….

  99. SKL May 10, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    I meant “thread,” but you know what Freud says about those kinds of mistakes ….

  100. BL May 10, 2017 at 8:51 am #

    ‘I meant “thread,” but you know what Freud says about those kinds of mistakes ….’

    You mean you said one thing, but meant your mother? 🙂

  101. Dingbat May 10, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    Not hardly. I’ve been out of college for some time, but the anti science sentiment coming from women’s and genders studies has been discussed since the 1990s. It’s been progressively getting worse since.

    If I were in a position where I was being told I had to use students preferred pronouns or lose my job, and there was an ever growing list of hundreds of made up and often unpronounceable pronouns that they pick at random on a daily basis/depending if they feel male, female or something in between that day… I would be just as frustrated.

    Again, in the college setting it’s rarely trans people asking for this. Over the last several years you can find countless teens declaring themselves trans or non binary or gender fluid after taking a gender studies class. They are over it in a couple years and say it was a phase. The problem is their “phase” is putting others employment at risk and pissing off large swaths of trans people as they demand various policies on campus in the name of the trans cause.

    @Eliza Jane… Don’t ask. It all started with the pondering of a news story about tween girls being more embarrassed about bathroom issues around puberty. More specifically 51 in Ohio who were uncomfortable with sharing the locker room showers with a trans middle school student who they already played sports with, shared the bathroom with, etc. Theu were demonized as transphobic instead of being allowed to talk out there concerns, which I don’t find helpful. It’s gone downhill into transtrenderville from there.

  102. James May 10, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    “Understood and as far as I know I’m not prohibiting anyone else from talking about that topic”

    Prohibiting? No. Obfuscating, derailing, and obviously hijacking? Yes. I don’t play the “I’m not touching you” game. You need not prohibit others from discussing issues in order to render discussion impossible.

  103. Dingbat May 10, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    So sorry to mention a topic that related to a discussion about embarrassed girls at the age of pubert and what parents what as opposed to letting them discuss what they want. Sorry to talk to respond to people talking to me afterward.

    This is text. I’m not shouting anyone down. I’m not trying to prohibit. You on the other hand.

  104. James May 10, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    Dingbat, at this point I can only conclude that you’re in the same category as James Pollock.

  105. James Pollock May 10, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    “Dingbat, at this point I can only conclude that you’re in the same category as James Pollock”

    Fuck off.

  106. Dingbat May 10, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    No. One side topic conversation that’s gone off the rails does not put me in the sane category with James.

    What I am is pissed off, sick and tired. You can’t even bring up a side topic with does relate to some of the issues being discussed earlier without people treating you as if you are transphobic or this or that. I hate my political party of 23 years at this point. I don’t recognize them or want to.

    Sorry if I carried on with the conversation too long here, but no one wants people to talk. They just want to force, which is causing hatred where it could be avoided.

  107. Dingbat May 10, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    That’s not entirely correct. I do recognize it from my childhood. It was rampant hate, revenge, spite and mental
    illness. No matter what revolution they thought they were participating in, with was generally things happening on their own that did not directly involve them, someone with their same basic philosophy was running a counter revolution based on the things they didn’t agree with, like the anti porn Radfem’s. So, they essentially ran revolutionary and counter revolutionary circles around each other as the rest were driven crazy.

    And so began my period as an unwitting witness to history. I stayed with Kate and her lovable Japanese husband, Fumio, in a dilapidated loft on The Bowery as she finished her first book, a PhD thesis for Columbia University, “Sexual Politics.”

    It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China. We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

    “Why are we here today?” she asked.
    “To make revolution,” they answered.
    “What kind of revolution?” she replied.
    “The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
    “And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
    “By destroying the American family!” they answered.
    “How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
    “By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
    “And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
    “By taking away his power!”
    “How do we do that?”
    “By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
    “How can we destroy monogamy?”

    Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?

    “By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.

    They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women. It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was “to invade every American institution. Every one must be permeated with ‘The Revolution’”: The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.

    It fell on my ears as a ludicrous scheme, as if they were a band of highly imaginative children planning a Brinks robbery; a lark trumped up on a snowy night amongst a group of spoiled brats over booze and hashish.

    ^^ And that sums it up, perfectly, I was not cussing anyone here but I will be fucking off now, and you can do the same.

  108. Jennifer C May 10, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    Oookay, then. You know, maybe it’s because I grew up in a different decade (’70s-’80s), but I tend to question the validity of that Frontpage Mag article–it sounds a lot less like what a feminist would actually say and a lot more like what a conservative imagines that a feminist would say. I went to a couple of N.O.W. events as a college student in the early nineties and never encountered anyone like that.

  109. Emily May 10, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Okay. This thread has gone so far off-topic, that I’m almost afraid to participate, but the way I see it, the best age for a typically developing child to use a public bathroom alone, is kindergarten (and maybe a little higher for bathrooms with more than one exit, where getting lost might be an issue). Kids that age use the bathroom, tie their own shoes, put on their own gym clothes/snowsuits/swimsuits/costumes for plays, as needed, all by themselves, while they’re at school, so that kind of Independence should be reinforced by the parents.

  110. Jennifer C May 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    @Emily–I agree–by school age your average child should be able to go to a public restroom on his own.

  111. Mark May 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    Usually I would agree that the kid was old enough to,use the men’s room, but if this was an international airport (especially if already through security), I wouldn’t question a parent wanting to be extra vigilant

  112. Dienne May 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Mark – why? And why especially if they were already through security? Doesn’t it seem more safe when you’re at the point where everyone present has already shown ID and tickets?

  113. Beth May 12, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    @Dingbat …”but no one wants people to talk”.

    Not true. We would just like to have a conversation without two people monopolizing it.

  114. James Pollock May 12, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    “We would just like to have a conversation without two people monopolizing it”

    No one’s stopping you.

  115. James May 12, 2017 at 10:18 am #

    “Not true. We would just like to have a conversation without two people monopolizing it.”

    Sticking to the topic at hand would be nice as well. As I said before, transgendered issues are complex enough that they warrant their own discussion–hijacking another discussion merely cheapens those issues.

  116. fred May 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

    My wife reads your page all the time and reports what she reads, routinely getting my blood all angry. She finally convinced me to come read your page myself and my worst fears were confirmed. My daddy blood is BOILING already!