I Accidentally Used The Men's Room At Disney. I'm Now Convinced Anyone Who Would Do This On Purpose is a Sociopath.
I spend enough time mountain biking, camping, and surfing, that people assume I'm not a "Disney person."
The truth is, I freaking love Disney. As someone who loves music, art, playfulness, psychology, engineering, and business, how could I not be in awe of the magic of this place?
But I did have one experience during my last visit to Disney that was not quite so magical.
After an exhilarating morning on the safari tour, I had to pee. Then I did the self-guided gorilla walk; mesmerized by their broad chests and human-like hands, I completely lost track of the time.
Then I really had to pee.
I hurried to the nearest bathroom, took a right into the women's -- and was surprised to find it not only empty (it's Disney World! shouldn't there be other people in the bathroom?), but equipped with urinals (on the one hand, Disney hasn't adopted completely dehumanizing language to refer to women yet — they still say that "pregnant women," rather than "gestators" or "birthing people," should avoid certain rides, for example; on the other hand, there are urinals in the women's bathroom, because apparently Disney has drunk the Flavor-Aid that "some women have penises," even though literally the only thing all women have in common is that we have female bodies).
A giraffe cannot be an elephant, just like a male cannot be a woman. Image: The Happy Talent.
Since I'm a woman, I don't have a penis. I passed the urinals and went into a stall.
When I came out...
There were two young boys at the urinals.
When they saw me, they quickly covered themselves -- not that I could see anything, but they were still very obviously self-conscious and embarrassed. The shame, discomfort, and even fear on their faces is seared into my memory.
I don't know what happened. I don't know how I accidentally went into the men's instead of the women's. But it happened.
I felt, and still feel awful.
And I'm now convinced that anyone who would intentionally cause this kind of shame, discomfort, embarrassment, and fear to another person -- especially someone smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable than they are -- is a complete sociopath.
How could someone with a functional conscience intentionally do this to another person?
When I think about those two poor boys, who thought they were peeing in a safe, male-only place, I feel almost sick at knowing I violated their space and made them feel so uncomfortable.
And then I think about males who knowingly, intentionally violate women's female-only spaces.
Predators like Lia Thomas, who forced unconsenting teammates -- some of whom were young women, some of whom were literal underage girls -- to shower next to "her" semi-erect penis.
Predators who gleefully enter women's spaces for force uncomfortable and terrified women to "affirm" their male feelings.
Because our safety, dignity, feelings, and literal safety don't matter to them.
The way I see it, there are only three reasons a male would be willing to do this to women:
1. The male is delusional and really doesn't understand the differences between male bodies and female bodies -- and therefore, the vast differences between enjoying male privilege and surviving sex-based oppression.
2. The male is a sociopath whose antisocial personality disorder keeps him from experiencing empathy for others.
3. The male is a pervert who gets euphoria boners from making women uncomfortable.
That's it. There is no other reason.
This whole trans debate about how trans-identifying males "just want to pee" is a farce. If these people cared about women's rights to privacy, dignity, and safety in our female-only spaces, trans-rights activists wouldn't be fighting for the right to leer at and expose themselves to unconsenting women.
They'd be horrified at the idea of making other people -- especially people who live in female bodies, which are so vulnerable to male violence -- scared and uncomfortable.
Instead, they'd be fighting for single-user bathrooms or open-gender spaces IN ADDITION TO women's female-only spaces.
But the purpose isn't safety for trans-identifying males. The purpose isn't "inclusion" for all.
The purpose is to force women to affirm male feelings at our own expense.
For years, social justice activists argued for "intersectionality," or acknowledging the interconnected nature of race, sex, religion, and other factors in discrimination and privilege.
But intersectionality doesn't matter anymore when we're talking about a biology-based trait like biological sex, apparently.
My experience as a woman, as someone who has a female body, who lives my life knowing that I am smaller and weaker than almost all males, who knows that my odds of experiencing male violence and male sexual violence are astronomically high, who has likely experienced sexual trauma and may still have PTSD that's triggered by males in female-only spaces (and, of course, almost 100% of offenders are male and almost 0% are female), who has uniquely female needs I deal with in the women's bathroom (from menstruation to breastfeeding to miscarriage to pregnancy-related stuff that no male will ever experience), who wants to have the bodily autonomy to decide which penises I have to see and which males see me naked or stand outside the stall while I unwrap and insert my tampon...
It doesn't matter anymore. "Intersectionality" only matters when it comes to male feelings -- not women's biological realities and lived experiences.
I am a woman. My oppression is sex-based. That is why my rights need to be sex-based. That is why, in order to fully participate in public life, I need female-only spaces.
There are a number of bullshit, misogynistic arguments that TRAs make all the time regarding why males should have the right to sexually violate and humiliate and endanger women. All of their arguments are stupid. I'll list a few here and then explain why they are stupid.
1. Trans-identifying males are women.
That's not a biological fact. That's a religious belief. I don't share that belief.
I wouldn't pretend I'm Muslim to affirm my Muslim friends. I wouldn't pretend to be a Packer's fan to affirm a Wisconsinite. I don't fast on Yom Kippur, because I'm not Jewish.
And I won't pretend I think males can be women.
I won't pretend that I think a wrong-gendered spirit can become trapped in a wrong-meated body.
Males can supposedly "feel like" women, though I have yet to hear a NOT completely sexist explanation of what that means, because women don't "feel like" or "do" anything.
We can be sumo wrestlers. We can be runway models. We can be CEOs. We can be stay-at-home moms. We can be teachers and nurses, or we can be firefighters and doctors. We can be body builders, and we can have muscular dystrophy. We can love makeup and fashion and glitter and pink, or we can think fashion is a waste of money and makeup is for circus clowns.
Women can be circus clowns.
We can be glaciologists who live in Antartica, or we can be beach bums in the Caribbean.
The one and ONLY thing we ALL have in common is that we have female bodies.
So to me, the concept of "feeling like" a woman is completely meaningless.
Anti-woman activists will say that some males have a "female brain." Unfortunately for that ridiculous argument, a meta synthesis of decades of neuroscience research shows that, when you control for size (because males are larger than females), there is no such thing as a "male brain" and a "female brain."
Humans are not clownfish, and humans are not lizards. We are a sexually dimorphic species. We are male and female. A male cannot be female, and therefore a male cannot be a woman, even if he "feels like" one.
We have freedom of religion in this country, so you're allowed to worship whatever dogma or ideology you want. But you are NOT allowed to impose your backwards, anti-woman beliefs on anyone else.
Males cannot be women. Even if they could be, they would still have male bodies, which means they do not belong in women's female-only spaces.
2. Trans-identifying males experience higher rates of violence than women, and therefore it's women's job to be human shields to protect males against male violence.
Two problems with this.
First, the obvious. My job is not to be a human shield to protect males against male violence at the expense of my own privacy, dignity, and safety.
Second, this claim isn't even true. When you control for violence that happens during sex work, you see that most violence against trans-identifying males happens during sex work.
This obviously does not make it okay. No one, including sex workers, deserves sexual violence.
However, you'd have to be a complete moron to conflate violence that happens to males during sex work to violence that happens to women in their everyday lives, just for being women. Sexual assault against a woman for having the audacity to ride the train is not the same thing as sexual assault against a male sex worker.
Women need female-only spaces because of the experience we experience in our everyday lives. We don't need female-only spaces so we can "feel like women." We need them so we can feel safe from male violence.
3. I'm okay with seeing penises in my locker rooms and sharing bathrooms with males, and therefore I am allowed to consent on behalf of all women.
No, sweetie. That's not what "bodily autonomy" means.
You can consent to whatever gross shit you want. Being leered at by males you don't know. Being leered at by males you do know. Butt stuff. Poop play. Kink. Whatever you want.
But you cannot consent to this on any other woman's behalf.
That's not how consent works.
Research shows that most women are not okay with males in their female-only spaces (especially when researchers make it clear that the males in question often don't "pass" -- there's a world of a difference between a trans-identifying male who looks enough like a woman that he doesn't terrify and humiliate the women in the bathroom, and a bearded, obviously male person; either way, however, it is a sexual violation that the female victims did not consent to).
But even in a school, team, or workplace where all but one women consent to a male in their female-only spaces, the fact that one woman didn't consent means that males cannot morally enter the female-only space.
Kind of like how every woman in the workplace could consent to a certain sex act, but that doesn't mean they can consent on behalf of the only woman who said no.
After all, no means no, right?
4. "Stop weaponizing your trauma."
This is perhaps the most fucked up argument I've heard in the entire anti-woman debate.
Women who say, "I literally can't share crisis centers, locker rooms, etc. with males because I am a survivor and males in these private spaces trigger my PTSD," are accused of "weaponizing their trauma."
Women who have survived unspeakably cruel, evil, dehumanizing violence at the hands of male predators are told they have to unquestioningly accept and embrace their male "sisters" into female-only spaces, despite the retraumatization of this experience.
Women are told their trauma is "transphobic."
The fact that someone could accuse a female survivor of weaponizing their trauma only reinforces my hypothesis that males who would intentionally enter a women's bathroom are sociopathic. That is the only way this deliberate cruelty makes sense.
5. They just want to pee.
Then fight for single-user spaces so that unconsenting women aren't forced to share their female-only spaces with biological males. Single-user spaces would also be beneficial to parents with small children; parents with adult disabled children; people with disabilities; and countless others whose intersectional experiences make a single-user bathroom more accessible to them.
100% of feminists (and disability advocates) would join you in this fight.
But if your "feminism" centers male feelings over women's safety and rights, it's absolutely not feminism. It's misogyny.
6. Be nice! You're such a nasty woman! Why don't you embrace your trans "sisters"?
Women are tired of being told by misogynists to shut up and smile pretty and be nice. We're tired of being called "nasty" when we don't prioritize male feelings over our own.
It's misogyny when trump does it. It's woke when anti-woman activists do it.
My bodily autonomy isn't a matter of niceness.
It's a matter of my bodily autonomy.
I said no.
"I don't consent to males in my female-only spaces" does not mean "I hate trans people."
"Women deserve spaces that are free from male violence" does not mean "I hate trans people."
All it means is that women deserve female-only spaces free from male leering and male violence, and that I will never stop fighting for my right to decide which males see me naked.
7. If a male wants to hurt women, putting a "female-only" sign on the door won't stop him.
If you truly think this, you don't understand how predation works.
Yes, there is a small number of males who will hurt women in their female-only spaces no matter what. But the easier you make it for males to enter female-only spaces, and the more socially acceptable you make these sexual violations, the more women will be harmed by male predators.
It's kind of like bikes.
If someone wants to steal your bike, they're going to steal your bike. I've heard of bike thieves following people home, watching where they put their bike, and breaking in to steal it later that night. I've heard of thieves cutting entire bike racks off of cars and throwing the whole assembly in the back of their truck so they can cut the U-lock later.
If someone wants to steal your bike, they're going to steal your bike.
But you can make it so fewer people want to or can steal your bike. You can reduce how many people steal bikes by using a cable locks. You can further reduce it by buying a hefty U-lock. You can further reduce it by keeping your bikes in your sight at all times, or never leaving it on the bike rack when you're not using it.
Same with male predators in women's bathrooms.
The easier you make it for males to enter women's bathrooms -- say, by fighting for self-ID laws versus a legal standard of transition -- the more predators who will enter women's bathrooms.
For those who don't know, "self-ID" is the idea that literally any male can say, "I feel like a woman today," and enter women's bathrooms.
Women are a lot of incredible things -- but one thing we are not... is mind readers.
We can't magically tell by looking which males are here to hurt us and which genuinely "just want to pee." All we know is that, if someone hurts us, there's about a 100% chance it's a male and almost a 0% chance it's by a female.
For our comfort and safety, we need to prevent males from entering female-only spaces.
8. Trans-identifying males don't hurt women as often as men.
There is literally no evidence to support this claim.
In fact, there's a lot of evidence showing the opposite. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least nine female inmates who were raped by trans-identifying males in women's prisons. THIS YEAR ALONE.
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five girls and women who were raped or sexually assaulted by trans-identifying males in women's bathrooms THIS YEAR ALONE.
Obviously, some trans-identifying males are predators who harm women.
What is an acceptable number of female victims to these activists? Nine? Five? 100? 1,000?
To me, the acceptable number is zero.
Once a girl or woman is harmed, she cannot be unharmed. You cannot unharm the harmed. It is unethical to ask girls and women to accept a certain amount of harm in order to "affirm" male feelings.
Also worth noting: according to 2020 Ministry of Justice data, 16.8% of men in prison are convicted sex offenders...
While 58.9% of trans-identifying males are convicted sex-offenders.
So tell me again no trans-identifying male on this planet is a threat to women's safety. Go ahead.
9. GENITAL INSPECTIONSSSSSSSSSS!!!!
Literally the only people talking about genital inspections are dishonest trans activists who happily distort the truth in order to take rights away from women.
Here's the thing.
Even a woman like me -- six feet tall with huge muscles and a literal six pack -- is never mistaken for a male.
Even butch lesbians are seldom, if ever, mistaken for males. I know of only one who has -- and here's what she had to say about it:
Lauren was THRILLED to see a woman standing up for other women's privacy, rights, and safety.
The misconception was quickly cleared up, since males and females look nothing alike, and the two ended up hugging.
10. The women in my locker room/bathroom haven't said anything to me, and therefore they are okay with my male body in their private spaces.
Just because we don't scream, shout, or confront you, does NOT mean we are okay with it.
As women, we live in fear of male violence and male retaliation. We are socialized, because of sexism and because of survival, to be "nice" and "polite" and "not rude."
The pressure to "be nice" is so immense that we will put ourselves in serious danger in order to avoid seeming "rude."
Just because no one said anything, doesn't mean they weren't humiliated or horrified by the male intrusion.
And wouldn't you just feel awful if you knew you were the source of horror and humiliation of a marginalized person who is smaller and weaker than you, and uniquely vulnerable to violence from your biological sex category?
Well, then I guess my hypothesis is confirmed.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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