I’m going a bit off the beaten path today because I just found out my state of Virginia is proposing a bathroom bill similar to that of North Carolina. Against my better judgement, I veered into the comments section of a local news post on the subject. The number one complaint was, “What about my daughter? I don’t want my daughter in the bathroom with some man!”
Here is my response for those who are citing concern for their daughters as a reason to support this bill:
- If you care about your daughter, teach her to be an empathetic person. Encourage her to read. Encourage her to learn. Encourage her to ask questions about the world. Encourage her to make friends from all walks of life. Encourage her to be the type of person you can be proud of.
- If you care about your daughter, teach her to be an ally. Teach her to be the kind of person who knows the plight of transgender people and will stand up for their rights. If she ends up being transgender herself, she will thank you for being so accepting and this will help her (his) own journey as well.
- If you care about your daughter, raise her to think critically. Ask her questions. Get her a subscription to National Geographic or sit down and watch some documentaries with her. See what she thinks. Encourage her to pursue the facts relentlessly. Teach her about media bias.
- If you care about your daughter, teach her how women should be treated. Be a good example and role model for your family. Let her know what to expect in a healthy relationship. Support politicians and community leaders who value women’s rights and treat women with respect.
- If you care about your daughter (and all daughters in the world), educate your son. Raise him to be respectful to women. Raise him to be the kind of son you would trust one hundred percent alone in a room with a woman he doesn’t know. Raise him to be a feminist and to stand up for equal rights for women. Raise him to respect jobs traditionally held by women, such as secretarial positions, nursing, teaching, and stay-at-home parenting, and teach him the value of these roles. And raise him to respect women who are in traditionally male-dominated workplaces as well.
- If you care about your daughter, teach her to fight. Teach her to fight for her rights. Teach her to fight for equal pay. Teach her to fight for her own body. And yes, teach her how to fight physically, so that maybe if she sees a transgender person being beaten in a bathroom one day, she can swing that ponytail and darn well do something about it.
To learn more about bathroom risks and transgender rights, check out these links below: