The issue of transgender rights and liberties has recently started to make headlines across the country. One of the first issues to come up was whether transgender citizens are protected against discrimination by employers, landlords and financial institutions. Although those protections exist in a few places, the answer is largely no in most jurisdictions around the country. The next issue to come up had to do with bathrooms. Some places like retailer Target decided to enact inclusive policies about bathrooms and changing rooms. A transgender person could use the bathroom that most closely matched the gender identity of the individual.
The seemingly small change that would basically go completely unnoticed in the real world caused a massive barrage of blowback. Around 1.2 million people agreed to boycott Target online. That did not faze the retailer who recently refused to back down on the policy. Lawmakers started passing anti-transgender laws in states like Mississippi and North Carolina. The most vocal proponents of these laws are often men professing the dangers of allowing transgender individuals into bathrooms with young girls because they believe rape would occur. Those laws passed despite the complete lack of evidence that anything like that happens in bathrooms.
A woman named Stephanie Hunter had enough and decided to post a heartfelt criticism of the laws online. The Denver, Colorado resident originally posted her thoughts on Facebook. The friend of a friend saw the post and reported it to Facebook as being offensive. It was taken down. Hunter then sent the short piece in to a site called American News X where it gained over 200,000 views and ended up causing the server to crash. The piece can now be found in many places online and has been read by over a half-million people and counting.
Hunter first points out that she has a 6-year-old daughter. She goes into some detail about how her daughter loves to laugh and snuggle. She is a growing girl. Hunter is doing everything she can to ensure that her daughter is brought up to be strong, happy and independent. Hunter then turns to the people who are promoting the anti-transgender bathroom bills. She directly attacks their perceptions that transgender people in bathrooms are the main thing threatening women today.
Hunter begins describing what it is like to be a girl growing up in the world today. She talks about how her daughter will likely be insulted, demeaned and objectified long before she becomes an adult. She speaks about how her daughter could be pressured into sex or drinking when she is a teenager. Hunter points out that her daughter is likely to be raped before she is 35 by someone who looks like her parents or family members and not a transgender individual in a bathroom.
Hunter goes on to talk about how her daughter might have to endure unwanted advances, men grabbing her body and talking down to her just to maintain a job. She describes how those same men will likely pay her less for doing the same job. Hunter explains that her daughter is now living in a world where there is patriarchy and men are in control much of the time. The mother continually reminds readers that every scenario and thing she is describing is statistically something likely to happen to a girl before she is 13 or before she turns 35.
Hunter concludes the post by saying the least thing her daughter has to worry about is a transgender person in a Target bathroom. The last line reads “My daughter is 6. We have so much to do. I have to raise a warrior. To save her. From you.” Hunter’s post continues to be viewed virally online.