Compelled Sexual Affirmation in the School Bathroom

Dec 2, 2019 by

The case against compelled affirmation policies needs to be more explicitly and vividly sexualized. The argument against these policies must be rooted in the civil liberties of objecting students and the right not be forced to be the object of another’s sexual gaze. Opening intimate facilities to anyone of the opposite sex imposes psycho-sexual trauma on countless non-consenting youths, and constitutes a form of sexual exploitation.

Consider the experience of some northern Illinois high-school girls, as one federal court recently described it. In Students and Parents for Privacy v. High School District 211, Judge Jorge Alonso wrote that several of them were “startled, shocked, embarrassed, and frightened by the presence of a male in the girls’ restroom,” most especially when “female student A” was “exposed to this male’s penis.” No wonder: he also found that these students “are at continual risk of encountering (and sometimes do encounter), without their consent, members of the opposite sex while disrobing, showering, urinating, defecating and while changing tampons and feminine napkins”.

The naked guy was no streaker or everyday pervert. He was a student. The school did nothing to discipline him. In fact, the school authorities had sent him there under what they unapologetically called a “compelled affirmation” policy governing transgendered students’ access to intimate school facilities. Judge Alonso dismissed all complaints about the policy based on the Constitution, including the free exercise of religion, students’ right of bodily privacy, and parents’ right to direct the education of their children. He permitted statutory claims for sexual harassment and violation of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act to go forward, possibly to trial.

Considerable cultural clout is wielded today by those who say that transgender affirmation of this sort is the next test of whether Americans care about personal authenticity—or a certain tranche of suffering children at all. Courts so far have mostly bought into this profoundly uncaring program, requiring “affirmation” where schools have demurred and rebuffing students (such as the girls in District 211) who resist it.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This