For months now we have heard a constant stream of chatter from the right about how anti-transgender “bathroom laws” passed by various states are needed to prevent sexual predators from attacking women and little girls in women’s rooms. Proponents of these laws insist that if transgender men and women are allowed to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, there would be an epidemic of men dressing as women in order to gain access to women’s public restrooms. The issue has gotten so out of hand that even Fox News’s Chris Wallace has called the laws “a solution in search of a problem.”
Right-wing groups have pointed to the case of a man in Seattle who twice entered a women’s locker room, claiming he had the right to be there thanks to the city’s protections for transgender people. Politifact observed that the man was not dressed as a woman nor did he present himself as a woman, and the incident was considered to be a political stunt. But the incident brings up a point that has been totally lost in this conversation: non-transgender men are the ones who are committing improper acts, and it is happening in men’s rooms.
The latest example of a non-transgender man who is accused of sexual impropriety in a public restroom comes from Arizona, where 25-year-old Francisco Reveles was arrested for using his cell phone camera to spy on another man in a Walmart bathroom. Police say that the victim, a Walmart employee, was using the restroom when he looked up and noticed a phone being held over the top of the stall. Police say the victim confronted Reveles who apologized, then went back to his Walmart shopping as if nothing had happened. He was still in the store when police arrived.
This story highlights something that those opposed to transgender equality miss — that sexual predators don’t just prey on women and girls, they also prey on men and boys. All of the transgender bathroom laws in the world won’t stop male sexual predators from doing something like Reveles did. But of course the purpose of those laws isn’t really to prevent sexual predators from entering the women’s room. We all know that.
Here’s a report from Arizona’s 12News:
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