The fight for gender-specific bathrooms, or rather, against gender neutral bathrooms or the right for individuals to choose which is most appropriate for them, is in no way related to the bullshit cover suggesting they are protecting our women and children from potential sexual assault. It’s just not.
And never before in our history has that been clearer, as we hear more and more court outcomes and the ensuing reactions as the victims are damned and the guilty are given lenience. The suggestion that these decisions are designed to protect the innocent are as false as the integrity of those saying it.
While traveling on a highway in the state of NY years ago I stopped at a rest top. I followed the societal norms and used the appropriately marked gender-specific women’s restroom. There was no one else in there. At first.
In this gender-specific women’s room, another individual, who did not match the gender noted on the door, entered, and proceeded to crawl under the closed and locked stall door that I was using.
Lucky for me, not so much for him, I was wearing a pretty badass pair of pointy-toed cowboy boots
that easily reached his forehead area and upper bridge of his nose. He ran out, but not before I saw he was in a community uniform, and noticed as I ran outside to the open that he had left his work gear. He worked for the county I was in.
I got in my car and drove over the short distance in the parking lot to the small building that housed the highway office there in the same reststop, but found no one there. I drove to the next exit where there was a State Police station, and went inside. I told them my story.
And I told it again. And again. And Again. Each time to different people. I was questioned as to why I wanted to file a report. I was asked if I really did want to. I was asked if that was really what happened.
I repeated the story the same way each and every time, giving a description and noting that it was apparently a worker there. I told them about the kick, and showed them my boot.
Again, they asked if I was sure I wanted to file a report. I was questioned if i was making it up. Finally I asked what motivation would I have to come to a police station here, spend hours telling the story of a little man who crawled under a bathroom stall to see me pee, as the least horrific of his possible intentions, on a Saturday night. I suggested that even if I wanted to make something like that up, wouldn’t I choose another night, to at least PRETEND I had something better to do?
I waited again. I wrote out my complaint. They filed it and said someone would be in touch if they learned anything.
They demanded I leave as many numbers as possible to be reached if they needed more information (this was before cell phones.)
Someone was in touch. It was two days later.
I received a call at work, in the middle of the day. It wasn’t the police.
The call I received was from the man’s boss. He wanted me to tell hm the story. I said no, he could read the police report. He said he did, and that’s when they gave him my number. They had not made it “official” yet and suggested he call me to ask if I really wanted to file the report.
I was stunned into silence. The, the NYS Police, released my personal information, including my contact information, and gave him the greenlight to contact me. He had my work phone. My home phone. My home address. The person who is one step away from the man who came after me, crawling under the locked bathroom stall door in an empty rest stop bathroom, reaching out to grab me, worked directly for the man who was now on the phone. Because the police gave him my number and suggested he call.
I was horrified, and terrified. Again.
This man on the phone, the guy’s boss, suggested it didn’t happen that way and I was confused, that I probably saw the person there and made it up. Again, why would I make that up?
Again he asked if I wanted to pursue this, and couched in it what it would mean to this man, how it would affect him and his family. He told me about his employee and “vouched” for his integrity. I listened in silence, and then again he asked me if I wanted to pursue this, if I wanted him to be forced to fire his employee, putting his family’s financial security at risk.
I asked if he thought I made it up how he knew who it was. I asked him if he saw the boot cut on the mans head. He was silent this time. I waited. He finally said someone would be in contact with me then to follow up about my report and, my assault on the man, and hung up.
Wait, what? My assault on the man who came after me? I tried to reconcile what he has just suggested.
My business partner broke my thoughts, and asked what that was about. I told him the story. He laughed, and said well and said it was one of the perks of being a women. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that. He asked me if I really kicked him. Yes. He asked if I hurt him, because that is assault. I didn’t answer. His tone then changed and he asked if I would have to take time off from work to follow up with this because we have deadlines, and his tone changed as if it were my fault.
No one ever followed up with me again.
No, it was never about protecting innocents in the bathrooms.
That’s why I still have those boots.