Tag Archives: transgender discrimination

Poking the Bear

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17Yep, there are more than a few metaphors that warn of the same hazard. My grandma used to say that “if you play with the bull, you’ll get the horns”.  And there’s lots of truth in that.

I’ve blogged in the past about how “indifference” is our friend, and how backing someone into a corner to where they’re forced to take a side is rarely a good idea. But feel compelled to rehash the same old story.

It’s been said that 80% of the world thinks similarly about the basics of life. Ten percent think on each of the extreme ends of the spectrum. And they’re, of course, the most vocal. I tend to believe the ratio is more like 90-5-5.

And we, as social creatures, tend to like to feel part of a group and therefore are easily coaxed onto a bandwagon. Push something … anything .. in our faces and we feel the need to react, and the bandwagon seems safe.

I’ll give an example. Many of us eat meat yet prefer to remain blind to how that meat is produced. To us, meat just magically appears at the grocery store and we’re happy with that. Yes, we have an distant idea how the animal was raised, how it was slaughtered, it’s “feelings” or lack thereof … and we’re content. Some choose to avoid animal products and others are content using or eating them, and this issue isn’t stressing society.

But force us spend some time on a ranch or at a slaughterhouse and our feelings will likely change. We’ll either be more appreciative of the meat on our plate or we’ll be repulsed by it. But we’ll almost certainly move from the comfortable 80 percent.

I think the same thing applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.  And yes, I do know they’re not connected.

Should two guys be allowed to get married? The 80 percent would say “whatever works for them” but force someone to watch romantic displays of affection or that couple’s private sexual moments and most would fall out of the 80 percent. Some would say “it’s sexy and beautiful!” and would become proponents while others would find it repulsive.

In my opinion, the same is true with issues of race, religion and trans issues, to name a few.

But, contrary to the approach most of my activist friends are taking, I believe it’s important to keep that 80 percent right where they are .. in the zone of indifference. They don’t embrace but they are tolerant. Yet we get on the bandwagon at very opportunity to push our issues to the forefront. The latest move in this direction is the Planet Fitness story, and it’s damaging and further polarizing society.

It was an isolated incident at an isolated location, and was dealt with however that particular company chose to deal with it. It didn’t deserve a national spotlight. But pushing it there was like poking the bear. People who would have happily existed in the indifferent 80% are now referring to us as “freakazoids” and worse. And we are belittling them for it.

Can anyone suggest a single occasion where belittling an opponent has won a battle? Does this foster the “live and let live” atmosphere that’s so important to our safety?

But the biggest problem I have with this is that the bullshit that’s rampant in other parts of the world is now starting to infiltrate my beloved Canada. For many decades we have been very tolerant and forward-thinking, even though most of our US friends would never acknowledge this.

We have a reasonable,welcoming immigration policy, healthcare for all and have acknowledged same sex marriages federally for more than a decade. Our “red necks” are barely pink. Yet we now have a senator who has proposed an amendment to a non-discrimination bill (Bill C-279) that would, in fact, discriminate against trans women (not trans guys.. only trans women) as it relates to bathroom usage.  And the proposed bill didn’t die immediately.

This would not be happening if we took better care of the 80 percent.  Nor would it have happened ever 5 years ago.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  First you change the culture and then you introduce legislation to protect that culture.

Damn you, America, and damn you, activists! By attacking and belittling those who don’t yet understand, you’re setting us up for a battle we can’t possibly win, and you’re making the world a more hateful place by drawing a line in the sand.

Forget about changing society for a moment.  Think small.  Think about your own family and friends.  You want and need their acceptance, yes?  So how do you go about gaining that?  Do you quote legislation?  Do you impose new ules?  Do you call them bigots?  Do you belittle them?  Do you call them intolerant?

One last quote from grandma .. “you’ll catch more bees with honey than you will with vinegar”. Yet y’all continue to spew vinegar and continue to poke the bear.

I just hope it bites your tranny ass and not mine.