Of the many social issues causing controversy these days, few are there that have brought out such fear-mongering and anger than the issue of bathroom and nondiscrimination policies for transgender individuals. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has a history of transphobic statements, discussed the issue over the weekend — but instead of citing the supposed dangers of such policies, he cited science.
“Isn’t a little weird that that a school which is supposed to be rooted in science and the scientific method is teaching now that there is that there is no difference between men and women and you can change your sex? Of course, that’s contrary to basic biology.”
This came shortly after the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia voted to add transgender protections to its nondiscrimination policy. Like a growing number of schools and districts nationwide, it allows students who identify as a gender other than their birth sex to use bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their identity.
Opponents of policies like these have claimed that this presents a danger to other students, and that the policies can be abused if a student decides to pretend to identify as another gender. There is no evidence to support these theories, but they exist all the same.
Nevertheless, though the school board’s vote was passed 10-1, the auditorium was filled with hundreds of yelling and booing parents. The decision was certainly not popular, though the reaction was not unusual. When it comes to transgender nondiscrimination policies, which are still in early stages of exploration in schools around the country, opponents are still incredibly vocal.
For Carlson, however, this is just another example of “the left’s war on biology.” Despite his insinuation that there is something unscientific about this, the reality is quite different. The difference between sex and gender is already widely accepted, and the introduction of a nondiscrimination policy does nothing to contradict any kind of science, much less basic biology.
Carlson’s statements aren’t surprising in any sense of the word, given his history of statements on LGBT rights and discrimination policies. In one instance, when a school denied funding in order to be able to continue discriminating against gay and transgender individuals, Carlson commented, “Wow, that’s what principle looks like. Good for you.”
He also commented that he would rather Saturday Night Live make sketches “making fun of transgender bathrooms” instead of groups like ISIS.
So widespread is the fear and anger over bathroom policies like these that some states are trying to make it illegal, with punishments of a year in prison and fines of thousands of dollars.
Teagan Widmer, a transgender woman, explained why these types of protections are necessary and why the fear-mongering is baseless.
“There is a culture of fear around bathroom use. It’s fear that drives the legislation… In a woman’s restroom I might get called a man and yelled at, but while using a men’s restroom I might get called a fa**ot or a tra**y and then beaten up.”
“It doesn’t seem like a controversial issue to me, it’s pretty simple. People need to pee,” she said.
Carlson should know that if transgender people are forced to use bathrooms dictated by their birth sex, there may be some issues he may not have accounted for.
[Photo by YouTube Screengrab]