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North Carolina GOP Argues “Keeping Women Safe” Is Reason Behind Anti-LGBT Legislation Costing Them NCAA Tournament

September 13, 2016
North Carolina Governor

North Carolina Governor

Apparently nothing makes a state pay attention to human rights like a sports agency removing its event from the roster of events. NCAA has said it won’t hold any events in North Carolina after sweeping anti-LGBT legislation was put into place by a Republican-led governor, Pat McRory.

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”

North Carolina became a lightning rod for criticism after adopting several laws directly targeting LGBT residents. By passing H.B. 2 in March, the state became the first in the country to restrict public restroom access for transgender people. And in May, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill that invalidated local protections for the queer community.

Nobody really had a problem with this type of “legislation” until the NCAA pulled it’s support? On the one hand, I am disgusted that it takes a sporting event organization to denounce what should have been obvious to any Republican leader: staying out of peoples’ pants should be the first rule of legislation. However, and here is the caveat, what the Republican government wrote in response is chillingly telling, namely that in order to keep women “safe,” legislation aimed at bathroom usage allows for gross invasions of personal privacy and anachronistic gender norms that smack of the chauvinism currently killing the GOP:

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina GOP called the NCAA’s decision “so absurd it’s almost comical” before launching a blistering attack against the organization.

“I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams,” spokeswoman Kami Mueller said in a statement circulating on Twitter. “Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking ― and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”

In apparent reference to the transgender bathroom bill, Mueller also called the decision “an assault to female athletes across the nation.”

“Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms.”

First of all, arguing that NCAA should “make” men and women share showers and hotel rooms is a shameless attempt to promote the argument that women are in danger from all men, constantly at risk of sexual assault from athletes, in particular, and that the only way to prevent rape is to have separate showers. Secondly, the GOP commentary floats the idea that bathrooms, themselves, are an “an assault” and equates sharing bathrooms to rape. It’s a poor comparison, and one that only furthers a rape culture that is evident in extremist religious camps that: 1) men are always predatory 2) that women have to limit their freedoms/a.k.a. take responsibility for male predatory behavior and 3) that the only only way to keep women “safe” is to limit women because men are just predators by “nature.”

So much is wrong with this issue. Why do we even discuss shared bathrooms? I, for one, could use more privacy in the bathroom even in a space shared with other women. Do I really need to hear, smell and experience other women’s farts just to use a public restroom? Nope. Do I really need to smell everyone else’s bodily functions, experience them in unison? NO, hell no. Why not make individual bathrooms, with more privacy, available to everyone instead of expecting people to share intimate body functions and then claiming that such intimacy creates danger? The simple fix? Make bathrooms singular use, and no one will have an issue.

By the way, Kami Mueller and Pat McRory officially made the Asshole of the Week winners.

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