Bathrooms are no longer sacred
By Randi Thompson
A man is standing at a urinal in the men’s room at a local restaurant. As he finishes and turns to wash his hands, a little girl comes out of the stall and walks over to the sink to wash her hands.
The man stood there in shock, trying not to stare at the girl who he guesses is about 12. He first thinks: I wonder if she realizes she’s in the wrong bathroom and chuckles inside, as how many times have kids done that! As he is about to nicely ask her if she realized her mistake, he remembers all the media coverage over transgender bathrooms and stops. He thinks that six months ago he could have joked with her about using the wrong bathroom, telling her that they would keep it their secret. But instead he clams up, dries his hands, and sheepishly follows her out of the bathroom. That’s when the fear kicked in.
“What if someone saw me following her out?” he thinks. “What if the manager asks me ‘what were you doing in the bathroom with a little girl?’ What if she calls out and says I attacked her? Who would believe that a 60-old guy was just innocently using the bathroom alongside a little girl?”
By the time he returned to the bar, my friend was visibly shaking. I asked him what was wrong and he relayed all this to me. He then pointed the little girl out. She was sitting in a booth in the bar with her mom – well we guess it was her mom – engaged in conversation, smiling and laughing.
Meanwhile my friend was a wreck. He talked about went through his head when he saw her come out of the stall, and all the things that “could” have happened as he followed her out. He said he walked very slowly so as to not look like they were together.
He was shocked at how she didn’t even seem to notice that she was in the men’s bathroom; yet how awkward – and frightening – it was for him. It was talking about all the “what if’s” that scared us both; because we know that in our society, if someone suspects a man of doing anything inappropriate with a little girl, the man is guilty until proven innocent.
“An accusation like that would ruin me! I’d lose everything… job, income, credibility, reputation! Why is no one talking about the ramifications of this?” he shuddered with fear. It was her choice to use the men’s room, but who would society believe if there was any question of impropriety?
I don’t have the answers. I’m only posing the “other” side of the story that will happen one day. It’s a side that has gotten little attention in this debate.