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Cougars & Mustangs

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Today’s installment of Cougars and Mustangs is brought to you by the biological need to excrete matter. That’s right, it’s time to talk about bathrooms. Bathroom policies, bathroom etiquette, bathroom cleanliness.

Public restrooms, to be truthful, can be the bane of some people’s very day-to-day process. There are many reasons for this. The first, and not necessarily worst, is that they are the grounds for vast amounts of graffiti and other forms of unsanitary damage that can make people not only physically uncomfortable, but emotionally uncomfortable as well. 

Anonymous reports to Cougars and Mustangs have complained about such iconography as Nazi swastikas, vulgar language, and nothing short of hate speech filling Cuesta College bathrooms, particularly, but not exclusively, men’s rooms. But beyond the accumulation of filth in areas intended to expunge it, news reports reaching the ears of even those residing under rocks have made it clear that public bathrooms are a sort of political battleground that attempts to tackle the fears of rape culture by dancing around them completely. 

Put bluntly: Take the idea that transgender women, such as myself, if allowed to use restrooms that fit our gender identities more closely than what our privates might seem to imply, will create a system that more readily enables heterosexual men to get away with the perverted crime of sexual assault. I cannot even be bothered to utilize my usual heavy sarcasm as a means of criticizing this fear, it is such a base level desecration of so many topics near to my heart that that sort of tactic, I dread, would be lost upon the simple-mindedness that bore the fear to begin with.

Instead, here is a statistic: The Rape Responses Organizational website writes that “approximately 50 percent of transgender people experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.” However, fear-mongering reports, such as a gruesome political cartoon making its rounds, continue to claim that transgender bathroom rules are merely enablers for heterosexual men to commit what would still be an illegal crime in the first place. There is no talk by them of attempting to tackle rape culture. Instead, another culture must be booted from its social progress. 

Stop trying to make people’s genitals, be they uteri or penises, simply tools for your political agenda. All we want to do is use the goddamn bathroom. It’s a basic human right, and we are not merely trans ... we are human

Contributor Lola White-Sanborn won’t stop using the women’s room any time soon, just as the extreme emphasis she places upon consent, as a means of combating rape culture, isn’t going away either. Send her your collegiate news via cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com, and urinate in peace, dear readers.

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