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Men Already Enter the Women’s Locker Room at My Local Pool. Now Congress Could Make I

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Unread 05.17.19, 08:19 AM
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Men Already Enter the Women’s Locker Room at My Local Pool. Now Congress Could Make I

On 05.16.19 02:56 PM posted by Natassia Grover

It came to my attention last spring thata man who identifies as a woman was using the women’s facilities for my localindoor swimming pool.

As a woman and a mom, I naturally was concernedthat my children or I could be in the presence of a man while using the women’slocker room at the Claude Moore Recreation and Community Center in Sterling,Virginia.

So I reached out to the pool director anddivision manager of this Loudoun County government building to ask what theirpolicies were regarding locker room access.

That was just the beginning.

After months of asking variousauthorities, I have been unable to find a single straight answer about ourneighborhood pool’s policy.

Then a few days ago, an official police report surfaced: A nakedman walking around the women’s locker room was seen peeping at a girl insideone of the shower stalls. When recreation center staff approached the man, hefled, and investigators are still looking for him.

I have no idea how this personidentifies. I have no idea why no one asked questions when this man entered thewomen’s facilities in the first place. Most importantly, I have no idea whatwould have happened if this criminal had claimed to be a woman when confrontedby staff.

While I write about this, Congress is about to vote on the Equality Act, which would make this policy the law of the land across all 50 states.

As we move into the summer months, I alreadydo not feel safe taking my children to my Loudoun County pool—not just because thepeeping Tom is still at large, but because of what I discovered about our localcommunity center.

If I cannot be confident that my childrenand I will be safe in a female-only space, where else are we supposed to go?

When I approached the director anddivision manager at the pool, I was told that as of 2010, the facility granted access to private facilities on the basis of self-identifiedgender.

I was told that if a woman complainsabout a man in the locker room, and the man identifies as a transgender woman,then staff would have a conversation with that person. It was unclear whatwould happen after that.

When I expressed my dismay about thisambiguous policy, the director asked me point-blank: “How much privacy do youneed?”

I could only blink at him. I wasspeechless.

As I paused, he told me there are “partitionedareas” and each shower is curtained off individually.

That made my blood boil. So I told him:

“Have you ever been in a woman’s lockerroom? No? Well, let me tell you how it works.

“Little kids are annoying—they will comeunder the stall doors of the toilets and open the doors while you are usingthem. They will pull open the shower curtains while you’re in there.

“And trying to get dressed in a slipperyshower or a bathroom stall—where there are not adequate shelves to keep yourstuff from falling onto the floor or into the toilet—is impractical. So myfamily and I put our stuff on a bench in the open area where it’s much drierwith more room to move.

“I don’t like to undress in front ofeveryone, so I will wrap myself in a towel and try to get dressed that way. ButI know that if the towel does slip, it’s not a big deal, because it’s onlyother women and small children in there. Never mind that the shower curtainsand stall partitions often allow for glimpses of the people behind them anyway.

“But now you are telling me that mychildren or I could have to share this sensitive space with a man?”

The director and division manager saidthey would take my concerns to their boss. I never heard back.

When I sent a follow-up email, I was toldthat staff were busy and would respond soon. I have not heard anything since.

So I took matters into my own hands. Thatsummer, I stood before the Loudoun County School Board and shared my concernsabout gender identity policies. Then I emailed the county government to ask forclarification about the policy, but received no answer.

I hope that authorities find the man who victimizedthat poor girl at our local pool. Regardless of whether he identifies as a manor a woman, my search to find answers about what to do in situations like thesehas taught me something.

Under a gender identity policy like theone at our pool, I no longer can trust that authorities in my hometown willprioritize my needs and those of my children when we are in supposed safespaces for women.

Before this policy took effect, I could not imagine bring asked by an authority figure how much privacy I needed from men’s bodies and men’s glances, and then lectured on how much privacy ought to be sufficient.

The way this gender identity policy haschanged my hometown is subtle, but comes with real consequences.

Now Congress is considering the Equality Act, a dangerous bill that would make this policy the law of the land across all 50 states.

If the legislation passes, women acrossthe country will find themselves in the same situation as my family andme—unable to trust that the responsible authorities will fight for our privacyand safety.

Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. This isnot equality; this is unfair to women.

Don’t be afraid to speak out.

The post Men Already Enter the Women’s Locker Room at My Local Pool. Now Congress Could Make It Worse. appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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