Editor's Note: A version of this article originally posted on May 2, 2016.
We’ve come a long way, baby. Women have fought long and hard to throw off the historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys.1
We’ve earned the right to vote, the right to an education, the right to hold public office. We’ve battled workplace discrimination, crashed through the glass ceiling, and earned the right to fair and equal wages. We’ve earned the right to own property, enter into legal contracts and say “no means no.” We can even kill our babies in the womb, if we so choose.
But today, we find ourselves in a new fight, for a new right, against a new kind of man.
This new fight shares the lofty goals of our sisters from the suffrage era.2 It echoes the purposeful pursuit of married women to rightfully own property and control their own wages.3 It mirrors the aspirations of women in the 1970s who endured workplace harassment to move beyond the secretarial pool. Yes, indeed, today’s fight shares a similar greatness.
Today, we fight for our right to pee in a public bathroom without men present.
Susan B. Anthony would be so proud.
In a curious twist of politically-correct fate, women once again find themselves pitted against men. Only this time, the man really wants to be — or thinks he is — a woman. Or, worst case scenario, wants access to private spaces where women do private things. Either way, it’s an affront to women’s rights.
It’s not enough that we now compete against people like the athlete formally known as Bruce Jenner for Glamour’s Woman of the Year. No, in addition to jockeying for accolades normally bestowed upon women who were born women and do something spectacular for women, we now have to get in queue with Ms. Jenner for the loo. (How awkward in the hotel bathroom post-awards ceremony!)
Feminists of the early 20th century would have a field day — and then knock someone upside the head with their Balmoral ankle boot after rolling over in their respective graves.
Following hard-fought battles and victories for women’s rights, we’re now being asked to share bathroom space with men? Are you kidding? Hey modern feminists, how about fighting the good fight for real women instead of men pretending to be women? (Note to men who want to be women or men who want to perve on women: Get your own damn bathroom.)
Women have fought against being subjugated by societal norms for more than 100 years—with great success. Our victories should not be weakened because societal norms have been warped.
Yeah, we’ve come a long way, baby. A long way in the wrong direction.
1 'Towards a Definition of Women's Rights' in Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 2. (May, 1981)
2 Woman and the Republic. (1897)
3 Married Women's Property Acts (United States 1839), Britannica Online Encyclopedia