“Feminism recognizes that institutionalized male dominance is rooted in men’s control of women’s reproductive power (a source of other political struggles in Texas and beyond) and sexuality. In patriarchy, an enduring feature of the lives of girls and women is sexual violence — men’s unwanted intrusions into their lives. Women’s experiences vary, but none escapes this ever-present threat.
I’ve heard many stories from women about men following them into public restrooms or threatening them, a strategy some men use to harass and sexually assault women. Even more common is girls’ struggle with being sexually objectified throughout the culture, which creates a range of difficult emotions about their bodies, especially about being seen by boys and men.
I don’t endorse Patrick’s reactionary right-wing politics, but I do take seriously the experiences of girls and women who have to find ways to live as safely and sanely as possible in patriarchy. Where possible, the best solution is single-person spaces for maximal privacy for everyone. But in public facilities used by large numbers of people at a time, multi-stall bathrooms and collective showering and changing rooms should be segregated by biological sex, and we should guarantee the safety of those spaces.
Let me be clear: I am not arguing that male-to-transgender people are waiting to harass and attack women. Instead, this position recognizes that (1) some men will exploit any opportunity to move into female space, and (2) girls and women have a right to be free from the male gaze in such private spaces.
A feminist critique of the ideology of the transgender movement is not an attack on people who identify as transgender but simply asks questions that shouldn’t be glossed over and asserts the rights of women in a patriarchal society. The internal subjective experience of transgender people should not trump the objective threats that girls and women experience routinely.
Boom. That last sentence, emphasis mine.