A North Dallas Cajun restaurant and bar caused a storm earlier this month when photos of its men’s and women’s restrooms went viral on social media. The restaurant marked the men’s restroom with a photo of Olympian Bruce Jenner, and the women’s restroom with a photo of the star after a gender transition, showing Caitlyn Jenner. Despite controversy, sales at the bar have increased.
“Sales are up over 10% this month versus last year,” a spokesperson for Dodie’s Place Cajun Bar & Grill told PJ Media. “I track sales everyday. November sales are positive so far.”
Dodie’s put the signs up in August, but controversy began early this month, after the Dallas Morning News‘ Dom DiFurio posted a photo of the posters on Halloween.
I don’t understand how this has assumedly been up for as long as it has.
— Dom (@DomDiFurio) October 31, 2017
The transgender movement has pushed the idea that if someone struggles with gender dysphoria — the persistent sense of being “born in the wrong body,” particularly the wrong biological sex — he or she can change genders by identifying as the opposite sex and perhaps even surgically “transitioning” in the manner Bruce Jenner did.
Especially following the victory of four openly transgender candidates last week, it is important for Americans to acknowledge gender dysphoria. This does not mean, however, that Americans must embrace the idea that biological sex can be altered — after all, sex goes down to the level of DNA, and is not “skin deep.”
In light of these trends, it might be reasonable for Americans to think transgender advocates would be pleased to see the bathrooms marked in this way. After all, Bruce Jenner was born male and he won the Olympic gold as a man. Later, he would transition into identifying as a woman, and even surgically altering his body to fit that identity. By portraying Caitlyn Jenner as a woman, Dodie’s could be considered pro-transgender.
“Obviously, demarcating gender with before and after photos of a transgender person is incredibly insensitive,” Valens claimed. “By designating Jenner as a man before her gender transitioning, the images imply that gender is only skin-deep. In reality, science suggests that transgender people experience gender dysphoria because they experience their gender identity psychologically, not just physically. In other words, Caitlyn Jenner was a woman before she began changing her body and her name.”
In other words, embracing Caitlyn Jenner as a real woman does not go far enough — Americans must also consider that Bruce Jenner was really Caitlyn all along.
Furthermore, Valens argued that “the images also imply that transgender women have to look or transition a certain way to be seen as women. They have to appear like cis women or attempt to pass through a femme gender expression.”
In other words, if someone who looks like a man passes on the street and an American treats that person as a man, this could be seen as homophobia. Indeed, according to Valens’ argument, Caitlyn Jenner’s own self-presentation could be seen as a danger to transgender people because it suggests transgender people must act a certain way to be accepted by society.
Of course, Valens applied this idea to the bathroom issue. “Transgender women who are still grappling with their gender identity or early into their transition, like Jenner in that pre-transition photo, are billed as too masculine to use the women’s room,” the Daily Dot writer explained.
There are many problems with applying this standard. Were Americans bigots for treating Bruce Jenner as a man, despite his internal identity struggle? How can other people know when someone truly suffers with gender dysphoria?
Men have used a transgender cover to spy on women in restrooms. This does not mean people who genuinely suffer with gender dysphoria are perverts, but it is hard for Americans to distinguish between the two.
So there is Caitlyn Jenner on the womens bathroom door and Bruce Jenner on the mens.
Indeed, Dodie’s Bar and Grill responded to criticism, explaining that they meant no offense.
“First and foremost, our intention was not to make fun of or offend anyone when we installed the pictures of Bruce and Caitlyn on our bathroom doors,” the statement read. “It was merely a lighthearted gesture to push back against the political correctness that seems to have a stranglehold on this country right now.”
The statement added, “We believe that political correctness has done more to silence rather than encourage important discussions that our society probably needs to have. Based on mind-boggling feedback, both positive and negative, people are having that discussion.”
The bar shot down the common Social Justice Warrior tactic of name-calling. “Name calling and words like transphobic, deviant, racist, homophobic, bigot, etc. serve nothing but to continue to divide us instead of uniting us,” the bar explained. “After all, we are all part of the same race — the human race.”
“Surely, we can discuss this topic and many others without slapping hurtful labels on each other,” the statement concluded.
In America’s current culture of rushing to judgment, this call for debate and rejecting ad hominem labels is important. Bar traffic usually has more to do with food and drinks than political discussions, but it is possible that this controversy has actually helped Dodie’s’ business.
By the way, the Nickel Mine in Los Angeles, Calif., also put photos of Bruce and Caitlyn Jenner on the men’s and women’s restrooms. Yelp reviewer David P. posted pictures of them in August last year. A Twitter user also shared them, calling the posters “way ahead of the times.”
These Bruce & Caitlyn Jenner bathrooms are way ahead of the times pic.twitter.com/I2kEoy68hB
— brhuge (@brhuge) February 25, 2017
If these posters are offensive, Texans aren’t the only ones who need to learn why.
Dodie’s Place told PJ Media that management would be meeting with the mayor of New Hope in order to figure out why the posters were considered offensive. Transgender advocates and other Social Justice Warriors need to show courtesy and bear with normal Americans, rather than jumping to conclusions and denouncing them as bigoted and transphobic.
The Left is pushing social change so quickly, Americans are struggling to keep up. Confusion about social issues is not always inspired by hatred, and the Left does all Americans a disservice by automatically assuming that it is.