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Moms Ask Man to Leave Seattle Locker Room While Their Swim Team Daughters Are Changing

It wasn’t going to happen. This was not going to be a problem. Only honest-to-goodness women who were trapped in a men’s bodies by genes were going to use women’s locker rooms. Everyone would be well-intentioned and everyone would be comfortable. No big deal. Any concerns some might have about opportunistic voyeurism were an overblown panic.

Except it wasn’t. Recently, a man who did not claim to be a trans-woman just walked into the women’s locker room at a Seattle public pool and started changing and watching the women change. A woman reported him. Staff asked him to leave. He resisted, asserting he was allowed to be there. He went for his swim and then returned to the women's locker room when he was finished. A girls’ swim team was using the facility. Mothers complained, and he eventually left. The police were not called because if he identified as a woman, then he was within his rights, and if he did not, then the staff preferred to settle the issue without involving the police. The story got out when a witness called a radio station.

Two things that stand out to me, besides the “told ya” point all of us maligned panic mongers can claim: One, the staff person interviewed said, “We want everyone to feel comfortable at our facilities.” Well, the woman who asked him to leave did not feel comfortable with a man changing in the women’s locker room. Nor did the young girls’ swim team or their mothers who were in the locker room when he returned to assert his legal right to change in the women’s space. When does their comfort count?

Or if a rape survivor was in the locker room at the time, would her discomfort count? The trigger warnings that now blanket our public discussion actually became popular because feminists wanted to advertise that they cared about rape victims. (Ponder for a second that they felt they needed to advertise that fact.) So are we supposed to accept discussion restraints because someone might talk about rape in the presence of a victim but brush away any concern for past victims actually confronted with a male in spaces where women get naked?