Above all, bathroom graffiti messages convey male desire to maintain the masculine hierarchy. Scrawls, doodles and stylized text adorn the walls of public bathrooms in places ranging from elementary schools to dive bars: What's right, and what federal anti-discrimination laws require, is that everyone--including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT people--should be allowed to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. This post was co-authored by Adele P. On the other hand, flowers, stars, faces — along with poetry and advice in stylized, swirly font — were prevalent. In contrast to the male graffiti, female graffiti contained fewer vulgarities and sexual content. The issue in the Virginia case and the state "bathroom bills" is essentially the same:
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. If a male graffiti author expressed emotional turmoil, he was met not with supportive messages, but with a barrage of unrelenting insults. The graffiti is usually anonymous. What's right, and what federal anti-discrimination laws require, is that everyone--including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT people--should be allowed to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Scrawls, doodles and stylized text adorn the walls of public bathrooms in places ranging from elementary schools to dive bars: Power dynamics, therefore, are evident even in seemingly anonymous, unmoderated spaces — even without the physical presence of others. Similarly, the Fourth Circuit's ruling applies to South Carolina, providing yet another reason for that state's lawmakers to back off their controversial bathroom bill--HB 2. According to Judge Davis, Grimm "has surely demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his Title IX claim" and the court "would be on sound ground" in granting Grimm's request for immediate access to the boys' bathroom while the case is pending. A rural Virginia school board's discriminatory policy is headed down the toilet, exactly where it belongs. And school officials in Virginia should be hearing it too, after Tuesday's federal appeals court ruling for a transgender teen in a school bathroom access case. So North Carolina schools that fail to reverse course now do so at their own peril. What remains unchanged, however, are the cultural messages about gender, and the intense enforcement of hypermasculinity. Such graffiti included explanations for what caused the artist to defecate coffee, the campus dining service , references to flatulence, and the obvious: While bathroom stalls are spaces of privacy, the graffiti is very much aimed at future occupants. Department of Education's interpretation of a Title IX regulation that requires schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity rather than their biological sex. The public bathroom restrictions cropping up in school policies and state legislation reek of discriminatory animus. Poring through the images, I also noticed that the graffiti — aside from its obvious entertainment value — contained deeply held, gender-specific cultural beliefs. They are on a collision course with Title IX. Legislators trying to advance their careers by picking on LGBT people need to read the writing on the bathroom wall and follow the law. There was also no shortage of insults. Each bathroom contained multiple enclosed stalls, and I photographed each stall that contained hand-written or hand-drawn graffiti. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. This finding seems to contradict reports that females are less inclined to vandalize , due to their inclination to conform to social conventions and norms. This post was co-authored by Adele P. The unstated premise of these bills is hostility to transgender people, sort of a contemptuous belief that they don't "really" have the gender identity that they believe they do, because some legislator denies that reality.
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