Tag Archives: North Carolina

Door Number One Or Door Number Two?

When did going to the bathroom become so complicated? It shouldn’t be, but transgenders have made the simple act of using a public restroom about as confusing as algebra. North Carolina’s General Assembly recently passed a law requiring individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is up in arms and claiming discrimination. A few businesses and celebrities are now boycotting the Tar Heel State in response to the passage of the “Bathroom Bill.” I think boycotting an entire state in protest of a new policy enacted by a few lawmakers is utter nonsense.

At first glance I thought the “Bathroom Bill” was a common sense law, but after looking at the new mandate a little closer I realized there is a slight problem with North Carolina’s new ordinance. I think transgenders who have completed the transitioning process should be permitted to use the marked facility coinciding with their new body. In fact, that’s the only restroom they should be able to use. Transgenders who have not yet transitioned (and possibly never will) should absolutely be forced to use the restroom matching their birth certificate. Occupying a gender-specific facility should be a biological matter rather than an emotional issue.

Allowing transgenders the right to choose either restroom, based on their feelings, discriminates against heterosexuals because we don’t have a choice. I am not against the LGBT having the same rights as everybody else. I don’t think a bakery should be allowed to deny an unconventional couple a wedding cake simply by exploiting “religious freedom.” That’s blatant discrimination and just bad business. However, I am opposed to the LGBT community maintaining additional liberties. I can’t help but think some members of the LGBT have acquired a sense of entitlement somewhere along the way. Transgender people make up only a miniscule portion of our society, yet it appears as if they want our nation’s majority to cater to them. It’s not as though they’re being denied the use of public restrooms in North Carolina.

Complaining about something is useless without offering any solutions; therefore, I propose the following possible alternatives to ponder. The all-inclusive solution, for proper public restroom etiquette, in all seriousness would be to segregate all sexual orientations. Every public building would need to provide a private facility for each type of sexual identity: gays, lesbians, heterosexual men, heterosexual women, bisexual men, bisexual women, male transgenders, and female transgenders. Of course, with some transgender people still in the transitioning phase there’d also have to be an additional couple of restrooms for the two kinds of “half and half’s.” Every business would need 10 separate restrooms to even be considered an all-inclusive organization. Too costly!

Another solution that’s probably more politically correct would be to remove all urinals from public restrooms thus converting them into gender-neutral facilities. Everybody would then be entitled to the same privacy as everyone else behind their own stall door. That certainly makes some sense, but I’m quite sure it would take ample time getting use to having every sexual identity in one restroom all at the same time. Too uncomfortable! Admittedly, at times I’ve had to deal with women coming into the men’s restroom especially during Rock concerts (beer and long lines for the ladies’ room tends to make some women impatient) and fathers bringing their young daughters in with themĀ (I suppose for safety reasons), so maybe eventually we’d all adapt.

Neither of the aforementioned solutions are very feasible, so maybe we should just leave the public restroom protocol well enough alone. That’s not to say there aren’t a few flaws with the current system that’s already in place. Some businesses especially restaurants think it’s cute using vague images and “clever” names to separate the men’s and the women’s restrooms. Choosing the correct door to enter can sometimes be a crapshoot unless a person is well-versed in solving puzzles. Then there’s our local eatery, Uncle Sam’s, where the restroom doors are marked “President” and “First Lady.” I wonder what the pizza chain will do if a woman just so happens to get elected into the Oval Office come November. Yes, I think the best option is to leave our imperfect system alone and forget about pandering to a minute group of people who are making a lot of noise over nothing. I don’t think it’s asking too much for a person to use the marked facility that matches the individual’s lower body part.


Pro-choice

As time goes by I realize I’m being discriminated against more and more often, and I’m certain it’s only going to get worse. I’m not being treated unjustly because of my race (that’s another story) or due to my religious beliefs. I suppose I could be considered a victim of age discrimination since I’m singled out and treated differently based on my fondness for “the good old days.” I’m mostly discriminated against though for maintaining a pro-choice attitude pertaining to advanced technology that is obviously running rampant in the world today. I’m not opposed to progress, but I am against forcing it on people.

“The man” (whoever he is) insists we blindly accept change, whether we like it or not, without even considering the consequences. He continuously and vigorously imposes his will on us until ultimately we are either too exhausted to continue resisting or else we’re left feeling inadequate when we don’t succumb. I often think the younger generation, who I’m beginning to suspect may be “the man” (in this instance), is eagerly waiting for those of us a bit leery, of their pursuit of never-ending advancements in technology, to expire. The reason being there would then no longer be any of us left, to challenge the only kind of life they’ve ever known, regardless of how well-intended we were with our warnings.

Fortunately, “the man” has failed a time or two in the past when attempting to get everyone on board with his agenda although not for his lack of trying. We currently continue to have the option of reading books, magazines, and newspapers without the aid of technology. However, I’m positive offering periodicals on-line and books via the Kindle was intended to replace all paper copies of those types of literature. Thank goodness that hasn’t happened (at least not yet). I reckon there is still enough of us on this earth, who prefer perusing a genuine newspaper on Sunday mornings, to halt any inclination publishers may have for offering on-line editions only. The day I lose that choice is the day I become an ignoramus because I refuse to read a book or a newspaper on a computer screen.

I thought compact discs were finally safe from extinction, but now I’m not so sure. I recently discovered, while vacationing in North Carolina with my family, that cd players are no longer prevalent in some of the newer vehicles. Our rented Chrysler 200 came equipped with extensive “bells and whistles,” almost to the point of being too confusing to drive, yet the mid-size car was void of a compact disc player. I can understand omitting the cassette tape player, as a standard feature in newer models, because that format of recorded music is no longer even produced. I can also understand why a manufacturer might provide a way to attach an iPod to the vehicle’s speakers since many people are entrenched in that sort of technology. What I can’t comprehend though is why the cd player is apparently being phased out when approximately 50% of the population continues to fancy purchasing CDs instead of downloading music off of the internet.

I figured the people had already spoken, in regards to preserving compact discs, and I no longer needed to worry, but I guess the verdict is still out. I have well over a thousand CDs in my collection, but my only alternative in North Carolina was listening to a lame radio station while cruising in the rented Chrysler. I experienced another unwanted encounter with advanced technology, during my outing in the Tar Heel State, and once again (as expected) I was not a fan. My family and I went out for an ordinary dinner, but the restaurant’s ordering process was anything but ordinary. We entered the establishment expecting the simplicity of good food and good conversation, but instead we were instantly forced to kowtow to a newly acquired piece of state-of-the-art-technology. We were informed the iPad setting on our table was actually our menu. The waitress explained how convenient the contraption was, for all concerned, but of course to my chagrin.

My anxiety level immediately rose like a launched rocket ship. The young lady tried teaching us (mostly me) how to use the gadget, but I probably would’ve been better off trying to learn Chinese. I did discover that successfully swiping a computer screen with my finger, navigating through numerous food items and over 150 beer options, was extremely difficult, confusing, and tiresome. The waitress’ proclaimed convenience, for using the iPad, was in actuality our inconvenience in disguise. If it weren’t for my tech-savvy son, sitting at our table, we might’ve died from starvation before the evening was through. I don’t think dining out should be that complicated; therefore, I can’t imagine ever going back there in spite of how tasty the food and beer might have been.

Once in a while we’re seemingly given a choice, but when a negative consequence accompanies one of the options, but not the other, is it then really a choice? For instance, some grocery stores now offer their customers additional savings if they download the week’s digital coupons onto their shoppers’ card. We all have a similar card, yet only those who go on-line before shopping gets the luxury of receiving more for their money. Not everyone has a smartphone, and not everyone owns a computer: whether due to modest finances or simply by choice. Regardless, penalizing people based solely on them not embracing technology seems unfair. I think it’s blatant discrimination.

Unfortunately, Starbucks has recently expanded their love of advanced technology as well by offering a new promotion deemed “Mobile order and pay.” Also a bit unfair. They are literally encouraging customers to “skip the line” by doing everything on their electronic devices. At Starbucks it’s no longer first-come, first-served…it’s first-texted, first-served. It pains me to know my favorite place to write is part of the problem although I’m not willing to sacrifice my grande, dark roast coffee (with free refill) for the sake of fairness. I’m a very weak man when it comes to my Starbucks fix.

I had my first inkling, approximately a dozen years ago, as to where our nation was most-likely headed concerning its admiration for advanced technology. My lovely wife and I were dining out one evening when I noticed a gentleman romancing his cellphone instead of his female companion. I vividly remember how engrossed the man was with his tiny object and how defeated the ignored woman, seated across from him, looked. I pointed out the awkward situation to my wife, and we both agreed it was truly a sad sight to behold. The clueless man continuously ogled and caressed his electronic date for the duration of their stay. Now, the previous scenario has become the rule, not the exception, in today’s society. Spying an assortment of electronics on nearly every table in a restaurant is commonplace nowadays. I assume if people are willing to forgo conversations with their loved ones, while out for dinner, then it’s fairly conceivable they’re probably not sufficiently interacting with one another at home either.

I’m troubled that droves of people have become so attached to their electronic devices even to the point of idolatry. I’m also concerned about what other types of technological discrimination is waiting for us just around the corner. Here’s where I’m suppose to say, “To each his own.” I’m not lobbying to thwart the advancement of technology, but I am adamantly opposed to being forced into a lifestyle I believe is detrimental to relationships. Just because it’s the norm that doesn’t make it right. I presume some of you are guilty of rolling your eyes, at some point while reading this, and mistakenly referring to me as a dinosaur or else making some sort of horse-and-buggy wisecrack. If so, I’m left wondering why. I assuredly have no desire to make the horse-and-buggy my main mode of transportation, but I hold no animosity towards anyone who does. I’m not anti-technology…I’m just pro-choice!