Unintended consequences…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, castaway on some remote island with no access to media, or have some other reason for not interacting with society, you’ve seen the bathroom gender issue rear its ugly head. You know the one I’m talking about, where it has been ordered that a person can use the bathroom of the gender that they identify with.

To be clear, I believe that this was nothing more than an desire to receive special recognition. Prior to all the hubbub, I’m certain that I’ve used the bathroom with gay people. There’s even the likelihood that I’ve shared the bathroom with a transgendered person. I know that my wife and daughter have experienced the same. All without any unwanted advances or altercations, and all without the need of a new law or special recognition.

You see, prior to the latest manufactured outrage, the bathroom was simply a place to do your business, and any outwardly creepy person (of either gender) would be reported. People who identified as a man and even remotely looked like a man used the men’s room. People who identified as a woman and even remotely looked like a woman (and sometimes not really) used the ladies room. No muss, no fuss, no harm, no foul.

Fast forward to today. The Indiana legislature is now putting forth legislation requiring people to utilize the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate. Prior to this there was, as far as I know, no law that said you had to utilize any specific bathroom. Now I will say that this does not account for schools and their policies where children and their genders are pretty well known, but I’ll leave that for a separate discussion as I believe that goes far beyond simple bathroom use.

So, what you have here is an unintended consequence. Where prior to pushing for the special recognition you had the ability to do exactly what you wanted as long as you weren’t a moron, and now (assuming the legislation passes and moves through the states) you’ll be actually breaking a law. Is that the outcome they sought? I don’t think so.

I’m sure that the 15 minutes of fame was worth actually impacting people who simply wanted to live their lives. I don’t think they’d agree, but then again it was never your point to help them, was it?

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. – Margaret J. Wheatley