On May 13, President Obama, through the power of his Department of Justice and Department of Education, declared that every public school facility should no longer have sex-distinct bathrooms, changing rooms, or showers. No facility should be restricted to either male or female. Any school that does so, his administration says, is discriminatory and violating Title IX of U.S. law.
Some have unsuccessfully tried to spin the DOJ and DOE directive as totally harm-free, but some really troubling parts of political gender theory present themselves immediately. This is the bottom-line, bare-bones consequence of the president’s dramatic and far-reaching action. Like a NASCAR race car, the thin and fragile chassis over the powerful guts of this directive is “that transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment.” What virtuous person doesn’t want every student, regardless of his or her story, to have a supportive and nondiscriminatory school atmosphere in which to learn?
But the overwhelmingly explosive engine and forceful powertrain under this thin body is explained in the conditions of compliance section of the administration’s letter to all public schools, facilities, and educational leadership (p. 2): “As a condition of receiving Federal funds, a school agrees that it will not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex any person in its educational programs or activities…”
Two major points here. While we are told to be comforted that the president’s mandate doesn’t have the force of law, it clearly has the force of the checkbook. You certainly have the right to not go along, but your federal funding will go away. It also is not confined to transgender students, but clearly refers to “any person.”
You might think this is an extremely fearful, even irrational way to interpret President Obama’s mandate. It is not by any stretch, because of how one’s gender identity is determined according to administration’s explanation and general gender theory. Following are five primary reasons why the president’s policy is unsound and will create more problems than it solves. And these problems will be profound.