Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune recently wrote an editorial regarding my gender-neutral bathroom stance. Trillhaase seems to have an intentional comprehension problem regarding my Boise State University gender-neutral restroom Facebook post. He indicated that I have an issue with single-use family-style unisex restrooms.
I made it very clear on my Facebook post that the restroom in question has two toilet stalls and a urinal. I stated that it was not a single-use restroom. Therefore, he certainly must have comprehended that I was not talking about a family-style single-use restroom. Yet he states that I am speaking of such over and over.
Instead of having integrity and speaking about the obvious point, he decided to make a condescending spectacle.
I use single-use family-style restrooms at the Capitol often because I prefer the privacy. This type of restroom was not the issue.
The restroom in question is set up for multiple strangers at one time. Apparently, Trillhaase did some investigative work and discovered the main door to the restroom in question does lock.
However, this makes it worse in my opinion. Much worse. I will tell you why.
A concerned citizen whom I trust initially informed me about this restroom in question. He left the restroom with the impression that this gender-neutral bathroom was set up for several strangers at one time. When he entered the restroom, there was someone inside. The person did not lock the door, thus leaving the restroom available for another stranger to use at the same time.
For a period, there was some confusion about a locking door. I had him return and he did confirm that it has a locking door.
In my opinion, not many people are going to have the impression that it is set up for single-use when they observe two stalls and a urinal. This concerned citizen sure did not get that impression that the restroom was intended for single-use when he initially entered it.
I don’t think it is intended for single use. But this lock leaves the BSU administration an avenue to squirm out of its real intent.
Let me give you an example of a possible scenario that could play out inside this restroom.
A woman could be using one of the two stalls. These stalls are regular stalls, in which you can see the person’s feet while he/she is using it.
Hypothetically, a man enters the restroom and sees a woman using one of the two stalls.
He then realizes she is the only one in the restroom, besides himself. He now has a door lock to carry out his sexual assault.
The door lock will enable and embolden him. He may possibly think that he can carry out his horrible deed without getting caught.
Absolutely, these gender-neutral restrooms that accommodate many users at once do invite sexual assaults and voyeurism.
In 2016, we had an incident right here in Idaho Falls. Target decided to make its dressing rooms into gender-neutral facilities. Soon after, a man was arrested for taking pictures of a woman in the stall next to him. She ran out of the dressing room yelling for help. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office responded and arrested the perpetrator.
I am gravely concerned for students at BSU. This restroom creates a strong atmosphere for sexual predators to prey on someone, regardless of gender. Everyone who knows who I am knows that I fight for individual rights. It is the right of all human beings to be free of intentional physical harm or sexual assault.
This restroom at BSU invites, encourages and enables sexual assaults. Period.
Christensen, R-Ammon, is serving his first term in the Idaho House of Representatives.