I originally wrote my book, which I now call The Minäverse, in 2013, but the book was inspired by a group of short stories I wrote in…2012? 2011? Earlier? I don’t remember. My point being, it takes me a long time to think things through and arrive at conclusions. The book has many absurd scenes, some of which are sports-related. But due to my inability to complete something in the way that clever, snappy people do, and the increasing rate at which the world is becoming more absurd around me, my book may seem stale by the time I actually publish it.
Ah, well, such is life and my own limitations. Take this sports related buffoonery, for example: Here’s the Facebook post that got Curt Schilling fired from ESPN. Curt Schilling is a former baseball pitcher turned TV sports analyst. ESPN fired him for unacceptable conduct, after he posted a meme on Facebook mocking those who think it’s right and normal for transgender men to use female restrooms/locker rooms. ESPN is inclusive, see, so a regular guy who thinks that transgender men should just use men’s restrooms, must be discluded.
Now, admittedly, I don’t or haven’t yet discussed public restrooms/locker rooms in my book, as they are places I don’t generally like to think about even when I’m inside one. That’s for a very good reason. Nasty things happen in restrooms. People say nasty things, do nasty things. At one school I know of, there is a guard outside the female restrooms to ensure that only one female enters at a time because the girls were being sexually molested by…other girls. Restrooms being what they are, designed the way they are, etc., the goal is to get in, do the necessary business, and get out. Granted, some women actually like to spend time in bathrooms putting on lipstick and fixing their hair…more on that in a minute.
And despite all the nastiness that human nature can stoop to, all the behavior that ought to be curbed, it naturally makes sense that a human who points out that men have penises and that bathrooms are all about plumbing, should be the one punished for his “conduct.” It’s surreal. Of course, if it helps us play politics with the right crowd, then, carry on, as Cruz did: “ESPN fired Curt Schilling for making the rather obvious point that we shouldn’t allow grown male adult strangers alone in a bathroom with little girls,” the Texas senator said in a 14-minute interview on the radio show of surrogate Glenn Beck, in which he discussed North Carolina’s recent ban on transgender people from using facilities other than the ones corresponding to their gender at birth. “That’s a point anyone who is rational should understand.”
Carry on…and like Cruz and Beck, completely miss the point. Bathrooms aren’t just for little girls. They’re also for adult females and teen females, who might very well abuse these same little girls. Bathrooms are also for males of various ages. And mightn’t a little boy be at risk in the same way due to the repulsive nature of human perversion? And mightn’t abuse occur outside of restrooms? The potential for abuse is not the point.*
The point is really quite simple: men and women have differences which are both mental and physical. That’s why they have separate spaces, as well as communal spaces. Or they used to have separate spaces. Now every single space that is unique to being male or female is slowly being eradicated. And it’s not making us happier or healthier or more, dare I say it, self-actualized. Self-actualization may be a modern psychological catchphrase, but it is useful because it means something akin to being a complete person — a whole person, sane and healthy and living up to potential. And part of personhood is being okay with one’s gender, despite personality foibles that might make one insecure in one’s gender. I find public bathrooms loathsome, but one cannot deny that women putting on their lipstick together is a feminine ritual. And I’m sure men have their own rituals, but I dare not comment on that, as I’ve never been invited to share them.
My book is just a meaningless fluff piece of media that will soon be buried in Amazon. Curt Schilling’s story is one he’s living. I’m not sure why I’m bemoaning the staleness of my writing. I’m not, after all, in competition with the real world. I’m just knee-deep in edits. And the world around me is making me crazy.
*Of course, there is always the potential for abuse, especially if we are talking about locker rooms. There’s a commercial that clutters my Hulu shows — Jergen’s, I think — in which a woman enters the female locker room and gives lotion to the showering nude female, and then says she’s going to the men’s locker room to help them put their lotion on. Yep. Definitely potential for abuse.