“The state has the power to pass their own laws to make a determination that men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls. I’m not terribly excited about men being able to go alone into a bathroom with my daughters. And I think that is a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make.” — Ted Cruz, Republican leadership candidate
Does it surprise anyone that thoughts like that would tumble out of Ted Cruz’s mouth? Probably not. Let’s face it: the man is a nitwit, or at least, he seems to come across as one to many people.
Still, his handlers and advisers are not so dumb, and those words may be part of a calculated campaign to tap into the anti-trans “bathroom panic” that is sweeping parts of the United States.
Cruz’s statement — made during a CNBC broadcast — may have spread a lot of misinformation: it seems to have misgendered trans women who haven’t changed their official gender designation from “male” to “female” by referring to them as “men,” and it seems to have implied that they pose a threat to little girls in public washrooms.
According to TPM citing the Associated Press, “Cruz said laws requiring people to use the restroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate makes sense because “men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls.” ”
It’s the latter piece of right-wing anti-LGBT propaganda that is frightening so many uninformed voters these days: the image of a big, hairy guy in a cheap wig, grandma’s old dress and flip-flops going into public washrooms to leer at little girls.
But instead of trying to calm those voters by explaining that there is nothing to fear from transgender women whether they are post-op or pre-op or non-op — and that there is no evidence that criminals are posing as trans women to commit such crimes — Cruz has essentially stoked those fears, thus making him look like some sort of protector of little girls in public washrooms.
Yes, it certainly looks like Cruz is willing to sacrifice the transgender minority to win votes . . .
It’s quite possible that Cruz will win the Republican leadership in a brokered convention. And in a country that voted in George W. as president, it’s quite possible Cruz will be moving into the White House after the next election.
So those comments made to CNBC — as well as to the nation and the world — could very well be an ominous sign of things to come in the United States. It will be much harder for trans people to win equality in places like North Carolina if the president is spreading anti-trans propaganda, too.