Justice

This Hilarious Meme Sums up the Absurdity of 'Bathroom Bills'

April 28th 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski

A meme targeting so-called "bathroom bills," which is making the rounds on Facebook, nails the absurdity behind recent legislation halting transgender people from using bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Anti-trans bathroom meme

"Hi, just checking if you have a penis or a vagina," the text reads, accompanying a photo of a woman peeking under a stall door. "I don't want YOU to make ME uncomfortable!"

"Bathroom bills," laws that seek to police which genders can use what restroom, have become the centerpiece of a divisive national conversation about evolving notions of gender identity and LGBT rights. Proponents say that the bills seek to quiet discomfort about mixed gender bathrooms, and protect young girls and women from sexual predators. 

Anti-Trans bathroom

Opponents of the bills, however, say the bills unfairly discriminate against transgender people. LGBT advocates also argue that these laws paint a grotesque stereotype of gender non-conforming people as sexual assailants calling themselves transgender in order to gain access to their victims. Hashtags such as "#WeJustNeedToPee" have been shared widely on social media in response to laws passed recently in states such as North Carolina and Mississippi.

By using an uncomfortable moment — a little girl peering under a bathroom stall — the meme highlights the absurdity and invasiveness involved in policing such laws. It also points out that transgender people likely aren't seeking their next sexual assault victim — they're just trying to pee. The second point was recently acknowledged in a Fox News segment in which "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, citing a report by the fact-checking group Politifact, said the bills were "a solution in search of a problem."