The Daily Caller published an op-ed written by a white, cisgender, non-disabled man claiming to be a black, female “cripple” in order to mock California's law allowing transgender students to use appropriate restroom facilities.
In a November 13 op-ed titled "I think I'm woman, hear me roar!," author Jim Hughes criticized California's AB1266, a measure that allows transgender students access to facilities and extracurricular teams that correspond to their gender identity. Hughes adopted the typical conservative approach to attacking the measure - claiming that teenage boys will pretend to be transgender in order to sneak into the girls' bathroom. His evidence: he was a “horny 9th grade boy once,” too, so he knows what he's talking about.
To drive his point home, Hughes goes so far as to announce that he is now a female and wants all the “perks” that come with being a transgender woman:
Horny 9th-grade boys will now be able to share the gym shower with your daughter, but only if they feel like it. Having been a horny 9th grade boy once, something tells me they will. A lot.
But hey, this is California! The Wild West, early adopter of the counterculture, so you'll get no argument from me. I'm going along for the ride on this one. But before I do, I have to get a few things off my chest. Governor Shingles, if you're reading, it's time for me to come clean - right here, right now:
I am a woman.
Sure, when I look down in the shower each morning I see a penis, my doctor gave me a prostate exam at my physical last month, I have a Y chromosome, and you can hang a trench coat off my adam's apple, but since when is science relevant? This is California! If ignoring basic biology is good enough for a confused seven year-old shouldn't it be good enough for me? I am woman, hear me roar! Naturally, I expect all the perks of my newfound sex - or gender - or identity - or whatever the Democrats are calling it this week: The ability to ogle women in the locker room, the occasional mani-pedi, and a kick-ass spot as second baseperson on the girl's softball team. And lets not forget the discounted small business loans, the free child care, free birth control, and my WIC benefits.
Hughes' joke is disturbing on multiple levels. Transgender students don't just decide to change their gender on the fly - their gender identities are usually deeply rooted and stable, even as early as age four. Schools districts that have implemented similar policies haven't experienced any incidents of inappropriate behavior like the one Hughes claims he would willfully carry out. And the “perks” of being a transgender student usually include extreme harassment, bullying, and even physical abuse - not exactly an enticing prospect, even for a “horny 9th grade boy.”
But Hughes isn't done. He goes on to announce that he is also black and a “cripple,” ostensibly hoping to reap the rewards of being a protected class. And he makes these announcements by relying on a series of racist and ableist stereotypes:
I'm black to the core. I never miss The “Queen Latifah Show,” I've watched “Medea's Family Reunion” over five times, I'm fluent in ebonics, and I do a fantastic Maya Angelou impression that kills at cocktail parties. My affinity for early '90s Hip Hop and stunning collection of parachute pants pretty much seals the deal, don't you think? From now on, I shall be known as Shaniqua Hughes.
While I'm in the confessing mood, I have to unload this as well:
I am also disabled.
Either way it's clear: I'm a cripple, and for you to question it for even a second means you hate cripples. Cripple hater. Yes - you!
Naturally, in my debilitated state, I want all the perks that come with my condition - preferential parking, line cutting at Disneyland, and of course boarding the airplane first.
Right, because who in America is better off than a transgender woman of color with a disability? And who better to talk about the benefits of being a transgender woman of color with a disability than a non-disabled white cisgender man?
Oh, that's right: anyone. Anyone else.
Last week, the Daily Caller published an op-ed by a straight man lamenting that gay people had become less fun and interesting since they'd starting fighting for basic legal protections and equal treatment. If the Daily Caller is trying to corner the market on “white privileged guys talking about how lucky everyone else is,” it's doing a pretty fantastic job.