What the Bathroom Wars are Really All About

The so-called bathroom wars have nothing to do with bathrooms but are all about war. The push to allow a person to use the bathroom of his or her choice is merely the latest phase of the sexual revolution. It is part of a relentless war to bring about an irrational equality that now seeks to break down the final public barriers that make the sexes different.

Let’s face it. Once it is held that anyone can use the bathroom that he or she feels comfortable with, the words “men” and “women” on the door are meaningless since anyone can enter. According to the strange logic of the bathroom warriors, either you build equal bathrooms for every “gender” that appears on the scene—and there are some 60 of them out there—or you integrate them all into one (or two) bathrooms, everyone can use indiscriminately. Obviously, the latter is the only economically viable solution.

Thus, this is more than just making people feel comfortable; it is the beginning of the end of sex-segregated bathroom, locker rooms or other private places. It is a true culture shift that turns one’s biological sex from a social and public reality to a mere private opinion, whim or fantasy.

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The so-called bathroom wars are not only about sexual predators, as many maintain. There will definitely be those who use the new bathroom rules to open doors to prey upon their victims. However, it is all about taking away the vestiges of modesty, decency and the sense of shame that remain in society. This strong layer of protection for both men and women in their most private moments is removed.

The virtue of modesty is part of a moral framework that serves as a reasonable restraint on the less violent human passions. Modesty governs exterior actions so that they might conform to the demands of decency, propriety and decorousness that come from human nature and social mores. Attire, manner of speech, the relationships between the sexes all enter into this framework to keep society balanced and virtuous. When natural decency and modesty are not respected, the dignity of human nature is easily degraded to brutish levels.

Thus, it is no surprise in today’s hyper-sexualized and violent world that there would be those who call for throwing off all restraints and taboos. They would target modesty since it is that natural and delicate sense of restraint to all acts that give rise to shame. All that safeguards a much-needed chastity must be destroyed.

Thus, contrary to the propaganda, this is not about forcing people to be uncomfortable. There never has been, nor will there be police checking identities or self-identities at every bathroom door. This is all about honoring and preserving those time-tested rules that enable society to function and that help individuals maintain their personal dignity.

Finally, the so-called bathroom wars have nothing to do with reality. It has everything to do with empowering the fantasies of those who wish to escape the restraints of identity and reason.

This new activism involves the empowering of fantasy, which by definition is the power or process of creating unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological whims. In times past, those with fantasies were called down to the reality found in society and nature. Today, society as a whole is being asked to pander to and be complicit with the unnatural fantasies of a few.

Yes, the so-called bathroom war is not about bathrooms and all about war. It is a new phase of the Culture War. Those who thought the war was over with their surrender to same-sex “marriage” will come to see that it is only the beginning.

This new phase is an extension and radicalization of what came before. The difference is that the old phase destroyed external structures—tradition, custom, or community—that hindered self-fulfillment and pleasure. The new phase seeks to destroy those internal structures—reason, identity, and the sense of being—that impede the “right” to instant gratification.

The old phase of the Culture War still worked inside the social structures that it destroyed and thus offered more opportunities for people to resist. The new phase assaults the very core of being and identity. It is more tyrannical and allows for little opposition. Anyone who disagrees is immediately and furiously attacked—individuals, businesses and even whole states. If there is to be a return to order, then society must recognize this new development for what it is. This is no frivolous bathroom war but a Culture War so total that it extends even to the use of the bathroom.


  • John Horvat II

    John Horvat II is vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and the author of Return to Order.

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