Kindly present genitals for inspection

Kindly present genitals for inspection
Photo by franco alva / Unsplash

There are half-baked ideas, and then there are ideas that are so stupid they deserve to go back to the oven to die of 16th degree burns. Somehow today Pierre Poilievre managed to produce not one but two such clunkers.

The first one concerns a private member's bill, championed by Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, that seeks to protect children from stumbling upon porn online by adding a mechanism to ensure only adults can access it.

I wrote about the bill over three years ago. It still hasn't passed. Why?

Why indeed.

One legitimate concern is to protect users' privacy. Personally I don't care what floats anyone's boat, and equally don't care if anyone somehow finds out what lights me up. But most people prefer to keep those details private, and it should be their right. If that subject is of interest to you (I won't ask questions), the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada prepared a comprehensive issue paper on it, in the context of this specific bill (it used to be S-203 in the previous parliament, it is now S-210).

Poilievre suddenly, out of the blue, is totally in favour of checking porn viewers' age, which will come as a big surprise to his core of supporters who believe government is already too big for its britches. These are the people who refused the COVID vaccine because they were convinced it included a tracking chip – and also that it caused erectile dysfunction, which might be awkward when settling in to enjoy the Threesome Special on Pornhub.

Personally I would have phrased my support for Bill S-210 in ways that didn't force my comms person to "clarify" that I was totally against the imposition of a digital ID but hey, in communications as in kink, to each their own.

men's and women's bathroom signs
Photo by Juan Marin / Unsplash

I laugh at this one because I enjoy watching toxic people trip over their own rhetorical bile. But the second severely under-baked idea Poilievre had this morning got my back up. He said "women" spaces like bathrooms and change rooms (and also sports) should only be for "women" and not, say, "biological males" in order to keep women safe.

"Female spaces should be exclusively for females, not for biological males," Poilievre said in Kitchener, Ont., on Wednesday. 

Doesn't it just melt your little handmaid's heart when you hear a man call women "females"?

But I have questions.

If you are concerned with protecting women by keeping "biological males" out of public bathrooms, I want you to tell me precisely what it is you want to protect women from.

Men? Like, are men in general dangerous to women? Would that include, say, Pierre Poilievre? Unless he doesn't identify as a man?

Oh, so it's not all men we're protecting women against. Some men? Humans born with male characteristics who are women? People taking puberty blockers? Trans folks at various stages of transition?

Why? Is there an epidemic of trans women randomly assaulting cis women that I didn't hear about? Do you have studies or statistics or even a couple of police reports documenting any of this? No? Because I can show you research that demonstrates it's actually trans people who are most at risk of being assaulted (including sexually) when we restrict bathroom use.

I have another question. Beyond the fact that I don't want to even think about a federal government getting in the business of regulating where people pee (talk about government over-reach; Pierre Trudeau must be spinning pretty hard right now), how exactly would this work?

Would we need a genital exam before being allowed in? And if so, by whom? I remind you that it's not always easy to determine what kind of reproductive plumbing a human carries around under their clothes. How do you enforce a rule that says only cis women are allowed in?

And what about intersex people? Experts believe roughly 1.7% of humans are born with sexual characteristics that aren't clearly male or female – about the same proportion as red heads. Where do we send them? Or do they not get to relieve themselves outside the home and sheesh, let's also keep them away from sports while we're at it.

I have another question. What about protecting men from "biological females"? The guys' bathroom is never as busy as the gals'. I'm not above using the less busy one, and I've never had a problem with anyone objecting. Would I still be allowed to do that even though I don't currently own a penis?

Nah, the conservative leader will not answer those questions. He's just interested in earning the votes of people who are scared of catching the gay. In a way I'm glad Poilievre is out (as it were) with his hateful ideas. Because now we really know who he is and who he's pandering to.

Now keep your hands off my junk.