Leslie Schwalm, a professor and chair of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality studies at the University of Iowa, expressed opposition to Senate File 224, a bill which would’ve required bathrooms in Iowa schools to be used based upon biological sex rather than so-called “gender identity.”
Schwalm called the bill “cruel.”
“One that arises out of absolute ignorance of the experience of trans students in our schools,” she said.
Schwalm said trans students need access to bathroom facilities “like all humans.”
“And like all humans, they need to be recognized for whom they really are,” she said. “Denying them equitable access to the bathrooms that all school children enjoy is a direct rejection of their identity, an explicit act of discrimination and an effort to police children’s identities.”
Schwalm said the bill is “a clear expression of transphobia, an irrational fear that trans adults generally are pathological and intent on attacking, harassing, or sexually exploiting people in bathrooms.”
In particular, she said, it is an “attack on transwomen and the misguided presumptions that transwomen are really men who wish to use women’s bathrooms as a site for exploitation of heterosexual women.”
“Rather than pathologizing children, and oversexualizing them, you need to recognize them as children with bathrooms needs,” she said of trans students.