Ice Cream and Crime
by heather_thurber on October 4, 2016 - 1:18am
An issue in society that has only been growing involves the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. The first public battle that I can remember, was fighting for social acceptance for lesbians, gays, and those who are bisexual. The next, was gay marriage. Currently, the social issue that seems to be everywhere is relating to those who are transgender. The issue has grown since those individuals now would like to be able to use the bathroom of their choice. Now I tend to stay away from this social topic, but an article struck my attention and I have now decided to go further into this societal controversy. The article on the Newsweek website, “Denying transgender people bathroom access is linked to suicide,” caught my attention as it probably would anyone. The title caught my attention because of how simply bizarre the idea that bathroom access could ever be linked to suicide rates.
The theory reminded me of a case that my Criminal Justice teacher had once told me. The theory suggested that crime goes up when ice cream sales go up. So, ice cream influences crime and violence. This theory will seem bizarre to almost anyone, and that’s because, well, it is. Two variables can either increase or decrease around the same time period, however that does not mean that they have something to do with each other directly. Those two variables, may just have an independent variable that was not taken into account. In this example, the variable that was not taken into account was weather. So here are the two actual theories: “If the weather is nice, then ice cream sales will go up.” And, “If the weather is nice, then crime rates will go up.” These theories make more sense. There are ice cream places that open seasonally because it is a statistic that individuals enjoy ice cream more on a hot day opposed to a snow day. I attended the North Providence Citizens Police Academy. During one of these classes, the officers shared with us the patrol times, and also times that more or less police officers are needed on duty. An officer stated that there are less officers working on rainy days, because crime tends to go down during such weather. This proves that crime is and can be influenced by the weather.
Now relating back to the article, I think it is safe to say that there is more to it than just denied usage of the bathrooms causing suicide attempts. For instance, it is not the denied usage, but instead the denied acceptance for who they believe they are. Stress that is caused comes from the lack of feeling accepting. Verbal and physical attacks do not only happen in a bathroom setting, they can happen anywhere. Image this: You have one main branch. Then there are numerous branches that are all stemmed from that one main branch because they all in the end mean that one thing. The main branch represents those individuals not feeling accepted. Then each branch that is stemmed off from that main branch, is only an example, or a reason to why they do not feel accepted. So, the denied usage of their desired bathroom is a branch that is stemmed from the main branch. Overall, not feeling accepted causes suicide attempts, not specifically denied access of a bathroom.
Further into the article, the author seems to be trying to express that those who are transgender need their own bathroom. They need their own bathroom because they do not feel safe, and comfortable in the bathrooms that they have to use. Basically, it went from they want the choice to use whatever bathroom they have associated their gender with, to they need their own. My issue with this, is that the main goal is to have social acceptance. I think back to “separate, but equal” when the article began suggesting that they need their own bathroom. Providing their own bathroom isn’t going to stop the verbal and physical attacks everywhere else. This will only create a divide further. Now I am not saying that people should be able to use whatever bathroom they desire, because I feel that could lead to other issues. I believe that we need to go back to square one. What is the reasoning that we have created these separate bathrooms? Is it because of our body parts? Is it because of sexuality? What issues will arise if we have gender mutual bathrooms? Should we have only single stall gender mutual bathrooms opposed to the multiple stall bathrooms? I encourage you all to read the article, and gather your own opinions regarding this societal issue.