Taking equality to the bathroom stall
Times are tough. Much has changed since I last wrote this column. A high-ranking general lost his job for revealing to Rolling Stone magazine that his favorite beer was Bud Light Lime. The Iraq war ended abruptly on August 31, just seven years after it first ended. Sarah Palin added to her scholarly oeuvre by creating the word "refudiates," a suitable addition to her many political treatises and works of macaroni art. And most importantly, Kanye West got a Twitter.
And yet, standing obstinate in the face of this cultural advancement, much has stayed the same. Ke$ha continues to serve as a model of responsibility for young women. Glenn Beck stands stalwart against Nazis. And the state of Maine continues to insist that single gender bathrooms remain single gender bathrooms.
Friends, I am not a lazy person. I often wake up as early as 11 a.m. I exercise at least six times a month. One time, I volunteered at a soup kitchen. But the state of Maine is really testing my resolve. I happen to reside on the fourth floor of Taylor, a dorm with only one bathroom designated for use by men. The bathroom is on the third floor. This means I have to walk seventy-six paces any and every time I need to make use of the facilities. The women's bathroom is but five paces from my room. You don't have to be a mathematical genius (it helps, though) to figure out what these numbers add up to. They add up to injustice.
I don't like to be alarmist, but this may represent the end of the American way of life as we know it. This is how it always happens. First the government takes away your right to choose which bathroom you use. Then they determine that it is "in the national interest" to form a "Toilet-Choice Police" to "ensure compliance." Two weeks later, your best friend goes out to the bathroom and never comes back, and men in dark suits are asking all of these personal questions about your loyalty and yelling about a "Federal Lavatory Mandate" something or other.
But can we really place all of the blame on the government for this problem? Don't we, as citizens, have a responsibility to stand up and fight for what we believe? Of course not. That would be hard. Instead, we can place the rest of the blame on the school's administration.
In the state of Maine, the following things are illegal: consuming alcohol under the age of 21 and using an oppositely gendered bathroom. Which of these laws is more strictly enforced by your Community Advisors (employees of the administration)? But before we jump to any conclusions, consider one more fact: the federal government enforced compliance with a national raise of the drinking age by withholding highway funds. Essentially, the administration allows laxness in its enforcement of federal law while strictly enforcing state law.
I'll just come right out and say what we're all thinking: we are attending a college run by seditious proponents of nullification. It happened once to President Jackson and it is happening again, right under our noses. Colby has made clear its view on the relative importance of state vs. federal power. It is time we all do the same. It is a time for us all to make clear our allegiance. Personally, I will support the side that lets me use the women's bathroom.