Feminism State

Transgender man demands access to women’s bathroom, but there is more to the story…

Charles Clymer, a transgender woman now known as Charlotte, has filed a formal discrimination complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights after a Washington restaurant asked him to show his ID before entering a woman’s bathroom. According to the attendant, the women’s bathrooms were reserved for– you got it, women.

Clymer said he was then asked to leave the restaurant after insisting on his right to use the female restroom. The police were eventually called and reportedly said the law was on Clymer’s side.

After the incident, Clymer took to Twitter stating, “Last night, I was told by the manager of @CubaLibreDC that I couldn’t use the women’s restroom, and after challenging his discrimination with D.C. law and responding to his threat of calling the police w/ ‘please do so’, I was forcibly removed from the restaurant.”

In response to Clymer’s Tweet, Washington D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you. While I’m glad to hear that @DCPoliceDept were there to represent our true #DCValues, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC. It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for.”

The following day the restaurant offered a formal apology to Clymer saying, “We are extremely sorry for the incident that occurred…” The statement went on to say, “As a rule, we support safe bathrooms and welcome guests of all gender identifications. Clearly our staff did not do so last night and treated you in an unacceptable manner. We are immediately retraining our entire staff to ensure this does not happen again.”

But that apology didn’t stop Clymer from filing a formal discrimination complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights. In a follow up Tweet, Clymer said, “I spoke with several lawyers about what justice would look like in this situation. I greatly appreciate everyone’s support, and I’ll continue to keep you updated on the resolution.”

A few years ago a petition was established on Change.org to have Clymer removed as a contributor on Huffington Post. According to the creator of the petition, “Clymer has been known to ban women from the Facebook page he created and administers, Equality for Women, for seemingly just disagreeing with his point of view…”

The husband of a woman banned from Charles’ Equality for Women Facebook page wrote:

My wife, a life long feminist commented on this page months ago. Charles did not like her post. He berated her publicly and privately. He deleted her comments and banned her from posting… She started another page which served as a place where other people who had been unjustly silenced by him could come together and exercise their right to be heard. This page continued to grow, by request of more and more victims of his treatment… Today she was notified by FB that she can not post for 24 hours, and it appears that her page has been shut down. FB did not give her any warning which is the usual procedure… [Charles’] page is not about equality for women. It is about equality for women who don’t piss him off. It is highly censored.

In 2013 HuffPost ran a piece titled, Should a Man Teach Women About Feminism?. In the piece, blogger Darlena Cunha wrote, “When a man becomes a feminism advocate, and then a feminist leader, the lines become blurry…”

Cunha went on to say, “Unfortunately, many comments on Equality for Women that have been deleted are by women, and many of the people who have been banned are women. And this angered the women, as you can imagine, because now you have a man running a feminist page essentially silencing women he doesn’t agree with. And the disenchantment begins.”

So, what’s the solution?

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