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Steelmanning "only post-ops allowed in the ladies' room" here. Self-identification is reversible and cannot be gate-kept. Yes, the large majority of males would find it ridiculous and humiliating to self-identify as a woman for some insincere reason; but then the *vast* majority of males are not transgender, so under a regime of self-identification, it is actually plausible that the tiny minority of cisgender males who are faking it could end up amounting to a fairly large proportion of the also tiny minority that is the overall population of self-identified transwomen.

(Note that in the specific case of women's prisons the overwhelmingly disproportionate maleness of offenders means that *this has probably already happened;* if I had to be quantitative, I would guess that probably *most* prisoners self-identifying as transwomen are faking it for better treatment. Ofc in practice this is admixed with a lot of general mental illness and bizarre behavior, they're not criminal masterminds, but they're sound-minded enough to know what damn gender they are and why they want to be in a womens' prison.)

Getting your dick and balls cut off and taking a bunch of estrogen, on the other hand, is not something a non-transwoman would ever do unless they were totally insane, which conveniently is something the doctors have to check for before they cut. Also conveniently, the surgery actually directly nullifies, at least in part, the physical ability to even perform one of the main crimes we're worried about here. So we can safely say that essentially nobody who gets the surgery is consciously faking their gender identity, it doesn't happen.


* *Post-op* transwomen pose roughly the same risks as *average* males. Relative to biological females, yes their bodies are still stronger and their brains still *much* more predisposed to criminality and overt aggression, but there's no *special* reason to worry about them that wouldn't apply to any male.

* Contrarily, *self-identified* transwomen consist *in substantial portion* of men seeking to gain access to female spaces so as to gratify urges or compulsions, or to obtain preferential treatment. Therefore it is justified to treat them as a particularly dangerous population.

Okay, that's the steelman. I actually think it's an an extremely strong argument for prisons, where the gender disproportion in population is enormous, the benefits of moving from a mens' to a womens' prisons are enormous, and the population in question consists of people who are specifically *supposed* to have fewer rights. As far as I'm concerned, it's dispositive: biologically male prisoners must not be transferred to womens' prisons unless they can meet a relatively high and invasive standard of scrutiny, despite the harms this will cause legitimate transwomen.

But bathrooms are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Gender segregation in bathrooms is 99% taboo and 1% security measure. The door isn't actually guarded! If you want to follow someone into a bathroom and assault them, you might as well wear a dress or a T-shirt reading "I AM A CIS MALE RAPIST,", because the scenario is exactly identical after the first three seconds. Faking transwoman status in washrooms only assists in crimes that are so subtle that they're plausibly deniable, like leering at women in ways that are objectively discomforting but difficult to prove without looking like a transphobic Karen, or quietly rubbing one out in a stall to the sound of women peeing, or whatever. That shit is still terrible and I wish women didn't have to deal with it, but it's not obvious that it outweights the shit that transwomen have to deal with in mens' washrooms. Especially when we consider specifically liberal principles like "innocent until proven guilty" and "treat individuals individually, not as representatives of groups," which are much more operative here. So I still think the steelman probably fails, let folks use the bathroom they want unless there's individual, serious cause for suspicion.

And then in between you have womens' shelters, radical feminist "spaces", awards and scholarships meant to bring women into male-dominated fields, and so on. And honestly I have no idea where to come down on that beyond:

* It's complicated.

* It will require compromise and consensus-building, people will be arguing about it for a long time, and at no time will the equilibrium fully satisfy anybody.

* Simplistically denouncing those who differ about it as transphobes or patriarchal oppressors or after our children or whatever is ridiculous, it shouldn't work, and it *won't* work outside of hyperpartisan spaces.

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