Vengeance against the residents of North Carolina over its bathroom law just took an unintentionally hilarious turn. Yesterday w website called XHamster announced that it has universally barred all computers with IP addresses in the Tar Heel State from accessing its services. What service does XHamster provide? It is a pornography website!
Mike Kulich, a spokesman for the company, told The Huffington Post, “We have spent the last 50 years fighting for equality for everyone and these laws are discriminatory which XHamster.com does not tolerate. Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel this punishment is a severe one. We will not standby [sic] and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them.” [Emphasis added]
A smut peddler preaching morality! Hard to beat.
XHamster is just the latest entity to mete out punishment over the passage of North Carolina HB2, which restricts use of bathrooms and changing facilities based on biological sex. Aging rocker Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro at the last minute, telling disappointed ticket holders, “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry … is one of them.”
I would argue that almost anything is more important than a rock show, but that’s another story. Let’s look more closely at what Springsteen and others are calling an “anti-LGBT” law. Putting aside for another day why the homosexual and lesbian community chose to align with transgenders, who many mental health professionals continue to regard as sick, that label — LGBT — has become a catchall. If HB2 is anything at all it’s an anti-T law only — and strictly speaking it’s not even that. The law does not proscribe cross-dressing or self-identifying as a gender other than the one into which a human organism is born. It does limit the use of public restrooms and locker rooms based on biology.
Granted, that’s a burden for transgenders. But the opposite situation — allowing individuals to use whatever bathroom or locker room they like — is burdensome for non-transgenders, which comprise a much larger segment of society. A law in Seattle that allows transgenders to choose facilities that feel most comfortable to them came under scrutiny earlier this year when a man entered the women’s locker room at a public pool and began disrobing. Some of the women involved said they felt unsafe, while others complained this infringed on their modesty. It’s hard to see where the rights of one group automatically trump the rights of another or where this fairly complicated problem factors down to simple “prejudice and bigotry.”
As for XHamster’s and Springsteen’s “remedy,” they are demonstrating a bias of their own. They are systematically punishing anyone with a North Carolina address regardless of whether that person supports HB2. The law, moreover, was not passed by referendum, suggesting it may reflect the sensibilities of only a tiny portion of the population. What could be more prejudicial than targeting 10 million people over the actions of a few?