Sarah Gassen: What's hanging from the axles of lawmakers obsessed with private parts?

2013-04-04T00:00:00Z 2013-04-04T08:49:39Z Sarah Gassen: What's hanging from the axles of lawmakers obsessed with private parts?Sarah Garrecht Gassen Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Not that long ago I was just a happy-go-lucky person making my way through life.

State Sen. John Kavanagh and his supporters have made me see things in a whole new way.

Now, thanks to his laserlike legislative focus on the needs of Arizonans, I find myself pondering people's underpants.

Or, more specifically, what's in them.

None of my business, you say? I agree, but that darn Republican majority in the state Legislature has gotten serious about regulating people's business and where it gets done.

Kavanagh's original legislative language would have made it a crime for a person to use a public bathroom if their appearance didn't match their official identification.

In other words, a person who is biologically male but living as a woman would have to use the men's room, and vice versa.

Kavanagh may never have been in a ladies' room. No one is paying attention to anyone else unless you're in the middle of a conversation, and even then, you're busy making sure your haven't tucked your skirt into your pantyhose or attached toilet paper to your shoe.

I have it on good authority that it's the same in the men's room. Except for maybe the pantyhose.

I am willing to bet that many an Arizona woman has used a men's room on more than one occasion (when it's been empty of men) out of sheer necessity. Nature doesn't really care which line you pick up, just that you answer its call.

The legislative language has been changed a bit, to protect from criminal or civil liability businesses that would prevent a transgender person from using their public accommodations where one would expect privacy - bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, dressing rooms.

Kavanagh's urgency was prompted by a new Phoenix ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Tucson has had a similar ordinance for more than a decade and no problems have cropped up - but lawmakers like to tinkle, excuse me, tinker in the hypothetical.

Kavanagh said in a recent radio interview that this isn't really about bathrooms; it's about group showers and locker rooms - places there "people undress completely."

Now I, as a rule, avoid those kind of places on the basis that I'm from the Midwest and we don't like to be naked anywhere, much less in the presence of other people.

Lots of folks, including people who are transgender, change their clothes in bathroom stalls at the gym, or belong to gyms and pools with private showering and changing areas. It's not a big deal. People who must maneuver an often unfriendly world are used to finding ways to do what they need to get done.

The revised version still targets transgender people and is awaiting a committee hearing and then, if passed, it would go to the full House. This legislation needs to be be flushed.

But while we're discussing genitals in public - and who doesn't love a good chat about genitals in public - I'd like to pose a question: What is the deal with dudes hanging plastic testicles from their trucks?

I know this isn't a new thing - they're called "Truck Nutz" (it's hip and happenin' because it uses a "z" instead of an "s," see?) - but I thought they would have been relegated to the "Wow, can you believe we thought these things were funny" by now.

Evidently not. Because every so often I'm driving and there they are, swinging from the rear of the truck in front of me.

And if there's one thing I think about those trucks and their "nutz" it's that the owner must be one clever, clever person with a sense of subtlety and nuance. What a catch he must be.

If I'm lucky, maybe he'll notice me in my small unadorned compact car.

No, I really hope he sees me, because I do not want to meet my end being mowed down by a guy who, on purpose, attached a fake scrotum to his vehicle.

Which leads me to want to mention this place I go by on my way home that has a line of toilets in the front yard. On sunny days, the lids are up. On rainy days, they're down. They're probably salvaged toilets for sale, but now that this whole bathroom-genital discussion has taken hold, it's made me wonder.

So until Arizona is safe from lawmakers who put a priority on potties, I will say this:

Nutz!

Sarah Garrecht Gassen writes opinion for the Arizona Daily Star. Her column appears Thursdays. Email her at sgassen@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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