Charlotte Observer Admits Charlotte’s Bathroom Provision Was Never Needed


Facts matter.

It’s always highly amusing when the sanctimonious editorial troupe over at the Charlotte Observer slip up and admit the truth about an issue they’ve been demagoguing for months and months. It happened again Wednesday night regarding the HB2 issue.

The state’s HB2 bill is about more than just bathroom access, of course, but bathroom access for “transgender persons” was at the top of the agenda for the activist left for years here in Charlotte prior to the city’s eventual passage of an NDO that included language effectively allowing transgender individuals to use whatever bathroom they wanted to. It also allowed men who did NOT identify as such access to women’s bathrooms, showers, fitting rooms, etc.

Gather ’round the campfire, y’all. Because I’ve got a story to tell ya.

When the City Council first took up this issue in 2015, the Democrat majority couldn’t agree on the particulars – in particular as it related to bathroom access – and the issue was shelved.

Fast forward a few months later to a new mayor (Jennifer Roberts) and a couple of new (Democrat, natch) council members, and in February of 2016, they passed the NDO with the all-important “must-have” bathroom provision. This in spite of the fact that the primary objection to the ordinance from citizens was including that provision. This in spite of the fact that the Governor himself (a former mayor of Charlotte) and a number of state legislators – some in leadership positions – practically begged them to keep the bathroom provision out of the ordinance. Leave it out, they said in so many words, and we won’t take action in response.

The Charlotte City Council did it anyway. And they deliberately made it effective the first week in April, which was 3 weeks before a the state legislature would meet for its next regular session. They knew that the only way the state legislature could stop the bill from going into effect was to call an “expensive” special March session, and the city council knew the media would kick up a fuss if they did. And that’s exactly what happened. The result was HB2.

During all this, the Charlotte Observer – along with their sister paper the Raleigh News and Observer as well as broadcast news outlet WRAL – led the way in pushing for the Charlotte ordinance to pass and relentlessly slammed the state legislature for responding with HB2. They mocked opponents’ legitimate concerns about what opening up women’s restrooms and fitting rooms to men would mean, and in one now-infamous piece, the majority-male editorial team at the CO actually told women and children that it was time to “overcome their discomfort” over male genitalia being in their locker rooms:

The Observer was also a proponent of boycotts and economic sanctions, even though they admitted to being “conflicted” because they knew it would hurt innocent people by way of lost jobs and revenue for the state – not to mention be a blow to NC’s hospitable reputation.

But here’s the kicker: After an endless amount of editorials and opinion pieces disguised as “objective” reporting over a period of several months where women, men, parents, sexual assault victims were portrayed as bigots and homophobes with no legitimate concerns, and after the NBA pulled the All-Star game out of Charlotte, and the NCAA and ACC pulled several championship games out of North Carolina over HB2, the Observer got around to unwittingly admitting Wednesday night that the bathroom provision of Charlotte’s original ordinance was never needed.

Editorial page editor Taylor Batten started out by talking about how the state is now paying the price for the “imaginary threats/ghosts” that supporters of HB2 – including survivors of rape – worried about. Then, he got around to the inadvertent admission:

He finished his piece by complaining about how Gov. McCrory “didn’t have the spine” to oppose state legislators who “wanted a wedge issue” (even though they specifically asked Charlotte to NOT include the bathroom provision to avoid the state having to respond), and then mentioned again how proponents of common sense bathroom laws were making North Carolina suffer for a “manufactured fear of mythical predators.”

Here’s the funny thing. What Batten said about transgenders using bathrooms before HB2 is in line with what I’ve had members of the transgender community tell me privately: That they had had very few issues over the years before any ordinance was passed using the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity and did not like the fact that the activist left were using them and in the process making it harder for them because now everyone would now be aware of it, sparking concern.

In other words, they didn’t need that “special bathroom protection” in the ordinance. It was unnecessary. “We were getting along just fine without it,” some have told me. And so Batten has admitted. So if they were getting along “fine without it” and using the bathroom of their choice before the ordinance was passed then …

There was no need to include bathroom protections in the first place in the ordinance.

There was no need to “legally” open up women’s bathrooms and showers to MEN. No need to make illegal that crucial trigger that causes front desk clerks at the gym to ask questions and immediately alert security if a man walks into a women’s locker room. Under the “new system” Charlotte put in place, a front desk clerk faced legal consequences for questioning males who walked into women’s facilities, so by the time a woman or child had been victimized by a non-transgender male allowed to go in without question it would have been too late. Damage done.

The “imaginary, mythical ghost” was the supposed “need” pushed by Batten and the Charlotte Observer for “bathroom protections” for transgenders in the first place.

Let’s break it down: If there’s no need for the bathroom provision in the ordinance, there’s no need for Charlotte to include it in their final NDO. If it’s not included in the final NDO, then the state legislature leaves them alone. If the state legislature leaves them alone, then there’s no special session, no HB2. If there’s no HB2, then there are no lawsuits, no calls for economic sanctions by the activist left, no loss of revenue, jobs, concerts, events, business expansion, reputation, etc.

Are we clear now just how badly the City of Charlotte under Mayor Jennifer Roberts’ (D) leadership royally f*cked all of this up now, Charlotte Observer? You can let us know right after you dismount from your high horses.

(Contact information for the Charlotte Observer)

RELATED: The Truth About NC’s HB2 (Storified)

The pros and cons of @PurePizzaCLT’s “transgender bathroom” solution

Thumbs up or down?

Thumbs up or down?

My latest at Independent Journal Review is an opinion piece that discusses Pure Pizza, a trendy pizzeria here in Charlotte that has been thrust into the national spotlight after a customer and friend of the owner recently posted a picture of the owner’s unisex bathroom policy on social media, in place for five months or so. The image went viral, news outlets started writing about it, and now people are talking.

I hope you’ll click on the link and read it in full because it provides context and background, but I wanted to expand on it a bit here.

Thumbs Up for:

1) This was a business-level decision, customer-driven. The government didn’t step in and demand the owner, Juli Ghazi, install a unisex restroom. She took it upon herself.

2) It’s not the only restroom. There’s also a women’s restroom. There is a related “thumbs down” on this which I’ll get into later.

3) It was implemented as a good-faith gesture not just to accommodate “transgender” people, but other customers who have conflicts over which restroom to utilize due to the following circumstances – at least one or more with which many of us can identify:

Single Dads with daughters
Single Moms with sons
Parents with disabled children
Adults with aging parents who may be mentally/physically disabled

4) The unisex bathroom in question has stalls with “sturdy doors and locks”, according to the owner. It’s not a urinal.

Thumbs Down for:

1) There is not a mens restroom anymore. Men probably have less issues with having to use a “gender neutral bathroom” but some will have an issue (though they’ll probably keep it to themselves), especially dads with young boys.

2) In response to a Yelp reviewer in early December who complained about the “no men’s restroom” issue, the owner said she was considering making the women’s restroom unisex as well to “avoid confusion.” Not a great idea, IMO. For women, it’s different. It’s their “getaway”, their “safe space” when out on the town, with friends, daughters, etc. I expand on this more at IJ.

In my conversation with the owner on Twitter, she stressed it’s just a consideration at this point and nothing more as the current set up works. Hopefully it will stay that way. My issue isn’t with unisex facilities in and of themselves. It’s when they are the ONLY option.

If the current set-up is working for her and her customers, great. My ideal solutions aren’t always going to mesh 100% with everyone else’s. That’s ok. It’s life. It’s a free country.

This issue has become a hot button issue in Charlotte over the last few years, so much so that our city and county elected leaders – dominated by Democrats – are even divided over how to handle it because as, with everything else under the sun, the people demand government “resolve” the issue and so they claim to be trying. Ms. Ghazi has found one that works for her business right now, and it’s one that is not that far off from what many like me who have concerns would propose and/or be comfortable with (and have suggested in the past) going forward.

And here’s the bonus: The best solution of all, detailed below, would make almost everybody happy. The few who would continue to complain are just people who want to hear themselves talk. Always gonna be people like that.

If the government wants to “help”, here’s what they should do:

1) Don’t mandate unisex facilities. I’m not just talking about bathrooms, but also locker rooms, dressing rooms, etc. Let it be decided by individual owners, and what their customers request of them. The law of supply and demand and all that. If enough people want it, they will build it. And if there is demand and the demand isn’t met, the customers will go elsewhere. Or so it goes. Which brings me to:

2) Create a tax incentive (GASP!) for business owners to install unisex facilities in addition to the traditional male/female facilities they already have. If they have the room to add them, the tax incentive could cover the cost of adding the facility so it’d be a win win. Hello?

3) While we’re at it, create that same tax incentive for business to add changing facilities for babies in MEN’s & unisex restrooms as well. Actor Ashton Kutcher, for all his faults, got this one right.

Ok, I’ve said about all I can say on this – for tonight, anyway! Your thoughts?

PS: I hope to get by Pure Pizza in the next month or so, where the owner has offered me a free pizza and sit-down conversation. Woohoo. The words “free” and “pizza” work so well together. :-) I’ve got my eye on the T-Rex craft pizza

Soledad O’Brien’s laughable gauge for determining the “relevancy” of your opinion

Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O’Brien. Screengrab image via

Courtesy of a retweet yesterday, I came across a column journo/author/business woman Soledad O’Brien praised and shared with her audience on Twitter, one that was written by a Facebook executive by the name of Margaret Gould Stewart. Stewart is the Director of Product Design at Facebook and developed a serious case of the vapors over the audacity of questioners at business conferences to ask successful female public figures who also happen to be moms how they manage to juggle it all. More on that in a minute.

Here’s how it all started:

My response:

We continued on for a few tweets, with me letting her know my opinion on how absurd it was to suggest that female executives/moms being asked about how they manage the heavy responsibilities of motherhood and a career was insulting and diminishing. She countered that she didn’t think I “got the point.” At some point in the conversation, I told her I wasn’t a mother. This was what she said in response:

Y’all, this is codespeak in 2015 for: “You’ve been dismissed, your opinion isn’t worth including in this discussion, now STFU. Buhbye.” When I pointed this out to her, she became defensive and said she wasn’t telling me to shut me up, just that I was uninformed – because I’m not a female executive juggling work and child responsibilities at the same time. Because apparently my life experiences and my opinions formed based on reading, talking to, and listening to women who DO meet all the “right” criteria don’t matter.

Not surprisingly, a lot of followers – mine and hers – had much to say in response. But this was the gist of her “point” about the relevancy of opinions:

Got it? So let’s take this train of thought to the next level. If your opinion on whether or not it’s appropriate to ask a female exec on the work/life balance is “irrelevant” because you’re not a female executive with children, then the following also applies in Ms. O’Brien’s world:

– If you’re not gay, your opinion on gay rights is not relevant.

– If you’re not Latino, your opinion on issues impacting the Latino community are not relevant.

– If you’re not a woman, your opinion on so-called “women’s issues” is not relevant.

– If you’re not a gun owner, your opinion on gun rights is not relevant.

– If you’re not black, your opinion on “Black Lives Matter” and other similar protest movements is not relevant.

– If you’ve never had an abortion, your opinion on “the right to choose” is irrelevant.

– If you’re not in the military, your opinion on military matters is not relevant.

– If you’re not a college student, your opinion on college tuition is not relevant.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. It would be one thing to say that a female executive/mom’s opinion on this carries more weight because she’s “been there.” That I could understand and mostly agree with. But just shoving an opinion off the boat by saying it’s not relevant at all because someone don’t meet the exact criteria doesn’t exactly foster healthy dialogue, does it? What happened to diversity of thought?

It’s fascinating that in the day and age where so-called “feminists” are encouraging other women to stand up and “make your voices be heard!!!”, that we “need to hear from women from all walks of life!!” that someone as (presumably) progressive and successful over the last few decades like Soledad O’Brien would be so dismissive of the opinions of other women who don’t always agree. I think it’s pretty obvious that if I had agreed with Ms. O’Brien on Ms. Stewart’s pearl-clutching opinion piece, then whether or not I was an executive with kids wouldn’t have even factored into the equation, and she wouldn’t have made it an issue, nor given me the “talk to the hand” treatment.

Some people’s egos are too sensitive and fragile to be able to tolerate vast differences in opinions and passionate disagreement, I guess. Not the first time it’s happened with someone who has previously spoken out about the need for people to raise their voices, and I doubt it will be the last.

Oh, and about that ridiculous opinion piece written by Margaret Gould Stewart? Make sure you read it. It goes beyond the typical feminist hysteria you’re used to hearing about. Once you’re done reading that, check out my response to it – written after my back and forth with Ms. O’Brien.

Planned Parenthood videos provide chance to change minds on abortion


Yes, please.

In my first op/ed piece for IJ Review, I discuss my time as a pro-choice liberal (which I’ve written about some here in the past) and how I eventually had a change of heart and began advocating pro-life policies that protect unborn life instead of destroying it. And how, with the release of the disturbing, gruesome undercover Planned Parenthood videos, we can use the opportunities they present to change hearts and minds. An excerpt:

Ignore the militant activists, and talk to average abortion supporters whose lives – and livelihoods – don’t revolve around abortion. Do one-on-one work with them. Be patient with the ones who seem genuinely interested in having the discussion. Don’t get upset when they ask a question that might seem obvious or annoy you. And don’t get discouraged if it seems like what you’re telling them isn’t getting through. The likelihood of someone telling you they’ve had a change of heart because of what you’ve said to them is slim to none. Your part in it isn’t to try and force someone to believe anything or think a certain way, but to merely plant the seeds in their minds that will make them curious enough they’ll begin to do their own research. And maybe one day your efforts will pay off, like my college acquaintance’s efforts at changing my mind paid off with me.

Now is the time. We can do this!

Please make sure to click, read, share, and retweet! Thank you. :)

Shutuppery: The true agenda behind feminists & their “rape culture” culture


My thoughts exactly:

Mob ruleI don’t get the chance to blog as much as I used to, but today I felt compelled to write after months of reading feminists launch ridiculous nationwide movements decrying America’s so-called “rape culture”, a culture they – get this – say “promotes” the belief that rape is “acceptable” and should be tolerated. Feminists have even gone so far as to accuse those in favor (gasp!) of due process for college men accused of sexual assaults of being “pro-rape”, while at the same time suggesting that the “default” position for anyone listening to a woman accuse a man of rape is to believe it without question. In other words, guilty until proven innocent. The accuser should be given the benefit of the doubt without hesitation, while the accused should be punished in the court of public opinion before he has a chance to make his case at trial.

Last I checked, this wasn’t how the system was supposed to work.

The latest “rape culture” grenade thrown by feminists is over the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. From the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A U.S. senator is among those condemning a rape scene on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

In a comment tweeted Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill described the sexual assault as “gratuitous” and “disgusting.” The Democratic lawmaker from Missouri said she was done with the show.

Others critics included the website The Mary Sue, which offers a feminist view of pop culture. The website posted that it would no longer promote “Game of Thrones” and said that rape is not a device to drive a story.

HBO declined comment Tuesday on the reaction to the episode that debuted last Sunday. An after-hours call to McCaskill’s office seeking further comment was not immediately returned.

The attack involved newly married characters Sansa, played by Sophie Turner, and Ramsay, portrayed by Iwan Rheon. Ramsay’s rape of Sansa was off-camera, suggested in her cries and the distress on a bystander’s face.

Sidenote: Incredibly amusing that the self-important Senator from Missouri couldn’t be bothered to tweet her comments about the “offensive” episode until a full 24 hours or more after the outrage started. Can you say “bandwagon”, anyone? But I digress.

I confess: I don’t watch the show. I don’t have HBO. I’m not sure I’d watch it even if I did. But I find all the pearl-clutching over this episode to be embarrassing for women, as if we’re supposed to be delicate little snowflakes who should be shielded from the realities of… fictional rape. It happens. It’s been used as a “plot device” in books, TV shows, and movies for as long as those mediums have existed and, in the case of GoT, my understanding from fans who are both viewers of the shows and readers of the books, what’s depicted on HBO (which has included incestuous rape and penis-severing) is actually a very sanitized version of what takes place in the books – and that includes the various rapes that have been shown to “shocked” feminist viewers.

My questions to the McCaskills and other feel-good left wing narcissists of the world are these: If you’ve read the books, how can you dare even make such complaints about the show? And if you’ve read the books, why would you watch it if you were worrying about so-called “triggers” that might upset your delicate sensibilities? And even if you haven’t read the books, why would you sit through the series for five seasons silently even though the pilot episode from season one included a rape scene?

None of us have to wait for answers to these questions because it’s hiding in plain sight: Feminists and their ilk have become the modern-day thought police, using a combination of shame tactics, obedient group-think, and mindless mob-rule to shut down dissent. Noah C. Rothman described this in a brilliant piece yesterday at Commentary Magazine:

….The mechanisms through which the vulnerable are shielded from discomforting thought develop over the course of decades. The process often begins imperceptibly, but the trained eye can see it in its nascent stages. It is the application of that perspective that renders Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s ostensibly fatuous and self-serving condemnation of Game of Thrones so dangerous.

In service to the new demands associated with a culture of “social justice,” a concept distinct from objective justice, Missouri’s U.S. Senator castigated the HBO drama for daring to depict the unseemly aspects of life; namely, sexual assault. “Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones,” McCaskill wrote on her Twitter account. “[S]tupid. Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.”

This casual admonition would be easily dismissed if running afoul of the ever-evolving concepts of social justice did not have dire career consequences for the accused. Livelihoods have been lost for offending the sensibilities of the left’s culture warriors, even years after the supposed offense has occurred.

And not only have livelihoods been lost by some for daring to be different, for daring to challenge left wing “social justice” narratives, but college life for some young men (falsely*) accused of sexual assault without the benefit of a trial have been one giant experience in humiliation, degradation, and ostracization via wars waged upon them by self-serving left wing “culture warriors” who are really no more than modern day digital/verbal lynch mob types who need no evidence whatsoever before publicly convicting a man based on nothing more than preconceived notions and prejudices. And if you dare see some merit to the arguments of the accused? The mob then becomes relentless.

It’s frightening, really, when you think about it. Our country has “been there” before on this disturbing and dangerous type of mentality, and it’s extremely troubling to see it rear its ugly head again, even if in a much different modern form. Fortunately, it’s the 21st century, and there are various platforms in existence now that help question narratives and facts, and shine sunlight on people, places, things – and accusations – that seem suspect, much to the dismay of self-designated enforcers who have taken it upon themselves to be the arbiters of what we should think, feel, believe, watch, do.

For people calling themselves “progressives”, I find their tactics rather regressive – in many ways, and in effect they’ve become the types of activists which they claim to abhor. Don’t you think?

*For more on questionable rape accusations and outright rape hoaxes, make sure to read Washington Examiner commentator Ashe Schow, and follow her on Twitter.

And the award for the dumbest tweet of the day goes to …


…. the pro-abortion “women’s group” Planned Parenthood, commenting on Sen. Rand Paul’s announcement that he’s running for President:

Right-o, because women aren’t students, veterans, etc …. #derp

Useful idiot.

Words of wisdom.

Hats – or headscarves – off to Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

President and First Lady Obama’s arrive in Riyadh 1/27/15. Photo via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

This morning I find myself in the very rare position of being able to say I’m proud of our First Lady. Why? Read on:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — For first lady Michelle Obama, just a few hours in Saudi Arabia were enough to illustrate the stark limitations under which Saudi women live.

Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.

Under the kingdom’s strict dress code for women, Saudi females are required to wear a headscarf and loose, black robes in public. Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil known as the niqab. But covering one’s head is not required for foreigners, and some Western women choose to forego the headscarf while in Saudi Arabia.

As a delegation of dozens of Saudi officials — all men — greeted the Obamas in Riyadh, some shook hands with Mrs. Obama. Others avoided a handshake but acknowledged the first lady with a nod as they passed by.

The Washington Post reports that Mrs. Obama’s actions caused an uproar among Saudi women on social media:

Barack Obama was in Riyadh on Tuesday to pay his respects to the late Saudi King Abdullah. His visit, for which he cut short a much-hyped trip to India, underscores how important the U.S.-Saudi relationship remains to the American leadership. On social media, however, much of the attention has focused on something else: His wife’s attire.


More than 1,500 tweets using the hashtag #?????_??????_???? (roughly, #Michelle_Obama_immodesty) were sent Tuesday, many of which criticized the first lady. Some users pointed out that on a recent trip to Indonesia, Michelle had worn a headscarf. Why not in Saudi Arabia?


The response wasn’t entirely negative — Ahram Online notes that some Twitter users said Michelle shouldn’t be criticized too much, it being a short, impromptu trip and all. Saudi state television did show images of Michelle and her uncovered head, despite some claims that they had digitally obscured her (a widely circulated video with the first lady entirely blurred seems to have been an amateur production).

The headscarf thing wasn’t the only issue some Saudis took with the First Lady’s attire, as Josh Rogin with Bloomberg View notes:

The alleged blurring wasn’t the only controversy.  Some Arab media outlets criticized Michelle Obama for wearing a blue dress, rather than a black one.

Politico points out other First Ladies (and former First Ladies) have been known to throw aside the headscarf as well:

In 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Abdullah in New York, she did not cover her face or hair. Nor did then-first lady Laura Bush during a 2006 visit with Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.

American women: Rebels, with a clue.  Sometimes. ;)

(Via Memeorandum)