University of British Columbia (UBC) journalism professor Dr. Katja Thieme said she believes children should be exposed to adult genitalia to prepare them for the possibility of seeing naked transgender individuals in locker rooms.
Thieme, who uses “she/they” pronouns, made the comment in a Twitter thread criticizing American swimmer and women’s rights advocate Riley Gaines. Thieme labelled Gaines a “transphobe.”
“Hey, want to know one of my all time excellent parenting ideas? Let. Little. Children. See. Penises. And. Vulvas. Of. Various. Ages. And. Sizes. In. A. Casual. Normalized. Totally. Safe. Way. The world will thank you for it. And so will those children when they grow up,” said Thieme.
“Just imagine if the Riley Gaines‘ of this society could totally keep their cool at the sight of a trans dick. And just imagine if Riley Gaines’ parents were like, yeah, that happens, it’s okay, now let’s talk about your upcoming training schedule.”
The professor took aim at Gaines for standing with 16-year-old Illinois swimmer Abigail Wheeler who was accused of “hate speech” after she protested the presence of a biological male in the women’s locker room at her local YMCA.
“The first time I saw them in there, he was in a woman’s swimsuit sitting in the corner of the locker room, just sitting there. Watching,” Wheeler told OutKick.
“The second time, I had gone in to use the restroom during practice, and he was standing there with two other adults and they were changing. He was clothed already and was just talking to them.”
In response to Gaines, the UBC professor claimed that incidents involving women who are uncomfortable after encountering biological males in change rooms fuel “anti-trans activism.”
1) Teenage girl on the swim team sees or claims to have seen a trans person in the nude in the women’s changeroom. Her anti-trans parent or parents kick into high gear.
2) They lean on coaches: Tell trans folk to change elsewhere. Coach says, no, we can’t, that’s discriminatory.
3) They lean on the club admin: Send a warning message to all members that trans folk are using these facilities. Admin says, hell no, that’s crazy and would be very wrong.
4) They contact Riley Gaines or other transphobes of their choice, they organize protests, events, meetings, hearings, and whatnot.
Thieme added that “at each of these points they talk loudly and incessantly of that one (or maybe several) trans woman’s genitalia. Hard to express how horrid that is.”
She also warned transgender athletes using female change rooms. “Imagine there is something about your body that, when nude, is noticeably different from your team members’ bodies” and “one day one of the white conservative girls who sees you change decides to make a public career out of having seen you naked.”
Thieme declined True North’s request for additional comment. She also made her Twitter account private.
The debate of whether transgender people, particularly trans women who have male genitalia, should be able to access women’s spaces such as changerooms, prisons or bathrooms has been very contentious.
Trans activists hold the belief that self-identification trumps biological sex.
However, polls show that the public is not on board.
According to Pew Research, a growing majority of people believe gender is something determined by one’s biological sex rather than a social construct. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by campaign group Sex Matters saw 98% of respondents say they prefer to get undressed, shower or use the bathroom in a space free of members of the opposite sex.
As for sports, a poll conducted by the Macdonald Laurier Institute found that 62% of Canadians believe it is unfair for biological males to compete in women’s sports. Similar findings were seen in the US, with an NPR/Ipsos poll finding that 63% of Americans saying they oppose biological males competing in women’s sports.