If you’ve been on Twitter lately, first of all, God bless you. That place is a hellhole. Second of all, you’ve probably been seeing the hashtags trending lately like #TransWomenAreConMen.
A lot of those hashtags are centered around a TikTok video a woman called Lindsey Graham (no relationship to the South Carolina senator with the same name) made about someone named Paul Bixler.
In the video Graham accuses Bixler of a few things. According to Graham, Paul Bixler was staring at her as she was changing in the women’s locker room at the gym. Graham said she had her shirt off and her bra off, and she noticed Bixler looking at her breasts.
Speaking as a cis woman who has changed in locker rooms before, I did notice a few odd things with Graham’s story right. First of all, despite what the porn films may portray, women’s locker rooms are not steamy erotic paradises full of bi-curious naked supermodels. Women’s locker rooms usually just have a few of us middle-aged women. We take care to not show too much skin even when there are only women in the locker room. Frankly, most women are shy about being naked even in front of other women. If we’re changing into gym clothes we make sure to wrap towels around our waist before we change pants. We face the wall and move quickly to change bras. NONE of us are parading around with boobs out and honestly if I had been in the locker room while Graham was changing, I might have snuck a peak too. I have nothing but admiration for women who are confident enough about their bodies to walk proudly boobs-out in front of other women. I wish I had that poise.
Look, everyone stares at boobs regardless of sexual orientation. This has been scientifically proven, believe it or not! (imagine the grant application that was written to fund THAT study!) Who knows why both men and women like to look at breasts. Maybe it’s a nascent reflex from infancy that associates breasts with food and warmth. Maybe, as one scientist said, women look at eachother’s breasts “for social comparison purposes.”
Regardless, we all love looking at breasts.
Anyway, back to Lindsay Graham’s TikTok video. Graham herself runs a far-right podcast called Patriot Barbie so yes she looks and behaves exactly how you think she does. Graham also apparently visits the gym in a full face of make-up and two pounds of false eyelashes.
Graham’s story starts to fall apart as soon as she describes what happened when Bixler allegedly stared at her breasts. “‘He had his back to me, but there was a mirror, so when he turned around after loading up his things, he was able to see me completely topless.”
How the hell can someone stare at your breasts while facing away from you at the same time? There was a mirror? Bixler was watching Graham in the mirror? Or was Bixler watching Graham when Bixler “turned around.” I’m sorry, I’m having a hard time visualizing the spatial dynamics Graham is alleging here that ended up with Graham’s breasts in Bixler’s visual zone.
I mean, even before LibsofTikTok posted Graham’s video, this woman Graham was a piece of work. Imagine Lauren Boebert if Boebert were even more dumb than she is. That’s Lindsey Graham. The Patriot Barbie cat lady protester I mean, not the South Carolina Senator. Well, maybe the South Carolina Senator too but ANYWAY Graham (the woman) is absolutely crackers. Graham even attended a school board meeting in a cat costume to protest trans people or something. It was… dumb.
Frankly it’s pretty clear that Graham has an agenda and has specifically targeted Paul Bixler. I have no doubt that Graham tried to set up Bixler at the gym.
Still, while it’s fun to dump on Ms. Patriot Barbie, I really can’t defend Paul Bixler here.
Full disclosure, I’m a huge TERF. Or at least trans activists call me a TERF. I support the human rights and dignity of trans people. I also believe that trans women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports and the erasure of women is wrong and gay women should not be emotionally blackmailed into having sex with people with penises and JK Rowling actually has some good points. I am part of the wide middle ground that many people inhabit in America when it comes to trans activism, but trans activists have said that I am “unsafe” and “literally killing trans people.”
Yeah, that’s right. Either you support gay women being coerced into sexual situations that they hate or you’re literally killing trans people. Literally. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND PEOPLE!
And I’m gonna be clear here when I say that Paul Bixler should not be allowed in a woman’s changing room.
By the way, when I am saying “Paul Bixler,” I am not deadnaming Bixler. Bixler still goes by the masculine surname “Paul” and apparently suffers no dysphoria when referred to by that name by other people. Bixler also makes very little effort to try to pass as a woman. Bixler’s hair is slightly messy but not feminine, and Bixler does not seem to be concerned about passing at the gym or… anywhere really. Bixler apparently has had no voice training either and none of Bixler’s photos show that Bixler has put any work into body feminization.
Bixler claims to have had bottom surgery (apparently that’s why the police in the video allowed Bixler to continue to use the ladies’ changing room) but I think that’s a lie. You have to jump through hoops and pass massive amounts of screenings to be approved for bottom surgery. Bottom surgery is very complicated under the best of circumstances. There is not only a lot of vasculature to consider but also nerve preservation so that the patient’s sexual health AND genitourinary functionality remain intact. Few surgeons are expert at bottom surgeries for FTM trans people. I sincerely doubt that any surgeon would have agreed to perform bottom surgery on a geriatric patient (Bixler transitioned at age 70), especially a geriatric patient who apparently has no wish to be femme-presenting. The capacity for serious complications and lawsuits as a result of operating on Bixler would be too great.
The argument among trans activists is that trans women don’t owe society femininity nor do trans women need to “pass.” Cis women, nevertheless, owe trans women access to all women-only spaces even if the trans women present as men.
If masc-presenting trans women are denied access to women-only spaces, trans women will suffer horrifying dysphoria as a result. So masc-presenting trans women must be allowed in women-only spaces.
On the other hand, if women are uncomfortable and even scared of seeing a masculine-appearing person in a changing room or other places where women are naked, well…… suck it up buttercup. Don’t be a fucking TERF like that awful Harry Potter woman.
The dysphoric feelings of someone with a penis carries more weight in our society than the fearful feelings of someone with a vagina. It is a rigid rule of the gender binary that has persisted for centuries and that trans activists insist on maintaining.
The vagina must always make space for the penis.
Even the picture of Paul Bixler entering the woman’s changing room at the gym shows how dumb it is that Bixler insists on using women’s spaces. There would have been no danger for Bixler if Bixler had used the men’s changing room. All the men there would have just assumed Bixler was one of them, not a trans woman. Paul Bixler does not present as a feminine person.
Someone who puts no effort into passing as a woman should not be using a female space. Period.
Is Lindsey “Patriot Barbie” Graham a clown? Yes. Did she set up Paul Bixler? Yeah, probably. Is she harassing and stalking Paul Bixler? Yeah, probably.
But is Paul Bixler using women’s spaces unjustifiably? Yes. Does Paul Bixler belong in women’s spaces? No, not at Bixler’s current stage of transition. Is Paul Bixler lying about having bottom surgery? Yeah, probably.
Does Paul Bixler appear to give a damn about the comfort of women? No. Is Paul Bixler a clown too?
That is why I am forced to conclude that no one looks good in the Paul Bixler controversy. It is not misogynistic to say that Graham needs to stop stalking trans people. It is not transphobic to say that Bixler needs to use men’s spaces now unless Bixler puts more effort into passing.
And there is nothing remotely wrong in saying that both Graham and Bixler are dishonest clowns.
UPDATE: Someone claiming to be Paul Bixler’s son (and he seems legit so I’m gonna assume he is) says that Bixler has indeed had bottom surgery. There are documents to prove it. I posted my own response. Obviously Paul Bixler’s medical info is only Paul Bixler’s business (and Bixler’s healthcare providers) but we are all entitled to our opinions. Regardless of the surgery, however, I stand by my opinion that anyone who cannot even pass a glance test when it comes to passing as a woman should not use women-only spaces. And that if masc-presenting trans women do not feel comfortable in men’s spaces, then the burden is on cis men to accommodate them. Not cis women.