Blog post #5: Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students (Rawls’ Justice and Fairness)

On Wednesday, Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed protections put in place by former president Obama allowing transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding with the genders they identify with. His decision overruled his education secretary and placed the Trump administration further into political crossfire. Individual schools are allowed to keep the rules in place, allowing for transgender friendly bathrooms, but it is expected that many transgender students will suffer from the roll back on these protections.

This issue is a civil rights issue. The protections which were put into place last year to help eliminate discrimination against transgender people and support gay rights. Because this decision was repealed, those rights, which in the year 2017 should be basic rights, were taken away.

In Rawls’ thought experiment, the veil of ignorance, nothing like this would ever happen. This hypothetical describes that those who would guide our society would be free of contingent features, like gender, race, sexual orientation, affiliation, or anything which would create bias or class structure. These leaders would be rational, well informed, and would eliminate inequalities. They would have no agenda, only create equality for everyone. All would have equal rights and equal responsibilities.

In reality, we cannot totally eliminate our biases, but we can recognize them and correct them, and learn from our mistakes. Every person has the capacity to produce a realization in ourselves to be fair and empathetic to others and have an open mind, but you have to learn to step outside of your self instead of creating this otherness which perpetuates an unwillingness to learn about or accept something outside of your comfort zone and the idea that not everybody should have equal freedoms or happiness because of your biases. This is not justice.

Source: New York Times


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