There is an argument, I’ll call it “BUT THE REAL WORLD,” that goes like this:
“I don’t let students into class without ID badges because in the real world most of you will end up in prison or with jobs where you have to wear name tags, so you need to practice.”
“Trans conference attendees can’t really expect there to be single stall or gender neutral bathroom options- that’s not a thing in the real world.”
“You shouldn’t need to use a computer for this course as a disability accommodation, because in the real world, you cannot carry your computer everywhere.”
Sexual assault survivors triggered and sent into relapse by a statue of a naked man placed next to their home should just close their eyes or go somewhere else because in “the real world” there are triggers.
I’ve heard this argument used many times- from activists circles where it was a convenient excuse for lazy allyship, to my shitty urban public high school, where it was used to justify unfair policies and trifling building conditions. Instead of “Making our communities safe and accessible and nurturing for as many people as we can, and particularly for marginalized groups, is a desirable goal but it is difficult and sometimes we will fail,” a popular idea seems to be “It is my moral obligation to make moving through this space as difficult as I speculate it is in the “real world” so that you can be a badass when you get there” – which can be a useful mindset to have for intentional, consensual, and time constrained purposes.