So North and South Carolina are creating laws to keep transgendered from using the woman’s bathroom. Arguments from transgendered: we don’t want to be harassed in the men’s bathroom. Arguments from most women: We don’t want to be raped by men pretending to be transgendered.
Doesn’t this sound like a spook? I see no logical reason why we can’t we all use the same bathrooms? Yeah it might seem weird, but you’d rapidly become accustomed to the sound of the other sex pissing next to you, or grooming in the mirror. Think about how much money we could save too on fewer toilets – you wouldn’t have one bathroom with a long line while the other was short due to poor planning or cyclical gender imbalances at a convention.
Or just make bathrooms unisex? This archaic separation is now as arbitrary as white and black bathrooms. Or is it that women want to preserve their special muh privileges, and to be able to tell a guy you don’t belong here. Who can use a male toilet? Kids of either gender, transgenders, and women who say the line is too long, the toilet is broken, or they want to give their bf a bj in a stall. I think women are more likely to throw a fuss if a man uses a toilet than the reverse.
“As a woman…”
What gets me is when men come out in favor of transgender bathrooms conservative women like to say, “For us women…” (Translation: My views represent all women.) Or, “As a woman…blah blah…you wouldn’t understand as a guy.” I absolutely loathe the sort of identity politics that people uncritically throw about. These days it is as though no one is entitled to have an opinion unless you were born into a certain gender, race, religion or class. I also hate when political views can be simplified to a single word of affiliation rather than distilled into myriad separate issues.
“But men are rapists at heart”
Now let me debunk the paranoid argument that women have to fear male rapists 24/7. If you started screaming, don’t you think males or females would do something about it or call the cops? Wouldn’t you or your kids feel safer using a bathroom that had more witnesses in it? You’re never 100% safe anywhere, and if you enjoy paranoid thoughts while you pee in public, even now there could already be a rapist waiting behind the door of the stall as you enter, in the stall beside you, or is ready to break down the door. Do you really think sexual separation has outsmarted rapists?
In the old days in Japan there were unisex bathrooms, and women would pull up their kimonos and just piss on the side of the road because everyone was used to it. (Onsen were unisex too back then.) It’s like nude beaches today – the more open you are about your body, the less room there is for sexual thoughts. Or as studies showed in the Netherlands, when porn is legalized there is less rape and molestation.
“Only men have to worry about voyageurs”
Voyageurs are a theoretical issue, mainly because we make it an issue like with public breastfeeding. I can imagine some teenagers trying to sneak a peak at a school, but
1) That’s actually usually harmless when you think about it. Even if someone managed to take a picture of you, you only feel harmed because of a culturally ingrained expectation of privacy, and the taboo on being seen doing anything in the nude. In a world where nudity wasn’t stigmatized by society, excessive anger at candid cameras would be considered irrational.
2) Teenagers would probably grow out of breaking the rules once there was less to hide, or they had been disciplined.
Embarrassment about being seen peeing doesn’t require the presence of a member of the opposite sex. It amuses me to no end when I see a urinal trough by the an open door at a restroom which is angled to make a row of penises totally visible not only to one another, but to the passing public and the nice bench outside the restroom. Did the designers wrongly assume most men have no self-consciousness about peeing in public? Did the designer plan to sit on that bench? (Australia is the worse…)
Unisex bathrooms are still the best because they’re always closed off stalls. I hate when there are wide cracks in bathroom stalls and wish all restrooms would invest in the nice closed stalls I’ve encountered in Japan. I’m talking about the modern ones at train stations that go from the floor to the ceiling, so you don’t find yourself noticing the weird habits of your neighbor. And if you ever have a bunch of suitcases or need space to change all of your clothes without getting things dirty, you need to find either a roomy unisex handicap restroom, or a maternity restroom with hooks and so forth (which are more common in the womens’ restroom.)
“But urinals are faster”
The only intriguing argument I’ve seen in favor of gender separation was a comment that urinals speed up convention centers.We don’t have to get rid of urinals to get rid of gender separated bathrooms. I see no problem with throwing some urinals behind a wall, and providing those disposable cups if any women wanted to try using them too for a faster check out. Then they could play the urinal games too, aim for the fly target, and check out the weird toilets men sometimes invest $150 into. More seriously, if allowing transgendered into bathrooms were a burden on businesses then Corporate America would have opposed it, but west coast or European companies have supported the issue, and have scooped up some nice PR in the process. (link)
Life is also faster when it’s acceptable to walk into a restroom and check if someone is still there, rather than calling around the corner or trying to get someone to check for you. Too many times I’ve had to stand outside of a restroom of the opposite sex while wondering if someone I was with was still using it, or had long since gone out and gotten lost trying to find me in the parking lot.
Actually, I’m just interested in seeing this change happen even if it weren’t efficient. Life is just more entertaining when the opposite sex is present, and you might overhear more interesting conversations in public bathrooms. Sounds like it’d be a fun social experiment to boot.
- Huffington Post had on article on designing gender neutral restrooms.
- Creative urinals might be easier to design than toilets. I wish robot urinals, ivy walls, flower urinals, and lewd sinks were real.
It’s hard to back up my claim for open urinal troughs by windows as I write this. However, I assure you I’ve seen actual troughs near windows much bigger than this and without the protective barrier. Particularly in public parks in Australia,where I could totally see dicks from the sidewalk. Sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures!
For some reason communal toilets are only considered normal for men in the 1st world today, in the form of urinal troughs