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What If We All Used the Same Bathroom?


#1

What If We All Used the Same Bathroom?

Susan Etta Keller

Recent political battles throughout the country suggest we are having trouble with going to the bathroom. Or, more precisely, with who goes to the bathroom next to us. In arguing for a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Obama Administration guidelines on access to public restrooms, the State of Texas argued that Title IX was never intended to “open all bathrooms . . .


#2

The (Boston-dwelling) nonbinary person I love best made this shirt

suggesting a new logo for the new bathrooms.


#3

I don't care where I pee and with whom, just as long as there's a place to pee close by.


#4

Using the same bathrooms will start us down a slippery slope to disaster! What's next? Different races using the same water fountain?

No!

Stop the insanity now, before it goes too far!


#5

There are millions of non-gendered bathrooms all over the world.

Life goes on.


#8

This argument strikes me the same way as the one being made a bit back when we were still working for equal rights in marriage; people were saying that instead of extending marriage rights to same sex couples the government should just pull out completely with Civil Unions for everyone and let churches marry whom they wish and same sex couples would find inclusive churches. So many liked this argument thinking it was trumping the bigots by just removing the issue. But in a sense it was giving in to them.

I have a similar reaction to this argument. Rather than pressing the argument that Transgender Women are women and not men, the argument tries to trump the bigots by saying we should have gender neutral restrooms, thus letting the bigots continue to affirm that Transgender Women are men (and Transgender Men are women, but they don't seem to care about them,) but thinking they solved the problem by saying, 'But we think men and women should use the same restroom.'

The real issue here is whether Transgender people are the gender they identify as and should be treated by society as that gender. Perhaps we should also have gender neutral restrooms, but I don't like bringing that solution up to counter attacks on Transgender Men and Women.

I do affirm that there are Transgender Folk who do not identify as one gender or the other and we must look for ways to extend dignity to them too. But it is the Transgender Folk, who do identify as one gender or the other, who are being targeted by the bigots right now. Gender neutral restrooms as the solution to that problem doesn't challenge that.


#9

The author suggests an immoral and foolish response to the unfortunate problems of an insanely small number of people. She would make their identity problems, our problems. Sorry but I will oppose that strenuously!


#10

Speak for yourself, please. Or those you know well enough to have shared their distress at finding the moment to move from one restroom to the other. My child was 37 before they even managed to come out and tell us of the pain they'd felt in school and since, having to join the urinal crowd and wondering when they'd be "clocked" as not belonging. It took months of hormone replacement and electrolysis of a pale beard, to make the move — in a restaurant where I was sitting nearby — even though they were wearing a pink jacket and capris, and overheard someone ask once, "Why did that woman go into the [single-occupancy] men's room?" Now, a full year into hormones and with their first "bottom surgery" pending, they've recognized that, though definitely not "man," they will never be entirely "woman," and that most of the world is like that. My child's dilemma, shared with most of us, is exactly what the article is about and proposes to cure.

It's not the same as marriage. As you noted, there are several choices of status there, but not infinite variations, and one does not need to announce one's marital status at every highway rest stop and class break. Having one's marriage recognized by church or state is of vital importance to some, but being able to pee is vital to everyone. I don't give a fig whether it's "giving in" to the bigots to take down the segregationist signs. I care about my child's emotional and physical health.


#11

Immoral? How on earth?


#12

I support your child's emotion and physical health entirely. I support the right of all people to use the restroom of their choice. It still seems to me the real problem your child experience is from society not affirming people are the gender of which they identify. Having gender neutral bathrooms doesn't solve that problem. That problem is what we must work to solve.

Does your child want to be a woman? Or does your child want to be neither gender? I don't mean your child feels they don't fit into the gender they want to be, which is totally understandable. If your child wants to be a woman, and hormone therapy and surgery makes me think your child most likely does, then I would affirm your child should be fully accepted as a woman and supported as a woman completely.


#13

My point is that my child, and those with whom they share transition away from a strict binary, should not have to choose. And certainly they should not have to announce a choice for the general public to evaluate.


#14

It is immora to force the genders to use common restrooms.


#15

Why not? It was good enough for the last several centuries!


#16

How so? Do you have separate restrooms at home for "the genders"?


#17

No, it wasn't. We just didn't have words to put to it. We left people to deal with their dysphoria without tools.


#18

Only the human race can need lawyers to discuss the supposed complexities of having a pee or a dump. This is why we can be sure that our only real problem is our own stupidity.


#19

Why increase the risks of sexual assault? Most public bathrooms are not fairly crowded, in urban areas. There is no need to increase the stress the average person experiences daily, simply for the sake of politically correct peeing. Of all the things to trouble the minds of the liberal bourgeoisie...


#20

At home, we don't normally put ourselves in very vulnerable positions among strangers. Sitting on a toilet, pants down around your ankles, with only a flimsy door latch between yourself and any stranger in the room... No, thanks. I don't see the logic of increasing risks to women, in a culture that already has such high rates of sexual assault. I don't see the logic of worsening conditions to meet someone's notions of political correctness.


#21

Pernicious potty training


#22

You have already peed beside trans women. There is very little true vulnerability in a public restroom. Anyone banging on one of those "flimsy door latches" would be pretty obvious to the other folks in the room. Actually, one of my child's delighted discoveries in starting to use women's rooms is how we take care of each other, including each other's privacy. When there's no room where anyone stands around with their privates outside their pants, we'll all have more privacy and more protection.