Gender Neutral Washrooms


The university that I attend is fighting a move to create gender neutral bathrooms. We have a few gender neutral washrooms already, but apparently the university wants to get rid of them. Now the Gender and Sexuality people on campus have to prove that gender neutral bathrooms are necessary. This has quite a few people pissed off.

Our university has trans* students who can’t use the regular bathrooms for fear of backlash. The gender neutral bathrooms give them a place to go. I’d like to know what the university expects the trans* students to do if they take away their only safe bathrooms.

Personally, I think gendered bathrooms should be gotten rid of all together. The people who want to peep on people will find ways to do so regardless of the sign on the door. The rest of us will do what we’ve always done: we will walk to the nearest stall without looking at anybody, we will do our business, and we will get out of there. The only problem I can foresee would be the urinals. But there’s an easy solution there too: put stalls around them. So why are we so insistent on having gender-segregated bathrooms.

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10 responses to “Gender Neutral Washrooms

  • mrheslop

    Issues like this are often dismissed, even by a lot of non-conservatives, as fanciful, first-world social justice nonsense, but because societal norms are influenced by assumptions we make about ourselves and others, which are often informed by traditions begun in very different cultural contexts, they’re worth talking about. Not everyone has a simple dichotomous gender identity, or should, as our ancestors might once have believed, their beliefs forming still-dominant societal norms. Ignoring the impact a few of those norms can sometimes have on the trans-gendered is mean-spirited at best, and socially regressive at worst.
    Anyway, good post, and thanks for the read!

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  • Joanne Corey

    Making all bathrooms gender neutral, with stalls for privacy, makes sense. It would also alleviate the problem that often happens in public places where there is a line for the women’s rest room while the men’s rest room is not being used.

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  • The Final Rinse

    This really stinks. A few gender neutral restrooms around make life alot more comfortable. I don’t back down entirely from gendered bathrooms, but I know that I am rarely 100% safe in one. I know most of the non-gendered restrooms within miles of me: I suspect that most other transgender or gender variant people do as well.

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  • nikeyo

    We had an proposed legislation for trans allowed in whatever bathroom they felt comfortable in shot down. Sadly, there wasn’t as much talk about it as one with an open mind would help.

    There are still far too many people that thing trans are wrong. Just as homosexuality is mind-blowingly still seen as an evil. Ignorance spreads like a disease, where as enlightenment comes with difficulty.

    I also would not be surprised if they had religious funders who threatened withdrawing support if allowed. You know… Politcs and money.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      My university is quite conservative, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was part of the issue. Few people would be willing to say much against homosexuality, but transphobia still run strong here. I hope we’re able to convince them to keep the bathrooms though.

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  • George Davis

    What is the university’s rationale for getting rid of gender neutral bathrooms? They seem like something that make life easier for everyone.

    Here is an argument you might be able to use with the university:

    College-aged people who are transgender are very unlikely to have already transitioned physically. This makes it hard for them to use any bathrooms without being given a hard time.

    Furthermore, trans people who are college-aged should be able to take as much time as they need to explore their identity and figure out exactly how they want to present themselves. Pressure to physically transition is a bad idea; pushing people to be able to fit into one bathroom or the other pushes medical transition. Medical transition is not the best solution for everyone.

    Another alternative would be to suggest that the university create more “family restrooms”; students who are trans would then be able to use them. This costs more and is probably not as helpful to the students, but family restrooms are a pretty mainstream option that won’t upset anyone.

    As a last ditch option, students can unofficially designate some bathrooms as gender neutral. This only works if all the students are on board with the idea, or at least not strongly opposed to it. (And the bathrooms should be chosen strategically – i.e. not next to the alumni office, etc.)

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