Adventures in Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

 

These are interesting times for people trying to work out their identities on college campuses. If, for instance, you feel neither male nor female, or in the lingo of the times, if you are “gender non-conforming,” “transsexual,” or “gender questioning,” then you may feel the need to have a bathroom specially designated as gender-neutral. That way you do not feel oppressed by the gender labels that society tends to force upon people. It’s a bigger issue than you’d think, as I note over at The College Fix:

What sort of person actually needs (or thinks he needs) such elaborate accommodations wherever he goes? Take, for instance, Ignacio Rivera, a recent guest speaker at the University of Wisconsin who describes himself as “a ‘Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno, queer performance artist, activist, filmmaker, lecturer and sex educator who prefers the gender neutral pronoun ‘they.’”

If you are the kind of person who insists that others must use the awkward pronoun “they” to refer to you, as a single individual, or if you demand that others refer to you by a made-up words such as “ze”, “sie”, or “ve”, then you also probably believe that others should build special bathrooms wherever you happen to go just so you don’t have to define yourself in terms of the socially-constructed gender binary system, which, of course, you believe has nothing to do at all with the anatomy between your legs.

So, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars later, a university can provide you with the holy grail of progressive identity politics– a “gender-neutral bathroom.” That’s what the good folks at Columbia University are now doing.

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  1. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Small-time gas stations have had gender-neutral bathrooms for years. That’s what happens when you have only one toilet for all sexes.

    • #1
  2. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Where do you leave the toilet seat after using a gender-neutral bathroom?

    • #2
  3. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I demand chromosome specific bathrooms.

    Are there urinals in “gender-neutral” bathrooms?

    • #3
  4. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Basil Fawlty:

    Where do you leave the toilet seat after using a gender-neutral bathroom?

     Right where You found it.

    • #4
  5. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    When is the Emperor Palpatine going to show up? Because our transformation to the Dark Side is almost complete.

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nathan Harden:

    Ignacio Rivera… who describes himself as “a ‘Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno, queer performance artist, activist, filmmaker, lecturer and sex educator who prefers the gender neutral pronoun ‘they.’”

    Lots of luck fitting all that on a business card.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Basil Fawlty: Where do you leave the toilet seat after using a gender-neutral bathroom?

     Cleveland.

    • #7
  8. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Arahant:

    Basil Fawlty: Where do you leave the toilet seat after using a gender-neutral bathroom?

    Cleveland.

     I don’t know why, but that really cracked Me up. [still chuckling]

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Jimmy Carter: I don’t know why, but that really cracked Me up.

     Just returning the favor.  You’ve certainly had me laughing more than once.

    • #9
  10. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Jimmy Carter:

    Basil Fawlty:

    Where do you leave the toilet seat after using a gender-neutral bathroom?

    Right where You found it.

    Heteronormative thug! Didn’t you read the post?!? “Right where ‘they’ found it.” 
    Time to get rid of those non-inclusive “me” and “you” concepts.

    • #10
  11. user_483759 Inactive
    user_483759
    @Catawampus
    • #11
  12. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Jimmy Carter:

    I demand chromosome specific bathrooms.

    Are there urinals in “gender-neutral” bathrooms?

     Of course…so women can stand up for their rights.

    • #12
  13. user_142044 Thatcher
    user_142044
    @AmericanAbroad

    On the one hand, colleges seem to have no problem openly promoting all sorts of private activities as part of sex week, freshman orientation, etc.  Yet, at the same time, Columbia feels the need to build single-person bathrooms so transgendered students can keep their privates private.  Am I the only one who finds this contradictory?

    • #13
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Jimmy Carter:

    I demand chromosome specific bathrooms.

    Are there urinals in “gender-neutral” bathrooms?

     Yes.  But they have armrests.

    • #14
  15. user_245883 Member
    user_245883
    @DanCampbell

    I think we should go back to the days of a tall guy wearing a long, black cloak and carrying a pail, who wanders around looking for people with a strained expression on their faces.

    Mr. Campbell also thinks we should all refer to ourselves in the 3rd person.

    • #15
  16. user_697797 Member
    user_697797
    @

    I take solace in the fact that no one can stop me from actively trying to pee on the toilet seat in the gender-neutral bathroom.

    • #16
  17. user_1050 Member
    user_1050
    @MattBartle

    In a few years all public restrooms will be one-person-at-a-time, gender neutral, handicapped-accessible. It’ll be the only way to avoid complaints.

    I prefer having the room to myself, anyway.

    • #17
  18. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Jimmy Carter:

    I demand chromosome specific bathrooms.

    Are there urinals in “gender-neutral” bathrooms?

     It depends on the bathroom. As you know, only some men’s bathrooms contain urinals, and very few women’s bathrooms do. I sometimes think my wife would be happier if we had one in ours. The handful of times I’ve allowed the seat to remain upright has irritated her enough for her to list it prominently on her mental list of my faults.
    If you have any concerns about bathroom etiquette in such environments, and maintain single sex stalls in your own home, you almost certainly have neighbors who do not segregate by gender, or who have flown on planes that do not, and hopefully one of them would be happy to explain.
    Gender segregation in toilets (as opposed to toilets as part of a general scheme of segregation, as in some religious buildings and such) is a pretty modern; I don’t think that there are New World examples that predate the American Independence. It has never become the dominant system. The overwhelming majority of residences, and many workplaces, retain the unbroken historical tradition.

    • #18
  19. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    James Of England:

    If you have any concerns about bathroom etiquette in such environments,  and maintain single sex stalls in your own home,  you almost certainly have neighbors who do not segregate by gender, or who have flown on planes that do not, and hopefully one of them would be happy to explain.

    James, the phrase “single sex stalls” really needs a hyphen. You know what they say about the difference between a pickled-herring merchant and a pickled herring merchant.

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Gotta throw them away after one use?

    • #20
  21. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    James Of England:

    Jimmy Carter:

    I demand chromosome specific bathrooms.

    Are there urinals in “gender-neutral” bathrooms?

    It depends on the bathroom. As you know, only some men’s bathrooms contain urinals, and very few women’s bathrooms do. I sometimes think my wife would be happier if we had one in ours. The handful of times I’ve allowed the seat to remain upright has irritated her enough for her to list it prominently on her mental list of my faults.

    Really? This is one of those things about my fellow females I don’t get so much.

    What goes on the seat of your family’s bathroom toilet? Your family’s butts. You’re probably pretty intimately acquainted with your family’s butts. You’ve wiped your children’s when they were little, and presumably your spouse’s played some role in the creation of said children. Toilets are icky things in general, but, assuming you’re brave enough to clean one occasionally, what’s the big deal about occasionally adjusting the seat?

    • #21
  22. Pencilvania Inactive
    Pencilvania
    @Pencilvania

    With no particular agenda, I add:
    I’m teaching at an all-women’s college right now – that is, the students are all women, there are male teachers.  There is one designated genderless bathroom on the basement level where my classroom is, and it has a toilet and a urinal in it. I have seen many females open the door, look, then turn around and head up a flight to the women’s multiple-stall restroom.  I’ve never seen a woman coming out of that bathroom.

    • #22
  23. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Jimmy Carter: Are there urinals in “gender-neutral” bathrooms?

    Apropos of nothing: At my university, there were two big ten-storey dorms.  One was originally all-male. The other was originally all-female.  One year, they decided to go semi-coed.  In each building, the floors alternated by gender.  Odd-numbered floors were male, and even-numbered floors were female.

    Now, I lived on the fifth floor of Laurier Hall, which was originally the all-female building.  It was so luxurious!  Lots and lots of roomy toilet stalls with room to stretch your legs, and no urinals.

    The even-numbered floors of MacDonald Hall, on the other hand, had two stalls each and a whole bunch of urinals.  LOL!!!!

    • #23
  24. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Matthew Bartle:

    In a few years all public restrooms will be one-person-at-a-time, gender neutral, handicapped-accessible. It’ll be the only way to avoid complaints.

    I prefer having the room to myself, anyway.

    Many (most?) are going that way already.

    Most of the McDonalds I go to nowadays have one-person-at-a-time washrooms.

    • #24
  25. Not JMR Inactive
    Not JMR
    @JanMichaelRives

    Apparently, one of the bathrooms will be on the 4th floor of Lerner hall. If I recall correctly, that is also the location of Psychological and Counseling services. Makes sense.

    • #25
  26. jmelvin Member
    jmelvin
    @jmelvin

    Basil Fawlty asked:  Where do you put the toilet seat after using a gender neutral bathroom?

    Answer:  Out in the grass somewhere behind the building housing the bathroom.  The bathroom then may be split by the standers and those whose bottoms are wide enough to span the gap.  Voila!  Gender issues are no longer the primary problem.  :)

    (I’m apparently having issues quoting here.)

    • #26
  27. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    James Of England:

    If you have any concerns about bathroom etiquette in such environments, and maintain single sex stalls in your own home, you almost certainly have neighbors who do not segregate by gender, or who have flown on planes that do not, and hopefully one of them would be happy to explain.

    James, the phrase “single sex stalls” really needs a hyphen. You know what they say about the difference between a pickled-herring merchant and a pickled herring merchant.

    Arahant:

    Gotta throw them away after one use?

     Once MFR had alerted me to my error, my thought was that single sex stalls should be in the basement, next to the furnace, while married quarters were in the upper stories, windows open to heaven.

    • #27
  28. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    James Of England:

    Really? This is one of those things about my fellow females I don’t get so much.

    What goes on the seat of your family’s bathroom toilet? Your family’s butts. You’re probably pretty intimately acquainted with your family’s butts. You’ve wiped your children’s when they were little, and presumably your spouse’s played some role in the creation of said children. Toilets are icky things in general, but, assuming you’re brave enough to clean one occasionally, what’s the big deal about occasionally adjusting the seat?

    Mrs. of England lived alone before me. If you go in the night, and you’re used to being able to rely on the seat being down, being alerted too late that surprise can be invigorating, particularly if your toilet has a somewhat wide bowl. She’s pretty hard working, and I should do better at avoiding harm to the restfulness of her sleep.

    • #28
  29. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    James Of England:

    If you go in the night, and you’re used to being able to rely on the seat being down, being alerted too late to that surprise can be invigorating, particularly if your toilet has a somewhat wide bowl.

    Oh, I see :-)

    Perhaps I’ve been blinded by my own clumsiness and absentmindedness. It wouldn’t occur to me to try using the bathroom in the middle of the night without first turning on the light and checking whether vital utensils were where I thought I left them.

    • #29
  30. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I won my wife over to my rule.  The toilet has a seat and a cover.  If we both put the cover down when we are done, then we will both always have to make an adjustment to use it.  Also keeps the cats out of the toilet, although that was a much later consideration.

    • #30
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