theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

A guy asked this about a convention where several boy/girl bathrooms were temporarily repurposed into unisex bathrooms. (Not all of them – you could still find your standard male/female pooping places if you were uncomfortable.)

And I’ve been thinking about that question. “Why do we need unisex bathrooms?”

Because the answer is blazingly simple if you’ve attended Penguicon: look around that convention’s room parties, and you’ll see a fair number of genderqueer and trans and cross-dressing attendees. Some of them go to conventions specifically to have a weekend where they can relax and present as whatever gender they choose and not get hassled about it.

Going to the bathroom and deciding which box to check is, presumably, a buzzkill for these people on an otherwise-supportive weekend. Hence the unisex bathrooms.

But that’s not the question the guy was asking.

He used “we,” but he meant “he.” As in, “Why do I need a unisex bathroom?” And being a cis dude who dresses like a dude, he didn’t see any need for them. As such, he concluded the convention was doing stupid things for stupid reasons.

Which was a stupid conclusion, alas.

Because this addled man’s affected with a sad disease that can strike at anyone, but tends to afflict straight cis men: They have forgotten the difference between “we” and “me.”

I personally don’t need unisex bathrooms either. But when I ask the question, “Why do we need unisex bathrooms?”, I am capable of looking around to more than my experience and doing the elementary deduction work required to uncover why. Sometimes I even ask other people than myself and the people who look like me.

Why do we need unisex bathrooms? Because not everyone’s you, dude. I have never once attended a panel discussing gun safety or libertarian philosophy, but if someone asked me the question, “Why do we need those panels?” you bet your bippie I’d pull my head out of my neon-rimmed ass and look around to other people before answering the question.

Solipsism’s a helluva drug.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Date: 2017-05-05 03:02 pm (UTC)
klgaffney: the pattern of a moth's wing forms the eye in a close up of a skull. (the unbiased eye)
From: [personal profile] klgaffney
One of the things I like about hitting the bars in Philly--all the bathrooms are unisex. It saves the businesses space and it also usually means the doors to the stalls tend to be actual doors which provide privacy which means everyone benefits (the one exception from our last night out was the Kyber Pass, but the Kyber is really old and from what I remember from way back in my 20's, nobody really cared which bathrooms you went to back then, as long as you didn't care what you might see when you went there.)

It's not like most people have special gendered bathrooms at home so I don't see what the big deal is.

Date: 2017-05-06 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ravenblackx
A bonus benefit of unisex bathrooms is that if you have some sort of a gathering that's biased towards one gender, you don't run into an issue of "all the group-A bathrooms are occupied and nobody is even using the group-B bathrooms".

Socratic Method

Date: 2017-05-07 01:08 am (UTC)
flwyd: (Vigelandsparken thinking head)
From: [personal profile] flwyd
I would ask this guy to turn the question around. "Why do we need gendered restrooms?" It's then on him to think about and elucidate what's important about the status quo and you then have a concrete claim to bring into question. If his answer is "We've always done it that way" or if it's "Using a urinal is faster than a stall" or if it's "Girls have cooties," the "Why unisex bathrooms" question may have drastically different answers.


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