Making Bathrooms More Accomodating

"Chinese Authorities Employing 'Two Fly' Rule for Public Bathrooms." Prod. Jeanette Torres. ABC. Beijing, China. 25 May 2012.

“Chinese Authorities Employing ‘Two Fly’ Rule for Public Bathrooms.” Prod. Jeanette Torres. ABC. Beijing, China. 25 May 2012.

Bazelon, Emily. “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating.’” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.


In the article Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating,’ the author Emily Bazelon discussed the social restraints that derive from the evolving society in America – subject of gender. To be precise, the author addresses the most obvious form of gender segregation in the interior design of everyday facilities: public bathrooms. The separation of sexes whether it’s through bathrooms or locker rooms has been accepted as a social norm since women entered the workforce, but with the increasing awareness and rise in the population of transgender citizens, and major issue if revealed: individuals find it difficult to enter a bathroom comfortably. A transgender woman who identifies herself as a woman, and, therefore, would prefer to enter the women’s bathroom, “but some other woman can only see them as men, and solely don’t want to make room” (Bazelon). In today’s society, the definition of male and female does not pertain to the physical appearances of the body of when a girl or boy is born, because social standards and science have progressed to a point where a person can choose what they prefer to be called. In this article, you see that gender no longer has two simple options and become a blurry subject. Furthermore, instead of maintaining gender-specific bathrooms, the author draws attention to the need for accommodation.

In the section about accommodation, the author provides the reader with a clear explanation of what it means to accommodate: “to adapt, to bring into agreement or harmony, to furnish with something desired or needed, to favor or oblige” (Bazelon). The author then goes on to inform the readers that accomodatio0ns have already been made to accept individuals with disabilities, regarding the practice religion, and racial diversity. For the society to fully accept transgender citizens, as other demographics are commonly accepted, changes have to be made so that the population as a whole can feel inclusive in everyday spaces.

A great way to accommodate transgender society would be to remove any gender segregation from bathrooms, and simply utilize unisex, or as Bazelon states to be the new preferred term “all-gender” restrooms settings, however, this idea is not easily accepted into society. In fact, some people oppose the idea. In the text, Bazelon mentions a case in Texas that led people to wearing the phrase “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” on their bodies. It would seem that a lump sum of citizens are resistance to change, but by doing so, they are also indirectly excluding a demographic of individuals who are granted the same rights under the Bill of Rights. Preceding this issue, white women had difficulties accepting shared restrooms with black women, but for generation’s to come, it simply became a social norm. Also, the removal of gender-specific bathrooms has the prospective of dissolving into a normal social phenomenon in years to come.

Bathrooms that are separated by specific gender roles effects those who are not about of the transgender community also. Women and feminists have noticed a difficulty that seems unfair in bathroom settings. While, men’s restrooms rarely are seen with long lines extending out the door, women’s restrooms are known to have such lines. According to Bazelon, “The urinals that are in men’s bathroom accommodate the male body for more efficiency, although most people overlook the privilege man are provided”. For women, women it seems that they simply use the toilet, for there is no special contraption to accommodate the female body for efficient use. However, women also use public restrooms for sanity purposes while on their menstrual period. The only way women are accommodated in public bathroom settings is through adding trash cans in each stall, whereas men are given a completely separate invention apart from the toilet. Which is why this separated by gender and accommodation stigmas will forever be a main topic in the America society.

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