Making Bathrooms more Accomodating- Reading Summary

In her article, “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating,’” Emily Bazelon addresses the reasoning behind the arguments of which gender categorized bathroom or changing room a transgender person should be permitted to use. The article takes an in depth look at the different perspectives in which the argument takes.

Public bathrooms are split into two categories, male and female. This division is purely based of human anatomy and nothing else. The problem lies, however, in the fact that although someone could physically be a male or female, they can recognize themselves differently; thus creating conflict in their comfort in choosing a bathroom in which to utilize.

Bazelon explains that there is a lot of contributing factors to a transgender person’s desire to use the restroom of their choosing. One factor of a transwoman’s desire to have equal right to the women’s bathroom could lie in the nature of a woman’s restroom having more privacy within its stalls rather than the men’s room’s use of open urinals. The author reveals the testaments of a 12 year old transgender girl in which she spoke with. The girl explained to Bazelon, ‘‘I don’t walk into the changing room and feel like, Oh, my God, I can’t believe I’m here. It feels just as natural to be in there with girls as it does to be in the classroom with boys and girls.’’

Brazelon then goes on to explain the idea of accommodation. She posits, “it’s a word that involves moving over to make room for other people, whether you want to or not.”  The attempted accommodation for the problem at hand has been presented in the article as allowing a student to shower near their peers in their own stall, or to provide the student with a private changing area separated by a curtain or barrier.  Brazelon describes this as “relatively small adjustments for the sake of coexistence.” While this accommodation is an attempt at solution, Brazelon fears that, “It often sets up a distinction between the normal and the other.” By subjecting transgender people to this separation, society would be host to unequal rights for people of different sexual orientations. Those whom identify as a woman should be allowed to live as a woman, not create an entire sub category of “identifies as a woman.”

To conclude her article Brazelon shares what The Transgender Law Center offers in their resource guide entitled, “Peeing in Peace.”  She explains briefly a few of the include techniques. The first technique include in the resource guide was entitled “Invisibility.” This technique encourages trans-people to utilize the bathroom of their choice, but to avoid conflict with anyone else in the bathroom by avoiding all contact.  The second Technique Brazelon includes is called “Gender Proof.” The goal of this technique is to prove to the other attendents of the restroom that you belong there, or that you fit in. Specifically she states that the resource guide instructs transgender people to ‘‘try pointing out your physical characteristics if they will help prove that you belong.”

BAZELON, EMILY. “Making Bathrooms More Accommodating.” New York Times Magazine. 17 November 2015. Web. 15 February 2016.

Henderson Park’s Built Environment


I arrived at 2803 Henderson Rd., Tucker, otherwise known as Henderson Park, and immediately saw that a few of the many soccer fields located at the entrance of the park were occupied by a few families playing around. There were loud sounds of kids laughing and yelling. Parents were gathered in groups around the border of the fields. When I got out of my car I realized that I knew some of the people gathered on the fields. The Munroe’s, a family I babysit for, were on the field playing soccer together. I said hello and then continued to walk from the field to the path winding down to the lower park area. I walked past a couple and their dog preparing to go on a hike. They had a backpack ready next to their car and were hooking their dog to the leash. Once I made my way down to the lower part of the park, I found myself walking towards a playground and picnic area where children were running around screaming and laughing. While the kids were loud, I still felt a sense of peace and quiet in contrast to the busy noise of the city that I am used to. I decided to go sit by the lake on the small deck. I watched as people came and went from the hiking trails. Groups of teenagers, families, and couples came and went throughout the duration of my visit.  Other than the sounds of people talking as they passed, I could hear ducks quacking as they swam around the deck in which I was sitting on. The park, aside from the playground, was accented mostly with colors of grey of the concrete slabs in which the structures were comprised. Asphalt lines the park in the trail down to the playground and then a wood pavilion sits beside the play area. Walls build to support the slope of the hill were also made of stone and concrete. The park has an overall feeling of being in mountains and peaceful, while still being of manmade structure. As a whole the park felt safe and inviting.


Addison Munroe Playing Soccer

Henderson Park

According to DeKalb county’s Park and Recreation information website, Henderson Park is a 114 acre park located in Tucker, Georgia. It encompasses a large recreational area designated for TYSA Soccer League. The park then winds down to a lower play area and deck looking over a small lake. The park then also includes many trails that circulated through the woods and feature creek and waterfall access. The park is accessed through a residential neighborhood.





“DeKalb County Parks & Recreation.” DeKalb County Parks & Recreation. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.

Annotated bibliographies

England, Trish. “Tucker History.” OTTMA. 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. <>.

            Tucker, Georgia originated as farmland, but was transitioned to connect the towns of Clarkston, Decatur, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Pittsburg and Lawrenceville through dirt roads. In result of the Seaboard Air-Line Railroad completion between Monroe, N.C. and Atlanta, rail lines were laid in Tucker. The region continued to develop schools and small businesses. The site continues to describe the transitions of businesses and residential areas in and around Tucker throughout history. The article directly relates to my built environment piece by describing the history of the region in which I am studying. By learning the history and development of Tucker, I can better understand tucker, and the direct cause and effects of its built environment.


England, Trish. “Tucker History.” OTTMA. 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. <>.

            This website provides data regarding Tucker, Georgia and its crime rates. It presents a clear line in which displays the region transitioning from safest levels to high crime. From the data provided you can conclude that the most crime falls on the south east side of Tucker, with the North West being the safest region of Tucker. Below the map the page gives statistics on the crime that takes place in Tucker. The page has a direct relationship with the build environment project in the sense that it reveals facts regarding the city of Tucker based on region, details of which reveal a direct correlation between the built environment of tucker and crime rate.

“Tucker, Georgia (GA) Income Map, Earnings Map, and Wages Data.” Tucker, Georgia (GA) Income Map, Earnings Map, and Wages Data. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. <>.

            The Webpage provides data in regards to the Income levels distributed throughout Tucker, Georgia. According to the map there is a distinct line between income levels spanning from the south west to the north east corners of the region, the North West corner having a higher income and the South East corner being of a lower income. It presents Lawrenceville highway as the dividing factor in the income levels. This page is directly related to the built environment by providing data that can be directly linked back to the organization of the region and the surrounding built environment. By showing the direct relationship between the separation of income levels and the different sides of Lawrenceville highway, the page hints at the built environment’s involvement in this separation.

Architectural Exclusion- Reading summary

In her article, Architectural Exclusion, Sarah Schindler explores the built environment and its impact on society. The built environment is any man-made structures that interfere with an individual’s ability to access public spaces. The article provides an example of an instances when bridges were put in place in order to prevent the African American communities from access public beaches. Schindler points out the protest from higher income communities to have public transportation run throughout them in fear of lower income communities having easier access to them. MARTA, the Atlanta subway system, has been long time protested by suburban communities North of Atlanta. These exclusionary measure are easily justified with reasons like reducing traffic and noise. Sarah Schindler then moves on to explain how government officials attempt to enforce antidiscrimination laws. The problem in preventing the discrimination through the built environment lies in the nature of the conflict. Architecture, unlike humans, isn’t believed to have bias and therefore isn’t considered to be implemented for such reasons. For instance, Having a door on one side of the corner rather than the other in order to attract people from one street is far less obvious  than placing a sign on the door saying, “this street only, please.” People are far less likely to question subtle changes in the built environment’s influences on our behavior. Schindler then concludes the article with an explanation of the impacts of the built environment. She explains the difficulty in reversing the effects of the built environment due to the permanence of the structures put in place.

Tapestry of Space- Reading Summary

Allison Spann 


English 1102

Robin Selece Wharton

In her article Tapestry of space, Irina Nersessova analyzes artists’, like photographer Margaret Morton, works to discuss homelessness. She begins discussing the idea that even the homeless have created some type of home for themselves. Although not a conventional home, the homeless still have a collection of belongings and a shelter in which they have created. They, just like those who do live in houses, have emotional connections to their belongings and take measures to protect these belongings.  The true difference between the homeless and those individuals that live in what society may consider to be a home is the stability of the home in which they live in. The homeless’ homes have a much higher vulnerability to destruction. This could then be brought back to say that all homes are vulnerable to destruction. May it be street cleaners disposing of your belongings, or a tornado sucking up your house, all homes are vulnerable. Nersessova then takes a look at Morton’s exploration of the abandoned tunnels, or lack thereof. She addresses the juxtaposition of the “aboveground” and “belowground” living being of different mind sets. Morton interviews residents of the tunnels getting their outlook on the two spheres. Nersessova concludes that the first man’s perception was “consistent with SI criticism of the spectacle as a filter for human interaction. She addresses Morton’s findings that the resident admits to believing that the lack of “accumulating commodities” or images is necessary to reach a level of consciousness he deems necessary. Nersessova then goes on to touch homelessness in regards to psychological aspects in placement of the economic issues typical addressed. This opens the topic to the idea of refuge rather than poverty. Many of the residents of the tunnel agree that the appeal to live in the abandoned space is the feeling of safety. The location of these abandoned roads/tunnels is not well known to the aboveground population. Only those who reside in or have explored the tunnel are aware of what lies inside; therefore, any outsiders are found to be less comfortable entering the space. Residents find this comforting, because it provides them with a safe haven they know will not be invaded. They still have knowledge with the outside world, otherwise referred to as aboveground, making it easy to go between the two to collect necessities. She then posits that the choice of the residents to live in the underground is a testament to the social problems that would cause one to leave the above ground. The theory that the underground is strictly a space for “primal survival” is countered by the presentation of artwork. Nersessova explains that artwork in the tunnels represents a “presence of humanities, which further demonstrates a complete society.” She continues to describe testimonies of those who reside in the underground. One man goes into detail explaining that he has everything a “non-homeless” person would have, thus making him not homeless. The man says, “It’s not always about the money; it’s really about getting an idea of who you are.” He says, “They are their homes because they physically create them and emotionally invest in the process of home building.

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