Making Bathrooms More ‘Accomodating’

A sign that many of us see everyday is the male and female sign on bathroom doors. Restrooms are public places. They’re fundamentally fraught places, where we undress and we obey the dictate of our bodies. When people think you’ve gone into the wrong restroom, they will sometimes make you feel uncomfortable or give you a funny look. It’s often quite funny when it happens. Seeing a girl come into a men’s restroom always cracks me up. But what if that female really wants to identify as a male? Many people openly resist the idea of mixing males and females in the same restroom. In Houston, voters rejected a broad equal rights ordinance that protected against discrimination in housing and also employment. Opponents nicknamed their campaign “bathroom ordinance”. They created t-shirts that had “No Men in Women’s bathrooms” and also a tv ad with images of a man threatening a female in a stall. Many public schools have called transgenders by their preferred names and pronouns. They’ve even allowed them to play with their respective teams, based on the gender they have chosen. But the problem comes into play when you have to decide where they shower. In Suburban Illinois, a transgender high school student asked to change in the girls restroom. The district refused, saying that privacy concerns required that she be sent to another room down the hallway. She and her family brought a civil rights complaint, and the United States Department of Education intervened. They asked the district to to give her the right to shower and also change in the locker room with her fellow female peers. A privacy curtain could address her needs and others concerns. “Accommodate” is a word that comes up a lot when it comes to discussions about access to public restrooms. Often times, it sets up a distinction between the normal and other. But it also allows for the possibility of mutual give and take. Mara Keisling, thinks that transgenders have been doing all the accommodating when it comes to the bathroom. Natural separating men and women in the bathroom has its roots from the Victorian era. States started to require sex-segregated water closets in the 19th century. The article says that today women waste their time waiting on the line to use the restroom to go down, while the line for the men’s restroom next door is moving. Over time, women have become attached to the camaraderie of the women’s room. When girls wanna talk, they head to the women’s room. Transgender women say that they are women, but some other women don’t see it that way and don’t want to make room for them in the stalls. Some people, transgender or otherwise, like single-stalled bathrooms that are unisex. They may want more privacy or their bodies may take an unusual shape for whatever reason. The article states that the framework of accommodation is useful. Everyone needs accommodations at the end of the day, and this article just simply states that.

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