Walking inside the state capitol was a bit of a changer for me. I would never suspect that I would visit the capitol, wit it only being a 12 minute walk from my dorm. I entered the capitol approximately at 12:05 p.m. It was not very well lit in the entrance where the security desk is located. The guard looked at me with suspicion as if I was at the wrong place. I could hear the sound of elementary children singing very “patriotic” songs, but I did not know where it was coming from. So, I went up to the guard and asked if I could have permission to sit and observe the bathrooms. He gave me this very confused look and I told him it was for my class research. He then gave me the nod and directed me to the bathroom. The first place he told me was the women’s restroom. I am assuming that because I am a lady that I wanted to know where the “little girl’s room” was located.
So when I asked for the men’s room he told me that it was upstairs to the left. I took his word and was on my way. I got to the bathroom and was amazed at seeing such pretty cathedral styled doors. I wasted no time entering the bathroom. My eyes wandered everywhere. My first thing that I look for is cleanliness when going to a public restroom. The stalls were clean and the outside of the stalls were clean. I went in to one stall located to my left and notced that someone was in there recently. I say this because there were bubbles still inside the sink. I sat down in the unpadded chair and took pictures of the inside of the bathroom. I also made some :more notes of the bathroom. Such as the last cleaning was 7:48 a.m. that Friday morning. I was astonished that a bathroom could be that clean or such a long period of time. Especially with young children in the facility. After I left the bathroom, I looked for the handicap button. It took me a couple of seconds to find it. I eventually did and took note of it. After looking for the button, I sat down in one of the waiting chairs. I noticed that there were five waiting chairs. I asked myself why are there so many waiting chairs? I answered myself with the logic of men who mostl likely arranged the chairs think that women occupy the bathroom for a long period of time, so place five chairs in the hall. I know that this is not true because I do not spend more than two minutes in the restroom. Also, why so many chairs if not many women actually work in the capitol?
I also that the walls were covered in oil paintings of men. There was not one single picture of a woman on that hall. It can make a woman feel intimidated, as if they can not reach a status of getting a oil painting or bust on the hall. So there is a feel for sexism in the capitol. I also noticed that there were no unisex bathrooms in the building, just male and female. What could I really expect from a building that was built in the 19th century.
I left the area in search of the male restroom. So, I took the elevator up but was confused as to where the men’s bathroom was. I asked a woman if she could tell me if she knew where it was. She looked at me with disgust and said she did not know and walked away. I just wanted to know where the restroom was not commit treason. I looked around and ended up finding the bathroom. The bathroom was poorly lit on the outside, dark from bein underneath the staircase, and cramped from being in a corner. This would throw me off from going to the restroom. Also the men ad this cheap plastic waste basket located outside the door with some tissue on the ground. I was appalled by the exterior of this bathroom. I did not want to enter in fear of a man being inside or a man coming inside the restroom. I believe that the bathroom’s surroundings had more clutter because more men work there and have to use the bathroom more than the small portion of women there. The coolest thing I seen was the newspaper drop, I am guessing this is very vintage because you do not see that really in our modern age. You would think that with a newspaper drop that there would be a waiting chair for men. I say this because it takes some time to read a newspaper and that requires more time in the bathroom. Why assume women take longer in the bathroom than men? When watching to see who enters and leaves the bathroom, both sexes enter and leave around the same time. Also, both were cis gendered human beings.
Leaving was very hard thing for me to do because I wanted to look at more of the art, but I knew it was time for me to leave and log all of my observations. I think this environment was the best because I was not out in the cold observing, but in a warm building.