Gendered bathrooms hinder progress


By Benjamin Bassham, news editor

The whole notion of transgender bathrooms is redundant; this country has solved the problem of segregated bathrooms before. When they were segregated by race the solution was to get over our collective hang-ups and let group A and group B use the same bathrooms.

This time the proposed solution is to let the members of group B who identify as members of group A use group A’s bathrooms.

This seems like an inferior solution.

Before you say sex is different from race, consider what accusation are you making about group B?

Are they gross? Are they a threat? Are they perverse?

Do you just not like having them near your daughters?

I have never seen any situation improved by segregation. It just makes people resent each other and cultivates an unhealthy sense of superiority in the ones doing the excluding.

Also, how do you distinguish a trans-A person from a B person?

The only identifying factor is the statement “I am trans.”

All it takes for those filthy, scary, bestial B’s to gain unrestricted access to group A’s bathrooms is a single lie.

That’s what all the conservatives are upset about. Well, some of them.

Others just don’t accept trans-As as real group A members, and so regard all of them as lying B’s.

The only consistent options are either unisex bathrooms or strict biological segregation. The policy of desegregation for trans people and liars requires sloppy thinking, and it isn’t protecting anyone.

In most of the country, the taboo against going into the wrong bathroom is weakly enforced. Janitors, parents helping children and overlong lines have worn the tradition down to a nub and unisex bathrooms only degrade it further.

Since there will be B’s in the A’s bathrooms anyway, it’s better to just get over the irrational fear all at once.

Having people of different races crap in the same room didn’t shatter society, so I don’t think having people of different sexes continue to crap in the same room will either.

In addition to saving room and reducing costs by not building segregated bathrooms, I think there would be social benefits.

A bit more than two centuries ago, civilization developed, or worsened, a really unhealthy attitude about sex. It was suddenly unacceptable for men and women to bathe together. After all those millennia of human civilization where it generally wasn’t a problem, group B’s unclean eyes could no longer be allowed to gaze upon the bare bodies of group A.

Oddly, the reason for this decidedly conservative thinking has to do with the development of housing and heating. When people lived in single-room huts around a fire pit, privacy just wasn’t possible.

With separate rooms, people were free to develop neuroses about nudity. This meant the wealthiest developed this cutting-edge segregation first, but it became fashionable with everyone soon enough.

In any case, shared bathing was suddenly too sinful, or maybe group B could no longer be trusted.

We don’t need to embrace the nudist lifestyle, but the current brand of irrational fear could be toned down a little.

Is there a single reason to not desegregate that doesn’t boil down to disgust for, and fear of, group B?

Maybe equal bathroom rights would be uncomfortable for a while, but that’s a good thing. The racists mostly learned they were wrong by being forced to be uncomfortable, the sexists will too..

Benjamin Bassham is the news editor for The Advocate. Contact him at [email protected].