I was out at a restaurant the other day and went to use the bathroom. While I was in there, a guy came in with his little girl. He seemed kind of embarrassed, though I didn’t think it was a big deal. It got me thinking though, and I think we should switch to unisex chamber bathrooms like I ran across in France.
I don’t know where it came form in France, because it wasn’t everywhere, but it seemed like a good idea. It was probably an available space issue, but I ran across bathrooms that were unisex and had a shared sink area with lockable doors for individual little toilet rooms.
This seems like a good idea to me. Frankly, the only reason we have separate men’s and women’s restrooms is to keep the sexes separate for privacy purposes. However, it really isn’t that simple these days and really never was. The separate little closets provided plenty of privacy in France, and that is really the only part where we need privacy.
Think about that guy. He was embarrassed to take his little girl into a men’s room, but I’m guessing there was no woman to take her into the women’s. Somebody had to take her, and I’m betting he would have had more of a problem if he took her into the women’s room himself. A little kid is one thing, but a grown man is another. There wouldn’t have been an issue at all if he’d taken her into one of the bathrooms like I ran into in France.
Frankly, it would solve other bathroom issues as well. With no need for separate women’s and men’s restrooms, there would be no need to demand someone to identify their gender and/or argue with them about it when they went to a public bathroom. It simply wouldn’t be anyone’s business. A person would pick a stall whether they were a man or a woman, born with particular genitalia or not, or appeared to be either.
Plus, we’d save a lot of real estate space in restaurants and such. It’s a simple idea, private, and would simplify a lot of things for a lot of people. It could be done, but it isn’t. It’s probably more tradition than anything else, and that’s a lousy excuse.