In light of recent developments, our thoughts are all abuzz regarding what we can do next about more of the issues that still face the United States in how we treat people. Something that immediately popped into my head, which is a tiny thing in the bigger scheme, was again (I’ve talked about this on this blog before) that we should think about making our restrooms more like what I’ve seen some places in Europe.
I’m sure some people will think this is stupid and get upset that this is the first thing that popped into my head, but it did. The public restrooms I’m talking about were not separated by gender. There were individual toilet closets that were truly private instead of merely having separators that didn’t fully go to the ceiling or floor (yielding a semi-communal bathroom experience). Everybody used the same toilet closets, no separate ones for men and women. Then, there was a shared sink area. The reason this seems like a good idea? There is then utterly no possible reason to even care about anyone’s gender when using the bathroom.
Seriously, since the toilet closets are all individual, no one is going to the bathroom together. Even for people who only want to go to the bathroom with people of their gender, they aren’t going to the bathroom with anyone. It’s private. Thus, the gender of anyone else using the bathroom is completely not their business and they don’t need to know. When someone needs the bathroom, they use the first one available, not different lines for men and women based on traffic patterns.
I see no reason not to. It’s still the same number of toilets, and just requires that the individual stalls be made more private.
Then, no separate restrooms for men and for women. Just individual toilet closets for people. It’s just such an easy way to stop thinking that the gender identity of someone else is anyone’s business except theirs and any relationship partner(s) they have.
Why not just make this aspect a total non-issue?
I know it’s trivial. But there’s so many things we’re hassling people about today that would really be trivial if we didn’t want to make them a big deal. We just have to change the way we think about things. At least, that’s the way it seems to me this morning.