Addicted to novelty since 2001

Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Donna, in writing about a speech she attended, links to an article about a gender-neutral bathroom at McGill University:

The washroom, which will be on the main floor, is designed to allow gender-variant students and students with disabilities “to utilise the washrooms with ease and dignity,” according to a SSMU press release. SSMU VP Community and Government Brianna Hersey said the executive chose to increase accessibility beyond the current McGill definition in order to better meet the needs of its marginalised students.

I’m not going to debate whether this should be a pressing concern of a Canadian university. The Ally McBealesque concept, however, intrigues me.

Back in the day, I worked at a community rec centre, and had plenty of time to muse on the nature of gender and changerooms. Why do we have gender-specific changerooms? Presumably, it’s because of a Puritanical belief that if men and women are permitted to see each other naked, they’ll be unable to control themselves and rampant orgies will ensue.

If that’s the case, then why aren’t our changerooms sexual-preference-specific? Why don’t we have Gay Men, Straight Men, Gay Women, Straight Women and individual stalls for the Bisexuals? I considered this when, while at the Rec Centre (but not in the changeroom), I was hit on by a gay man. My metrosexuality aside, the incident reminded me that the gender-specific changeroom wans’t necessarily a desexualized environment.

Me, I’m for one big changeroom. If an orgy breaks out, all the better.

5 Responses to “Gender-Neutral Bathrooms”

  1. harp

    can you imagine the furor over a single change room in smaller towns, like say Kelowna or something? The sight of the freaked out rednecks would be hilarious.

    I remember that nightclub Celebrities had a single washroom…two seperate entrances that went to the same place. Great idea. Maybe then women wouldn’t all go to the washroom in packs…

  2. bree

    One changeroom? No thanks. Not in this society. I don’t enjoy being leered at, and it’s hard enough to avoid when I’m fully clothed. There is a difference between respectful appreciation and gawking, unfortunately it seems that too many men are oblivious to it. Unisex washrooms, however, don’t bother me at all.

  3. Jeff

    This reminds me of a surprisingly good movie I once saw called ‘Starship Troopers’ (based on the old novel of the same name) which included a memorable co-ed shower setting. Nothing sexual occurs, it’s just a bunch of young military recruits talking after a day of training. Denise Richards was in this movie, but regrettably, she was not in this particular scene.

  4. donna

    But… but… you can’t have gay men or lesbians in the same changeroom, or more rampant orgies will break out!

    Mmm. Rampant orgies.

    Btw, bree — just so you know? I leer at women in the changeroom, and I’m allowed to be there. :)

  5. Anonymous

    Japan has unisex bathrooms. Also no fun.

    I don’t think that the point of separate washrooms is to prevent orgies, but rather to prevent other, unwelcome incidents.

Comments are closed.