Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 14, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
Azrael wrote:For fuck's sake, how many times in a thread do I have to say that I support unisex bathrooms?
You don't

Really? Are you sure?
I even did so in the middle of the post that people are objecting to on the grounds of where I think the burden lies.

I think that was the first thing out of my mouth, actually. Nope, forgot about that post on the first page regarding queue theory.

Heck, I like the expensive solution and think it's entirely cool. But I recognize the costs in the cost/benefit proposition, and that the cost burden of my preferred solution will create additional resistance to the existing social inertia.

But I guess the answer to my own snarky rhetorical question is four.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby SDK » Thu May 14, 2015 5:39 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:The burden of proof is not on those arguing that enforcing segregation provides no benefit. Fractal may be arguing for single occupancy bathrooms, but those you're criticizing as "being aloof about reality", like me, are arguing for simply not enforcing laws about gender segregation. It it completely illogical to demand that we justify why it should be allowable to not enforce segregation.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Thu May 14, 2015 5:39 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:For fuck's sake, how many times in a thread do I have to say that I support unisex bathrooms? I was challenging the bad assumptions based on cost.

Now I'm challenging some crappy rhetoric.


Well, the cost argument in a nutshell is that, for new builds, two rooms (one filled with urinals and the other filled with stalls+washbasins) or three rooms (one filled with urinals, one with stalls and a central one to wash up in) is cheaper and more efficient than the present situation of two rooms (one filled with urinals+stalls+basins, and one filled with stalls+basins)

I have not been persuaded that gender-segregated rooms are cheaper than unisex ones for new builds...

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 14, 2015 5:46 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Well, the cost argument in a nutshell is that, for new builds, two rooms (one filled with urinals and the other filled with stalls+washbasins) or three rooms (one filled with urinals, one with stalls and a central one to wash up in) is cheaper and more efficient than the present situation of two rooms (one filled with urinals+stalls+basins, and one filled with stalls+basins)

Yeah, that's the crappy cost argument I'm talking about. It doesn't actually carry any logical savings, just hand waving. The square footage is the same, the number of facilities is the same, the number of sinks are the same because all of those are based on the building population. The three room solution is inherently more costly: additional linear feet of walls, sprinklers, smoke detectors, fire alarms, floor drains, doors etc, etc.

I have not been persuaded that gender-segregated rooms are cheaper than unisex ones for new builds...
Good thing, because that's not the argument either. Although there might be a very marginal cost if urinals go away (which would make logistical sense from constructing uniform facilities across the building) because you'll need more toilets/stalls (i.e. total # of facilities will rise, not just the added 1:1 substitution) and use more water.

I'm making the argument that the future state -- any of them -- are not cheaper. I suggested that people ought to focus on sound arguments that aren't a made up cost savings. There are lots of them.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby mosc » Thu May 14, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

I can say as a parent of a young boy and girl that a joint bathroom or some kind of split with central sink area would sure as hell make my life easier.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Quercus » Thu May 14, 2015 5:56 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I can say as a parent of a young boy and girl that a joint bathroom or some kind of split with central sink area would sure as hell make my life easier.


In the UK it seems to be perfectly usual for young children of whatever gender to use the bathroom matching the gender of the parent they are with. I always thought that was universal. How do you deal with it at the moment?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 14, 2015 5:59 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:In the UK it seems to be perfectly usual for young children of whatever gender to use the bathroom matching the gender of the parent they are with.

That is standard practice here as well.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Thu May 14, 2015 6:02 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Yeah, that's the crappy cost argument I'm talking about. It doesn't actually carry any logical savings -- just hand waving. The square footage is the same, the number of facilities is the same, the number of sinks are the same because all of those are based on the building population.


Explain why? For the same number of stalls, the average wait will be lower because it will less often be the case that all stalls will be full in the combined room than it will be the case that one set of stalls is full and the other one isn't.

Example:

1) Men's room has 3 stalls and the women's room has 2 stalls. 4 men arrive. 1 has to wait.
vs
2) Unisex room has 5 stalls. 4 men arrive. They all get served.

You would most likely find you could get away with 4 total stalls instead of 5 when making it unisex and still have the same wait time. It's simple maths: 2 separate normal curves will result in less efficient resource distribution than a combined curve.

It's not 'hand-wavy' at all - it's actually quite basic queuing theory (as has been pointed out previously).

I suggested that people ought to focus on sound arguments that aren't a made up cost savings.

One of the non-cost-saving arguments is that unisex toilet facilities will result in less injuries and deaths. Currently if society views a person as one gender but that person disagrees and so goes into the toilet for the 'wrong' gender, people freak out.

Yes, currently people are 'uncomfortable' with sharing a room with a person of the 'opposite' gender (even if they're not really), but they'll quickly get over it, as I pointed out with the 'unisex beach' argument.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 14, 2015 6:14 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Azrael wrote:The square footage is the same, the number of facilities is the same, the number of sinks are the same because all of those are based on the building population.
Explain why?


First off, I'm not using your example because you don't have any women using the bathroom. It's easy to make the math work out when half your population isn't there. Also, there is rough parity in number of facilities, skewing upward in number in urinals only -- the situation of a men's room with 3 stalls and a women's room with 2 stalls is completely contrary to practice. Most likely men would have 5 facilities (3 urinals, 2 toilets) to women's 4 toilets. Got a building map of your office? Go ahead and count. I did a few days ago. Our big one is [5 stalls + 8 urinals] to [9 stalls]. The other four are [1/2] vs [3].

Building code isn't based on a rigorously queue theory analysis for each location, from earlier:

I'll see if I can find real numbers, but the sizing math is approximately like so:
Men: (50% of building population) / (5* people per facility) = Total # facilities, where toilets = 40%*, urinals = 60%*.
Women: (50%) / (5* people per facility) = Total # facilities, where toilets = 100%
For 100 people, you'd end up with 14 toilets and 6 urinals. Distribute them physically however you want.

Now, perhaps someone would produce a rigorous enough analysis that might be adopted by the relevant standards organization suggesting that the facilities/person factor could be reduced given unisex bathrooms. But demand isn't a normal curve; a building with 5 & 5 now is still going to be full tomorrow at the same time tomorrow as it was today whether or not we remove the signs. Given buildings with widely disparate population ratios there would certainly be an increase in efficiency. However, buildings get new occupants and are re-purposed and standardized code is standardized. Code Compliance isn't going to let a builder put in 25% the standard number of women's room today just because it's an Engineering building.

I suggested that people ought to focus on sound arguments that aren't a made up cost savings.

One of the non-cost-saving arguments is that unisex toilet facilities ...

There are lots of good arguments, you don't have to convince me.

(And that make five times, for those (me) counting)

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Ixtellor » Thu May 14, 2015 6:15 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Using your terminology, "icky feelings" << "actual harassment".

Then you are hideously ignorant of reality.


# of times per day someone uses a public facility and #of times per day separate bathrooms negatively effects a transgendered persons life. Every gay club I have ever been to has separate bathrooms -- not once ever was it an issue. (Probably spent a total of 500 hours in gay clubs over my life)

The Constitution doesn't protect you from harassment, dirty looks, snide comments.

Let me summarize most of answers to your points:

1) There is no legal obligation to provide public facilities designed to protect an insanely small minority from feeling bad. People feel bad for all kinds of reason, too heavy, low self-esteem, skin conditions, etc etc. We don't have to provide public accomodations to guarantee nobody is made to "feel bad".
2) You don't get to dictated to vast vast majorities your opinion on the way things should be unless they are a clear violation of the Constitution Equal protection clause. Society gets to ignore people who have minority views that don't actually impede their life. I didn't compare transgendered to anyone --- I simply listed minority groups that most people would agree we dont' want to change society for to appease them. I have desires and Nazi's have desires. That doesn't mean I'm calling myself a Nazi. Learn the difference.

Women not going #2 in front of Men > Your right to have the restroom be a Convenience store

Again, begging the question.


Your point was that unisex = we can all buy tampons and condoms!
Who gives a fuck what you can buy in a restroom? Do we have a right to tacos or lawn ornaments? If you want to buy ____ go to the fucking store and buy it. Don't demand that it be made available to all persons in a public facility.

For whatever non-rational reason, men are less concerned with other men seeing their private parts than strange women.

You have comprehensively failed to demonstrate that.


Having lived in a society you learn what is acceptable and unacceptable (whether is morally right or wrong is another issue) through social cues and social policing. I dont' have to prove that people prefer for toilets to have walls seperating them.
1) 99% of restrooms do have walls around sit down toilets in mens room.
2) I have never seen a human use a toilet that didn't provide privacy.

So No, I'm not going to provide a graph that shows men aren't that bothered by urinating in public restrooms.

The claim that it is not a violation of civil liberty is already a ridiculous assumption not supported by the evidence.


Your basic point is that we should have unisex bathrooms so that people (most likely transgendered) don't feel bad.
There is no law, regulation, or Constitutional clause that prevents you from feeling bad. Additionally, I simply asked if, or under what circumstances, can a huge majority get their preference --- assuming that 100% of societal preferences make some tiny minority upset.

Lastly, politically, I feel that you are doing harm to the greater fight for equality. You are stating exactly your oppositions worst nightmare --- that they use as a slippery slope argument to provide basic rights like gay marriage, adoption, prevention from arbitrary termination in the work place.

"If we let gay people marry, next thing will be dudes in the ladies locker room!". Right or Wrong --- you are politically playing into your enemies hands --- and thus making harder to fight the more important fights.

If you had to choose: All unisex bathrooms or Transgendered people can't be fired for being Transgendered?

Buy fighting for the former, you are harming the latter even if morality is on your side and society is a bunch of assholes.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Thu May 14, 2015 6:29 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
elasto wrote:
Azrael wrote:The square footage is the same, the number of facilities is the same, the number of sinks are the same because all of those are based on the building population.
Explain why?
Building code isn't based on a rigorously queue theory analysis for each location, from earlier:

I'll see if I can find real numbers, but the sizing math is approximately like so:
Men: (50% of building population) / (5* people per facility) = Total # facilities, where toilets = 40%*, urinals = 60%*.
Women: (50%) / (5* people per facility) = Total # facilities, where toilets = 100%

For 100 people, you'd end up with 14 toilets and 6 urinals. Distribute them physically however you want.

Now, perhaps someone would produce a rigorous enough analysis that might be adopted by the relevant standards organization suggesting that the facilities/person factor could be reduced given unisex bathrooms. But demand isn't a normal curve; a building with 5 & 5 now is still going to be full tomorrow at the same time tomorrow as it was today whether or not we remove the signs. Given buildings with widely disparate population ratios there would certainly be an increase in efficiency. However, buildings get new occupants and are re-purposed and standardized code is standardized. Code Compliance isn't going to let a builder put in 25% the standard number of women's room today just because it's an Engineering building.


So you're agreeing with me that unisex bathrooms would be more efficient (read cheaper) than segregated ones - you're just unsure how much more efficient (cheap) they'd be?

Well, sure, we can disagree about that. It's not like I've run the numbers either.

The important thing is: Unisex bathrooms are at least as cheap and efficient as segregated ones - and they have social benefits also. So it's a no brainer that the law should change and that new builds should adopt them if it makes sense for them.

/thread?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu May 14, 2015 6:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor, you seem to be deliberately misrepresenting my position despite my clarifying it explicitly several times in the thread in ways that make your responses irrational. You're also, as far as I can tell, deliberately misrepresenting what you had actually said that I was replying to. Your arguments are nonsensical and basically a bingo card for logical fallacies, so if you wonder why you see no further replies from me to you, that's why.

I'm making the argument that the future state -- any of them -- are not cheaper. I suggested that people ought to focus on sound arguments that aren't a made up cost savings. There are lots of them.

I'm replying to arguments against unisex bathrooms that consistently bring up cost. I have repeatedly stated, pretty much from the first, that I believe the cost argument is a non-issue and a derailment. I apologize for misinterpreting your position.

Society is doing a thing. That thing causes issues. A practical part measure has been found, although not widely implemented retroactively to existing construction, that addresses most of the concerns ( like harassment based on bathroom choice). You're arguing for making a more encompassing change. Based on your last post, you also seem to be arguing that the larger change should be made retroactively.

Yeah, the burden is ours to convince people to change. Not if this were a course on logic, granted, and we were actually talking about burden of proof. But the issue is trying to convince people to change behavior. To do that will need arguments that have merit. There are lots of them in the thread -- and my point is that cost savings isn't one. A challenge to the legal requirement for gendered bathrooms itself could likely be built upon the idea that the original requirement can't prove it's worth.

If my proposal has been muddied up with others, I apologize. For clarity's sake:

I am proposing that, for existing washrooms, the little stickfigures be taken down, and people simply stop enforcing the gender restrictions on them via throwing people out or arresting them. For existing buildings, the cost and change I see is about an hour's worth of time removing the icons, and however much time it takes to remove references to gender from the plumbing code.

I am in no way proposing any sort of rebuilding or restructuring of existing bathrooms, and see no need for it to be done in any sitatuation where it would not be by definition an efficiency-based cost savings for the building's owner.

In fairness, I suppose you could argue that this would be placing on a cost on restaurant owners who currently design themed bathroom names like "Hunter" and "Hunted" to designate gender, or have erotic artwork up in the bathrooms and feel socially compelled to take them down.
Last edited by KrytenKoro on Thu May 14, 2015 6:59 pm UTC, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 14, 2015 6:44 pm UTC

elasto wrote:So you're agreeing with me that unisex bathrooms would be more efficient (read cheaper) than segregated ones - you're just unsure how much more efficient (cheap) they'd be?

... no.

- I can conceive of an analysis that could be done and that one of the plausible outcomes might be marginal improvement. But I think that your gut feeling about averaging normal distributions is false, in that bathroom usage is not normal, nor significantly time-varied by gender.
- I acknowledge that wait time would be less for buildings with skewed ratios, but that the facilities would be built to handle 50/50. The gain could not be realized by the builder.

elasto wrote:The important thing is: Unisex bathrooms [can be] as cheap and [are at least as] efficient as segregated ones - and they have social benefits also. So it's a no brainer that the law should change and that new builds should [be allowed to] adopt them if it makes sense for them.

... yes

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 14, 2015 6:56 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:
If you want additional social benefit, make the case why the practical solution isn't good enough, and understand that the argument has to be convincing on it's own merit.
No. A very solid, forceful No. The burden of proof is not on those arguing that enforcing segregation provides no benefit.

Society is doing a thing. That thing causes issues. A practical part measure has been found, although not widely implemented retroactively to existing construction, that addresses most of the concerns ( like harassment based on bathroom choice). You're arguing for making a more encompassing change. Based on your last post, you also seem to be arguing that the larger change should be made retroactively.


Yeah, this particular solution is not always optimal. The law is an obstacle to other solutions.

Yeah, the burden is ours to convince people to change. Not if this were a course on logic, granted, and we were actually talking about burden of proof. But the issue is trying to convince people to change behavior. To do that will need arguments that have merit. There are lots of them in the thread -- and my point is that cost savings isn't one. A challenge to the legal requirement for gendered bathrooms itself could likely be built upon the idea that the original requirement can't prove it's worth.


Cost savings is not a reason to require genderless bathrooms in all circumstances. Possible cost savings are a reason to remove existing laws restricting certain solutions. Because then, there's more latitude to use whatever works in a given situation. My scenario is a real world one, and it is based on cost and practicality.

Simply removing laws requiring discrimination does not add cost, because it does not mandate a change. It merely allows changes where they are beneficial. Even if these are corner cases, that's still a net gain.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu May 14, 2015 7:00 pm UTC

Just a note that I have substantially edited my previous post, and several people have posted while I was doing so.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Quercus » Thu May 14, 2015 7:04 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I didn't compare transgendered to anyone --- I simply listed minority groups that most people would agree we dont' want to change society for to appease them. I have desires and Nazi's have desires. That doesn't mean I'm calling myself a Nazi. Learn the difference.

Using example Y in a conversation about X draws an implicit connection between X and Y. Given the way humans process information this is unavoidable and because of this it's a standard rhetorical technique. I assumed your use of it was intentional. I guess it may merely have been clumsy. In either case I didn't feel it was appropriate.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby cphite » Thu May 14, 2015 7:11 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
cphite wrote:The things you're describing aren't going to be fixed by single bathrooms. Someone who notices that a person is transgender in a men's or women's bathroom, is still going to notice in a unisex bathroom; so there isn't a whole lot of difference in terms of being outed. An asshole who'd beat up a trans woman in a men's bathroom is still going to be an asshole in a unisex bathroom; same for someone who'd fire a person for being trans, etc.


As far as "noticing" -- how, actually? Unless they choose to use the urinal, I can't figure this one out.


Well, to put this as delicately as I can... it's usually not as difficult to tell as the person generally wants it to be, especially when up close. The idea that the only time anyone else can tell is at the moment the person enters or exits a door is, frankly, mistaken.

As far as being an asshole -- sure, they're probably still gonna be an asshole. However, removing the "wrong bathroomness" out of the equation removes one of the triggers that can give the asshole an (in their head) excuse to get violent, while also diminishing the stigma on the genderqueer person.


Do you really believe that the type of person who becomes violent because they see someone in the "wrong" bathroom, is any less likely to become violent when faced with someone who, in their mind, is the reason everyone is now using the same bathroom?

I don't have any objection to protecting people from assault, firings, and unwanted outings; however I don't see your proposed solution as actually protecting anyone from those things. You aren't making it any less likely that people notice them; nor are you making it any less likely that they face discrimination or even violence. Think about it - is the type of person who'd physically assault someone for being trans really going to be swayed by you pointing out to them that it's a unisex bathroom?


Yes, as there are multiple news stories of this kind of outing being triggered by bathroom choice, at least if I've read the stories correctly.[/quote]

I suspect that the root of the problem is not the "bathroom choice" but rather what is behind the bathroom choice. Some people have a problem with transgender and/or gay people because they're bigoted assholes. That isn't going to change because we have unisex bathrooms. Hell, in the short term I would bet that any move towards unisex bathrooms makes it worse, not better.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 14, 2015 9:02 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:I am proposing that, for existing washrooms, the little stickfigures be taken down, and people simply stop enforcing the gender restrictions on them via throwing people out or arresting them. For existing buildings, the cost and change I see is about an hour's worth of time removing the icons, and however much time it takes to remove references to gender from the plumbing code.
No business is going to commit suicide by degendering their bathrooms without significant support from their customer base. The cost would be in lost business. Businesses are in business to make money, and bathrooms are a customer convenience. Make those customers unhappy and there is no business to pay for taking down those signs.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 14, 2015 10:15 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:I am proposing that, for existing washrooms, the little stickfigures be taken down, and people simply stop enforcing the gender restrictions on them via throwing people out or arresting them. For existing buildings, the cost and change I see is about an hour's worth of time removing the icons, and however much time it takes to remove references to gender from the plumbing code.
No business is going to commit suicide by degendering their bathrooms without significant support from their customer base. The cost would be in lost business. Businesses are in business to make money, and bathrooms are a customer convenience. Make those customers unhappy and there is no business to pay for taking down those signs.


Or apathy, and a way to angle for a few more dollars.

Oh sure, not all of them will do it. That's fine. A few will, because they cater to an unusual customer base, or stand to benefit from it more than average or whatever. Then, it'll slowly become more normal. It's a fair while before people stop bothering with it altogether, but "nobody will do it anyway" isn't a sufficient reason for something to be banned.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 14, 2015 11:09 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:I am proposing that, for existing washrooms, the little stickfigures be taken down, and people simply stop enforcing the gender restrictions on them via throwing people out or arresting them. For existing buildings, the cost and change I see is about an hour's worth of time removing the icons, and however much time it takes to remove references to gender from the plumbing code.

To do this successfully, two non-trivial things would have to happen (changing signs is pretty trivial) for any multi-occupancy bathroom:
1) The law would have to change.
2) People would have to be willing to [use/let use] the "wrong" room. It's not a stretch to suggest that this won't happen overnight.

Can you see a tactic for a successful legal challenge? Laws can be challenged if the state can't demonstrate a rational basis for legitimate government interest. While gender segregation is socially in-optimal for people who share our values, that doesn't address the basis for the existing law. The counter argument would be that the gender segregation "protects" 50% of the population from sexual harassment in the washroom, a legitimate government interest -- and it could fall victim to the math of that protecting [X% of the population of non-binary persons] plus [Y% of binary persons who are harassed by same-gender who wouldn't be otherwise] is less important than protecting the [50%].

I ask specifically because there's a chicken/egg thing happening:
- Without the grounds for a legal challenge, #2 has to happen in order for #1
- #1 has to happen in order to provide the opportunities for people to grow comfortable enough for #2

Got any ideas?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 14, 2015 11:26 pm UTC

Everything gets banned because somebody wanted it to when it happened. Undoing a ban is always hard. But that isn't the point. There is no law that says you can't put in unisex bathrooms today, it's being done. The law says you have to provide facilities for both, not that you can't provide an alternative. I was taking issue with the idea that it is as simple as changing the signs.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu May 14, 2015 11:32 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:To do this successfully, two non-trivial things would have to happen (changing signs is pretty trivial) for any multi-occupancy bathroom:
1) The law would have to change.
2) People would have to be willing to [use/let use] the "wrong" room. It's not a stretch to suggest that this won't happen overnight.

(2) is already a lot easier than you would think. As we've previously discussed, people are already willing to tolerate the idea of chaperoned persons and children using the "wrong" room, despite there still being some stigma attached. We can generally agree that in cases where one is full and you have to go, many people are willing to knock, ask if anyone is in the "wrong" bathroom, and use it to get their business done. People are also willing to enter the "wrong" bathroom if it's an after hours or maintenance situation -- for example, when I was in boy scouts, the church where we held meetings had a (quite nice, carpeted and moodlit) women's restroom right next to the meeting hall, and a (very jankety, tiled, dimly lit, and not great) men's restroom two floors down. No one ever had an issue with the boys simply using the women's room. This also works with the restroom I earlier talked about having at work -- it was designed as a "women's room", and is used by the men without complaint. When we had a night shift, it was converted back into a women's room for the night shift only, and again was used without complaint despite having had men in it only minutes before.

I'd have to guess that there's already plenty of people willing to use the "wrong" restroom when it's socially available to them (and based simply on convenience, rather than it having to be an emergency) -- most of the pushback seems, to me, to be coming from those who insist "it's not right", and will continue to do so no matter what reality they are presented.

Can you see a tactic for a successful legal challenge? Laws can be challenged if the state can't demonstrate a rational basis for legitimate government interest. While gender segregation is socially in-optimal for people who share our values, that doesn't address the basis for the existing law.

Personally, no, because I'm not well-versed in legalese. My goal here isn't to figure out an action plan to tricking those who place less value in civil/personal rights to enact this, it's more to establish that it is a matter of civil/personal rights, and is the ethical thing to do.

My guess is that a successful legal battle plan would follow the lines that were used to get the laws stricken in places like San Francisco.

The counter argument would be that the gender segregation "protects" 50% of the population from sexual harassment in the washroom, a legitimate government interest -- and it could fall victim to the math of that protecting [X% of the population of non-binary persons] plus [Y% of binary persons who are harassed by same-gender who wouldn't be otherwise] is less important than protecting the [50%].

Ideally, they'd have to actually demonstrate that there is measurably more sexual harassment towards those in unisex washrooms, as unisex washrooms do already exist.

Cynically, I realize that there are plenty of politicians and voters who will just magically create the claim that sexual harassment will definitely, obviously happen in terrible quantities.

So, no, I guess I don't have a solution beyond "try to convince intelligent people of what is morally right, make pushes mimicking those that have already happened, and hope for the best".

Everything gets banned because somebody wanted it to when it happened. Undoing a ban is always hard. But that isn't the point. There is no law that says you can't put in unisex bathrooms today, it's being done. The law says you have to provide facilities for both, not that you can't provide an alternative. I was taking issue with the idea that it is as simple as changing the signs.

I did say "stop enforcing that law". I really did.

Change the signs and don't fine/arrest people for doing so.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Fri May 15, 2015 12:29 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:I did say "stop enforcing that law". I really did.

Change the signs and don't fine/arrest people for doing so.
So we talk to the Building Codes compliance and get an exemption for an experiment. Put a sign up at the entrance to your business explaining your decision. And then wait for the data to roll in.
PeteP wrote:The only situation where combined facilities aren't at least slightly more efficient even without skewed ratios is if either people trickle into the bathroom at a steady rate without significant spikes or if the spikes are always at the same time for both groups (which could be the case because of things like breaks etc. though I would expect some randomness anyway) (well that or an added bottleneck somewhere) For which of the two possibilities are you arguing, or did I miss another?
Elasto defined more efficient as cheaper. Loading is going to be venue dependent. Cost will be determined in part by how much privacy a mixed use situation demands. Total privacy will be much more expensive, particularly if you end up sound proofing. And assuming no urinals. Raw square footage might need to increase.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Fri May 15, 2015 1:34 am UTC

For existing restrooms, I don't think just changing signage will be very effective. The result will likely just be de facto men's and women's rooms since only one will have urinals. Unless the facilities are remodeled to fix that, there's no reason for either gender to use the other room except in cases where it is already socially acceptable, so there's little to no pressure to adjust social norms. The primary benefit would only be that it would make the justification for persecution of someone using facilities of the "wrong gender" slightly more unacceptable because they won't have a sign to point to. Is that worth implementing the change? I don't know, but it's almost certainly worth doing on an experimental basis.

Once someone decides to implement this, there's also the question of the exact nature of the signage. The standard unisex sign would cause a bit of confusion since men would just have to guess which restroom has urinals. Does anyone have suggestions for iconography or wording that would universally indicate "urinals in here" without also effectively saying "men only" or implying "women only" for the adjacent room?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 15, 2015 10:29 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:I did say "stop enforcing that law". I really did.

Change the signs and don't fine/arrest people for doing so.
So we talk to the Building Codes compliance and get an exemption for an experiment. Put a sign up at the entrance to your business explaining your decision. And then wait for the data to roll in


"Social experiment" strikes me as a particularly unlikely reason to get you an exemption from building codes or whatever. And even if it works, it's a bunch of extra hassle for what really isn't a very comprehensive test. Just because people in area A are cool with it doesn't mean people in area B will be. Social norms are funky like that.

Just axe the restrictions outright if there's no good reason for their existance. "maybe you can get an exception" isn't a very good workaround.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby PeteP » Fri May 15, 2015 1:06 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
elasto wrote:So you're agreeing with me that unisex bathrooms would be more efficient (read cheaper) than segregated ones - you're just unsure how much more efficient (cheap) they'd be?

... no.

- I can conceive of an analysis that could be done and that one of the plausible outcomes might be marginal improvement. But I think that your gut feeling about averaging normal distributions is false, in that bathroom usage is not normal, nor significantly time-varied by gender.

Isn't that a slightly weird way to phrase it? It makes it sound as if higher efficiency of combining facilities needs special properties while it just needs random variances over time while the stance that there aren't (even slight) improvements require that spikes in woman wanting to use it are always at the same time as spikes in man wanting to use it. "significantly time-varied by gender" makes it sound like it has to have some special properties in relation of each other instead of just being independent variations. (Though there are good reasons for spikes being at the same times, like breaks at the same time etc.)

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Fri May 15, 2015 1:14 pm UTC

I sorry I thought it was clear that what I wrote was a sarcastic reply. I'll use a sarcasm tag the next time.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri May 15, 2015 1:29 pm UTC

Unless the facilities are remodeled to fix that, there's no reason for either gender to use the other room except in cases where it is already socially acceptable, so there's little to no pressure to adjust social norms.

Comparing this to the situation I've described at my office, sometimes I like being the only one in the bathroom, dood. If the other one isn't actually full but still "bustling", I prefer going to the one that used to be a "ladies' room". Honestly, that seems to be the case in general, as the stalls fill up across rooms fairly evenly -- if one room is full, the other is very likely to be as well.

I mean, it seems like the intense need for all-encompassing privacy that everyone keeps bandying about would serve as a pretty reliable source of diffusion.

Once someone decides to implement this, there's also the question of the exact nature of the signage. The standard unisex sign would cause a bit of confusion since men would just have to guess which restroom has urinals. Does anyone have suggestions for iconography or wording that would universally indicate "urinals in here" without also effectively saying "men only" or implying "women only" for the adjacent room?

A urinal icon, I guess? Some places just use "WC" instead of the man or woman icon already, so just add "UR" under there, or something.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Fri May 15, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:
Azrael wrote:But I think that your gut feeling about averaging normal distributions is false, in that bathroom usage is not normal, nor significantly time-varied by gender.
Isn't that a slightly weird way to phrase it? It makes it sound as if [snip] the stance that there aren't (even slight) improvements require that spikes in woman wanting to use it are always at the same time as spikes in man wanting to use it. "significantly time-varied by gender" makes it sound like it has to have some special properties in relation of each other instead of just being independent variations. (Though there are good reasons for spikes being at the same times, like breaks at the same time etc.)


Spikes absolutely happen at the same time because of breaks, common meal times, unified work schedules etc. Gender has pretty much zero to do with it. If the distributions were normal, with predictably offset peaks by gender, you could make a case that unisex bathrooms would get you large benefits in efficiency. But they aren't

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby maydayp » Sat May 16, 2015 12:26 am UTC

On the two bathrooms one stalls one urinals, I find it very icky. Two bathrooms for men to use,, one for everyone else. Because non sic people will not be able to use it, for the same reasons they face issues choosing which bathroom to use now. More so even, since female presenting non sic gendered people are at a higher risk then male presenting people, and they generally would be the only none sic men to be able to use urinals.

(There's more but my brain is struggling to find words. Also apologize for grammar errors, using a tablet to write this.)

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Drauts » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:06 am UTC

I feel that the discussion on this topic has been floundering in irresolution because we're not addressing the problem fundamentally. I'll give a stab at it.

People don't do things because they're easy they do them because they are hard; they do things because they choose to. Consequently, structuring restrooms to preclude harassment and the like is an impossibility in a social society, therefore, we're simply seeking to find the better choice, but altering the society generating the behavior we seek to curtail would be the actual solution. (Just because it's difficult or large-scale doesn't make it dismissible or faulty, as we're debating hypotheticals beyond the bounds of our own actions.) By extension, neither option can shoot for 'perfect', and neither can dismiss the other for failing in doing so.

With that out of the way:
What happens in a bathroom is contextually determined. Therefore, the optimal style of bathroom is also contextually determined.

If I had to guess at what the majority should be though, I'd have a tough time.

Does nobody else find it novel that this thread was split? Were we all afraid to say it?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby AndyG314 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:47 pm UTC

maydayp wrote:On the two bathrooms one stalls one urinals, I find it very icky. Two bathrooms for men to use,, one for everyone else. Because non sic people will not be able to use it, for the same reasons they face issues choosing which bathroom to use now. More so even, since female presenting non sic gendered people are at a higher risk then male presenting people, and they generally would be the only none sic men to be able to use urinals.

(There's more but my brain is struggling to find words. Also apologize for grammar errors, using a tablet to write this.)

Remember that even though you don't use a urinal, doesn't mean you don't benefit from it, in the form of diverted traffic. That said, a separate room for urinals seems silly if we are all using the same room for toilets.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:01 am UTC

And there are those times that you just really need to take a piss, and then you think, you know, while I'm here, my colon is making some noises too, and it's all awkward and stuff, but you can just bump over to a stall, and that's still less weird than having to walk out of the room and into another one making a funny face....
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:01 am UTC

Drauts wrote:People don't do things because they're easy they do them because they are hard; they do things because they choose to. Consequently, structuring restrooms to preclude harassment and the like is an impossibility in a social society, therefore, we're simply seeking to find the better choice, but altering the society generating the behavior we seek to curtail would be the actual solution. (Just because it's difficult or large-scale doesn't make it dismissible or faulty, as we're debating hypotheticals beyond the bounds of our own actions.) By extension, neither option can shoot for 'perfect', and neither can dismiss the other for failing in doing so.

This is where the law is very useful. It can drag society kicking and screaming into a better future, decades or even centuries ahead of how it'd get there naturally.

eg. People umm and ahh about whether openly gay people serving in the military would be a good idea, many people hold firm to their opinion, the law changes, and everyone finds out, oh, what were we so worried about?

Substitute gay marriage, gay adoption, nudity laws, civil rights, discrimination laws and countless other examples.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Drauts » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Drauts wrote:People don't do things because they're easy they do them because they are hard; they do things because they choose to. Consequently, structuring restrooms to preclude harassment and the like is an impossibility in a social society, therefore, we're simply seeking to find the better choice, but altering the society generating the behavior we seek to curtail would be the actual solution. (Just because it's difficult or large-scale doesn't make it dismissible or faulty, as we're debating hypotheticals beyond the bounds of our own actions.) By extension, neither option can shoot for 'perfect', and neither can dismiss the other for failing in doing so.

This is where the law is very useful. It can drag society kicking and screaming into a better future, decades or even centuries ahead of how it'd get there naturally.

eg. People umm and ahh about whether openly gay people serving in the military would be a good idea, many people hold firm to their opinion, the law changes, and everyone finds out, oh, what were we so worried about?

Substitute gay marriage, gay adoption, nudity laws, civil rights, discrimination laws and countless other examples.

I'm not arguing that law is useless, but that it's more of a fix than a solution, because it doesn't address problems at their cause.
For example, a law-based approach to the cookie jar thing would be to punish the kid every time he took from the jar, but the more sensible solution would be to address their cravings. In the first scenario, you create overhead, something to remember, and create a system that produces resentment escalatingly (Not to mention getting undermined when they succeed because you're out-of-town or whatever, or having a babysitter steal their affections from you, etc), and in the second, you can just forget it about it, and the two of you can amicably live your lives.

This is only tangentially on topic though, so i won't respond to a response to this post, unless another thread split is done

EDIT: To clarify, my point in that paragraph was that finding a flaw in the opposition's argument, in this context, isn't damning.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:58 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Drauts wrote:People don't do things because they're easy they do them because they are hard; they do things because they choose to. Consequently, structuring restrooms to preclude harassment and the like is an impossibility in a social society, therefore, we're simply seeking to find the better choice, but altering the society generating the behavior we seek to curtail would be the actual solution. (Just because it's difficult or large-scale doesn't make it dismissible or faulty, as we're debating hypotheticals beyond the bounds of our own actions.) By extension, neither option can shoot for 'perfect', and neither can dismiss the other for failing in doing so.

This is where the law is very useful. It can drag society kicking and screaming into a better future, decades or even centuries ahead of how it'd get there naturally.

eg. People umm and ahh about whether openly gay people serving in the military would be a good idea, many people hold firm to their opinion, the law changes, and everyone finds out, oh, what were we so worried about?

Substitute gay marriage, gay adoption, nudity laws, civil rights, discrimination laws and countless other examples.


Eh. I'm doubtful about the efficacy of that. Dragging kicking and screaming may just...not work.

Look at prohibition. They were right about the problems of drinking. And were certain that, despite the popularity of drinking, they could force people to just not. Didn't work out so well. And now, prohibition will basically never happen. A strategy of education and moderation is far more effective.

Trying to enforce abstinence also routinely goes poorly. Laws are not guaranteed to be effective at forcing people into the future.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:03 pm UTC

Laws preventing people from doing things they want to do usually go badly. But laws that allow people to do what they want usually go well.

This is why laws permitting gay marriage work well, as do laws permitting gays to serve in the military, as do laws allowing mixed gender nudist beaches - but the law preventing people from drinking alcohol went badly.

The law I am proposing is one that enables people to do what they want, so is likely to do well, and will help society get over its phobia quicker.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby leady » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:45 pm UTC

err why do you need a law to enable people to do what they want to do?

In practice what you mean is that you need a law to impose behaviours on other private citizens and that gets very ropey quickly. Your successful examples are all the loosening of restrictions on state largesse (which is minimal social cost, concentrated benefit) rather than an imposition on other societal segments who suddenly incurs a real or perceived significant cost.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:43 pm UTC

Currently the law says only segregated bathrooms are permitted. That's like a law saying only single-sex beaches are allowed, or only marriages between people of opposite sexes are permitted.

I think the law should permit (or, ideally, enforce) unisex bathrooms just like it enforces the army mixing openly gay and straight soldiers. People realised the sky didn't fall when that happened, and they'll realise that the sky won't fall if you're in a bathroom with people of the opposite sex too.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:25 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Currently the law says only segregated bathrooms are permitted. That's like a law saying only single-sex beaches are allowed, or only marriages between people of opposite sexes are permitted.

I think the law should permit (or, ideally, enforce) unisex bathrooms just like it enforces the army mixing openly gay and straight soldiers. People realised the sky didn't fall when that happened, and they'll realise that the sky won't fall if you're in a bathroom with people of the opposite sex too.


Permit = good.

Enforce = bad.

The military didn't suddenly get forced into mixing openly gay and straight soldiers. A path was made for gradual acceptance. People got to know each other and relax a bit under don't ask, don't tell, NOT under a fully open integration environment. Now, we don't want to go back to don't ask, don't tell now, because that wouldn't be helpful...but it was a necessary intermediate step. We went from people routinely using false claims of gayness as an easy out to avoid finishing their contracts(seriously, way faster than any other way), to a much more respectful environment, in which people felt comfortable bringing their partner to retirement ceremonies and the like. Sure, they would be introduced as a "friend", but they played the role of the S/O in the ceremony and nobody blinked or said a word.

People instinctively resist being forced to do things, but allow them to slowly mingle with each other, and they'll slowly dismantle their preconceptions by themselves.


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