Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

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Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby mathmannix » Wed May 06, 2015 2:15 pm UTC

Topic Split:

Fractal_Tangent wrote:SIDEBAR:

The post above mine: How so 'men and women are factually different?'. I find these types of conversations very difficult to have because of the ways in which men and women are defined (ovaries? breasts? testicles? penis? clitorus? estrogen? testosterone? womb? facial hair?) because they can come in all sorts of different combinations. Also treating men and women like their minds work in different ways also frustrates me because woman in male dominated fields are fighting against enough as is. We don't need people saying 'well, have you thought that maybe you're just genetically predisposed to being shit at titrating/building particle accelerators/differentiating/working in large international groups?'

Well, in regards to having two different bathrooms - unless you want to have an absurd number of different bathrooms, if you are planning your floor plan you go by numbers. Most women have some characteristics that men don't, and most men have some characteristics that women don't. So in the women's restroom you could have a sanitary napkin dispenser, even though some women won't (ever) need them*. For example. The men's room gets the urinals, and might get the little dispenser of condoms or cologne. Then women's room might get the baby-changing station (although nowadays frequently both have that.) Etc. You go by percentages.

(* - and they could be useful in the men's room sometimes, like if you have an open wound!)
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby DR6 » Wed May 06, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Well, in regards to having two different bathrooms - unless you want to have an absurd number of different bathrooms, if you are planning your floor plan you go by numbers. Most women have some characteristics that men don't, and most men have some characteristics that women don't. So in the women's restroom you could have a sanitary napkin dispenser, even though some women won't (ever) need them. For example. The men's room might get the little dispenser of condoms or cologne. Then women's room might get the baby-changing station (although nowadays frequently both have that.) Etc. You go by percentages.


That's a very weak reason for segregating bathrooms: in fact, it's not an argument at all. If there were just unisex bathrooms, you could just put all of those things there and let everyone use them, and it would work just as well(in fact better, as your edit shows).
Last edited by DR6 on Wed May 06, 2015 2:33 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Wed May 06, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

STILL SIDEBARRING:
mathmannix wrote:Well, in regards to having two different bathrooms - unless you want to have an absurd number of different bathrooms, if you are planning your floor plan you go by numbers. Most women have some characteristics that men don't, and most men have some characteristics that women don't. So in the women's restroom you could have a sanitary napkin dispenser, even though some women won't (ever) need them*. For example. The men's room gets the urinals, and might get the little dispenser of condoms or cologne. Then women's room might get the baby-changing station (although nowadays frequently both have that.) Etc. You go by percentages.

(* - and they could be useful in the men's room sometimes, like if you have an open wound!)

See: I dislike the assumption that only men should have access to condoms and there should only be baby changing stations in women's toilets. Men do the sexing, women deal with the shit. Women's perfume sells just as well as men's. Why don't we just have one machine that does sanitary towels and condoms in both? No differentiating, lower cost, might help a trans man at some point. We did have gender neutral bathrooms at my university which worked quite successfully (in one of the newer buildings).

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mathmannix » Wed May 06, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

DR6 wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Well, in regards to having two different bathrooms - unless you want to have an absurd number of different bathrooms, if you are planning your floor plan you go by numbers. Most women have some characteristics that men don't, and most men have some characteristics that women don't. So in the women's restroom you could have a sanitary napkin dispenser, even though some women won't (ever) need them. For example. The men's room might get the little dispenser of condoms or cologne. Then women's room might get the baby-changing station (although nowadays frequently both have that.) Etc. You go by percentages.


That's a very weak reason for segregating bathrooms: in fact, it's not an argument at all. If there were just unisex bathrooms, you could just put all of those things there and let everyone use them, and it would work just as well(in fact better, as your edit shows).

It wasn't a reason for segregating bathrooms. The reasons for segregating bathrooms include safety and privacy. My point was that, once you have decided to have exactly two bathrooms, you can tailor the two bathrooms to best suit the majority of the two parties involved, even though not all the characteristics of those two populations, even the binary ones, match up 100%.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed May 06, 2015 3:06 pm UTC

I agree that separate bathrooms are a bad idea, and in fact reflect similar unnecessary anxieties to the ones reflected by the Orthodox restriction against contact between the sexes.

And yes, there are a number of situations in which a father might be out with his baby without a woman around, and some good reasons a woman might want to pick up a pack of condoms, so that's not very convincing. Bathrooms are separated primarily because people would feel embarrassed or vulnerable doing the things they do in bathrooms if members of the opposite sex were present. Largely, I think they would feel those things around members of the same sex if we didn't train them out of it.

Fractal_Tangent wrote:The post above mine: How so 'men and women are factually different?'. I find these types of conversations very difficult to have because of the ways in which men and women are defined (ovaries? breasts? testicles? penis? clitorus? estrogen? testosterone? womb? facial hair?) because they can come in all sorts of different combinations. Also treating men and women like their minds work in different ways also frustrates me because woman in male dominated fields are fighting against enough as is. We don't need people saying 'well, have you thought that maybe you're just genetically predisposed to being shit at titrating/building particle accelerators/differentiating/working in large international groups?'

It's certainly frustrating when it's used to enable sexism, but there are physiological and behavioral trends, and transgender individuals report shifts in emotional trends on taking up one or the other hormone therapy. Of course everything is fuzzy trends and clusters of traits that don't add up to a binary division. But the ways in which women or men generally have this or that cultural or biological tendency can be important, too, and I don't think avoiding sexism requires shutting down that kind of conversation.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mathmannix » Wed May 06, 2015 3:16 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:And yes, there are a number of situations in which a father might be out with his baby without a woman around, and some good reasons a woman might want to pick up a pack of condoms, so that's not very convincing. Bathrooms are separated primarily because people would feel embarrassed or vulnerable doing the things they do in bathrooms if members of the opposite sex were present.

Right, and that's why the baby-changing-table thing has changed, and many men's rooms do now include them as well. Society has changed, and having a child with you in public is no longer a binary trait that lines up with bathroom choice. We are getting way off topic here (possibly too far for SB?) but yes, there are still many traits (some binary, some not) - sex, gender, sexual preference, whether you sit or stand to pee, etc. - that do not line up 100% with bathroom preference, but might line up 90% or better, and so can still be kept in mind when designing your building to have exactly two bathrooms.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed May 06, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:And yes, there are a number of situations in which a father might be out with his baby without a woman around, and some good reasons a woman might want to pick up a pack of condoms, so that's not very convincing. Bathrooms are separated primarily because people would feel embarrassed or vulnerable doing the things they do in bathrooms if members of the opposite sex were present.

Right, and that's why the baby-changing-table thing has changed, and many men's rooms do now include them as well. Society has changed, and having a child with you in public is no longer a binary trait that lines up with bathroom choice. We are getting way off topic here (possibly too far for SB?) but yes, there are still many traits (some binary, some not) - sex, gender, sexual preference, whether you sit or stand to pee, etc. - that do not line up 100% with bathroom preference, but might line up 90% or better, and so can still be kept in mind when designing your building to have exactly two bathrooms.

My office is predominantly male, so of our four bathrooms, three are for men. One of the men's bathrooms is a repurposed women's bathroom, which still contains sanitary napkin disposal, vending, and no urinals.

Somehow, no one's heads have exploded from this.

Society has changed, and having a child with you in public is no longer a binary trait that lines up with bathroom choice.

This sounds an awful lot like "society has changed, and being black is no longer a binary trait that lines up with bathroom choice." Yes, society is no longer as irrationally bigoted as it used to be, but that doesn't demonstrate that the separate bathrooms were ever a good idea.

The reasons for segregating bathrooms include safety and privacy.

Same as above, and you have yet to define how safety or privacy are being maintained by separate bathrooms. You just keep repeating this idea of having two binary bathrooms separated by gender as if it's a fundamental requirement of having bathrooms.

As someone pointed out above, unisex bathrooms exist. Your argument seems to suggest that such a thing is suboptimal. Please explain why having two unisex bathrooms is inferior to having a men-only and a women-only bathroom. Back-of-the-envelope estimation would seem to suggest that having two unisex bathrooms would halve the wait time to use a bathroom, since you now have two choices and don't have to wait for a specific room to make space, cutting down on bottlenecking.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed May 06, 2015 3:50 pm UTC

mathmannix is right, though - this is heading wildly off-topic. It's an extension of the broader question (how much are we allowed to segregate the sexes) but not really helping Jewish_scientist's original question.

I don't see a lot of sexist oppression coming out of segregated bathrooms. They are inefficient and create some oddities and they'll go away with time, as people gradually become comfortable with unisex ones.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 06, 2015 4:34 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:mathmannix is right, though - this is heading wildly off-topic. It's an extension of the broader question (how much are we allowed to segregate the sexes) but not really helping Jewish_scientist's original question.

I don't see a lot of sexist oppression coming out of segregated bathrooms. They are inefficient and create some oddities and they'll go away with time, as people gradually become comfortable with unisex ones.


It gets back to choice. If a business decides to offer both male and female bathrooms, cool. If they offer bathrooms in some other fashion that people find acceptable(such as ungendered bathrooms that are individually set up), also cool. We don't need to FORCE specific gender splits for bathrooms on folks.

So, if you have a business catering to orthodox folks, it's entirely reasonable, IMO, to set the place up to cater to their preferences. But you can't expect the whole world to feel that way, or to care about the things you do. If you choose to only patronize those places that cater to you, cheers. Have fun. But don't go and try to force your preferences on everyone else, either by laws regarding public spaces or laws regarding private establishments that don't wish to cater to you.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby DR6 » Wed May 06, 2015 6:41 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:It wasn't a reason for segregating bathrooms. The reasons for segregating bathrooms include safety and privacy. My point was that, once you have decided to have exactly two bathrooms, you can tailor the two bathrooms to best suit the majority of the two parties involved, even though not all the characteristics of those two populations, even the binary ones, match up 100%.


Elaborate on this, because it is the point that is actually relevant to the discussion, and should actually get us back on the topic. What on earth do you mean by safety and privacy?

(TW: rape. Just in case)

I mean, it's not as if women's bathrooms were imbued with magical spells to prevent men from entering, or the other way round. If, for example, a man is persecuting a woman to rape her(I bring up this example because it's related to what these concerns tend to be about), and she enters the bathroom, he's not going to think "welp, I can't enter in the women's bathroom, so I can't rape this woman anymore". Anyone who wants to do something bad is not going to stop because of bathroom segregation. And "privacy"... well, I mean, they are still bathrooms. People going into the WCs still have doors(or not, depending on how well the bathroom is mantained), and people peeing into the urinals are still going to be seen: that's the same in gender segregated bathrooms, unisex bathrooms, race segregated bathrooms and any other kind. Nothing about the bathroom changes to provide more or less privacy.

So yeah, what exactly is it that is protected by gendered bathrooms, according to you?

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby maydayp » Wed May 06, 2015 7:32 pm UTC

For me, it makes it harder to find a spot to abuse people, especially children. I'm sure my sexually abusive father would have taken advantage of being able to enter the bathroom with me and my sisters. Though this also makes it harder for single fathers, where they ate in a hard spot of "which bathroom to use".(because women are not as persecuted by others in that sense, and would probably be able to enter either bathroom without comments).
Privacy, well I don't want to see or be exposer to male parts, nor would I want the chance that I may be exposed to them, if for example I have to change my clothes (gaps between stalls can be large enough to see through).
That said, I think all single stall bathrooms should be unisex.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby slinches » Wed May 06, 2015 9:27 pm UTC

Another reason for gender segregated restrooms is that many places include a seating area with access only through the ladies room for things like breast feeding/pumping, where some level of privacy is appreciated.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed May 06, 2015 9:49 pm UTC

Necessarily meaning "privacy from the opposite sex", a concept that I think is partly in question.
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Segregated Bathrooms [Split from Judaism]

Postby slinches » Wed May 06, 2015 10:20 pm UTC

Privacy from the vast majority of those that are likely to sexually objectify you in a compromising, if completely natural, position seems like a fairly reasonable desire.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed May 06, 2015 11:18 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Privacy from the vast majority of those that are likely to sexually objectify you in a compromising, if completely natural, position seems like a fairly reasonable desire.

So, is the argument that the situation of being seen by people peeping through the cracks of the stalls but also being pure heterosexual, for the purpose of objectification, is much greater in scale than the inefficiency caused by long lines, harassment of genderqueer persons, and confusion caused towards chaperones (either of parents or of caretakers/spouses of handicapped persons)?

'cause if not, personally, I'd risk a woman or two sneaking a peak and me reporting them to the building's management for something that is as much a same-gender issue as opposite-gender if it meant not having so much trouble trying to chaperone my wheelchair-bound family members. I'd also question where are the reports of this situation occuring in unisex bathrooms, where the argument would imply it is pandemic.

Also, I would question why we need to have rules kicking people out for using the "wrong bathroom" (esp. when it leads directly to harassment of genderqueer persons) when we could just as easily rely on the (existing) rules against voyuerism in the bathrooms.

Or do the people concerned about heterosexual peeping not have a problem with same-sex peeping?
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Diadem » Thu May 07, 2015 12:09 pm UTC

Are Americans really so strict on gendered bathrooms that you can't even escort a child or handicapped person of the opposite sex?

Personally, I go to women's bathrooms all the time, if all male bathrooms are occupied / out of paper / too dirty to touch. Nobody ever seems to care. About the only response I've ever gotten were people wondering if they themselves were in the right bathroom. And I don't even have a good reason to be there. Men escorting kids into the women's bathroom, or vice versa, is very common, and has been common for as long as I can remember.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Thu May 07, 2015 12:18 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Another reason for gender segregated restrooms is that many places include a seating area with access only through the ladies room for things like breast feeding/pumping, where some level of privacy is appreciated.

In the UK, there are a lot of women who aren't interested in breast feeding in toilets. It's unsanitary to expect breast-feeding women to do so in toilets and also it treats women as if they are second class citizens when they are using their boobs for their primary, non-sexual purpose.
(Not to mention that there are men who can breastfeed as well)
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Chen » Thu May 07, 2015 12:44 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Are Americans really so strict on gendered bathrooms that you can't even escort a child or handicapped person of the opposite sex?

Personally, I go to women's bathrooms all the time, if all male bathrooms are occupied / out of paper / too dirty to touch. Nobody ever seems to care. About the only response I've ever gotten were people wondering if they themselves were in the right bathroom. And I don't even have a good reason to be there. Men escorting kids into the women's bathroom, or vice versa, is very common, and has been common for as long as I can remember.


Here in Canada, usually a parent will take a child into a bathroom that matches the sex of the parent, not the child. I've never seen anyone have issues with that.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby leady » Thu May 07, 2015 12:44 pm UTC

Why would women want to share bathrooms with men ? Have you seen the state we leave ours in and oh lordy the smells....

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 07, 2015 12:46 pm UTC

The practice is custom. And it got written into law.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Thu May 07, 2015 1:36 pm UTC

leady wrote:Why would women want to share bathrooms with men ? Have you seen the state we leave ours in and oh lordy the smells....

As someone who has been a professional toilet cleaner: women's toilets are worse. Hands down.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 07, 2015 2:23 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Diadem wrote:Are Americans really so strict on gendered bathrooms that you can't even escort a child or handicapped person of the opposite sex?

Personally, I go to women's bathrooms all the time, if all male bathrooms are occupied / out of paper / too dirty to touch. Nobody ever seems to care. About the only response I've ever gotten were people wondering if they themselves were in the right bathroom. And I don't even have a good reason to be there. Men escorting kids into the women's bathroom, or vice versa, is very common, and has been common for as long as I can remember.


Here in Canada, usually a parent will take a child into a bathroom that matches the sex of the parent, not the child. I've never seen anyone have issues with that.


That's pretty much how it works in the US, too. It's not a problem.

Shared bathrooms don't seem like a big deal. I mean, we have privacy walls within bathrooms, it's not just a giant room with us all sitting at the edge of a big hole. Oh no, someone of the opposite gender might see me washing my hands. Who cares?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Thu May 07, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

Fractal_Tangent wrote:
leady wrote:Why would women want to share bathrooms with men ? Have you seen the state we leave ours in and oh lordy the smells....

As someone who has been a professional toilet cleaner: women's toilets are worse. Hands down.

Point and counter point made. This will go no further.

And so help anyone that mentions toilet seat position.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby ShadE » Thu May 07, 2015 3:52 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
And so help anyone that mentions toilet seat position.

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Good point Az... it has already been shown that most people use toilets in the wrong way.
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A popular highway stop I use has one Mens and one Womens each containing one lockable door and one toilet. It is pretty commonly understood, in my experience, that a member of one gender will use the 'other' bathroom in case of lines at theirs while the 'other' is open. This being the case in my small sample size of reality it seems there is no good reason why they are not both unisex bathrooms.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Thu May 07, 2015 6:01 pm UTC

Fractal_Tangent wrote:In the UK, there are a lot of women who aren't interested in breast feeding in toilets. It's unsanitary to expect breast-feeding women to do so in toilets and also it treats women as if they are second class citizens when they are using their boobs for their primary, non-sexual purpose.
(Not to mention that there are men who can breastfeed as well)

For one, it's usually a separate room off of the restroom with a sofa and chairs, so it's only "unsanitary" by proximity. Either way, it's not really a strong point for/against gendered bathrooms in general since they aren't that common. They're mostly in offices where some women may not be comfortable breast feeding/pumping at their open-plan desk. I was just attempting to point out an example where gender specific accommodations can be helpful.

As far as accessibility, my experience in the US is similar to Chen's in Canada in that an adult escorting a child will use the one for the adult's gender. Escorting a handicapped person of the opposite gender in either is acceptable, but some places have a separate bathroom with better accessibility features.


My opinion on unisex public bathrooms in general is that they would probably work fine, but I just don't see much benefit. Certainly not enough to warrant the cost of renovating existing buildings. Although, for new structures, I think there are some cases where they may be preferable. Public recreation area restrooms may be able to reduce the size of the facilities without the extra walls and separate entrances. Also, sporting arenas, concert venues and the like probably don't benefit as much from segregation, so I don't know which would be preferable. Although, I still think that places where people are expected to spend extended periods of time like schools and offices, gendered restrooms are better. The reason for that is the same reason it would be a bad idea to have unisex locker rooms and showers in high school.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu May 07, 2015 10:04 pm UTC

slinches wrote:My opinion on unisex public bathrooms in general is that they would probably work fine, but I just don't see much benefit. Certainly not enough to warrant the cost of renovating existing buildings.

What cost are you imagining here? Where I've seen it done, it is at most slapping a new label on the door, sometimes even written up hastily on notebook paper. Men are able to use stalls, after all.

Although, I still think that places where people are expected to spend extended periods of time like schools and offices, gendered restrooms are better. The reason for that is the same reason it would be a bad idea to have unisex locker rooms and showers in high school.

(1) Schools and offices generally don't have showers or ask you to get naked, unless it's something like a manufacturing job or a hazardous materials job.
(2) "It's a good idea to have segratated bathrooms at schools and offices because segragated rooms exist" is circular.

As much as the "peeping" issue is even an issue (especially as one not already handled by punishing people for peeping), my impression from reports in the media is that the scale is about the same for different-gender vs. same-gender. More to same-gender, I would hazard, as you don't have to hide your presence in the room, simply the fact that you're peeping. Certainly the segragation doesn't stop certain people from screaming that the "wrong kind" of women or men are in the respective bathrooms. What's more, the whole setup fosters a hell of a lot of "forbidden fruit" behavior.

Honestly, the whole thing seems pretty analagous to the abstinence/sex education axis. If you constantly enforce to the kids that the thing is so naughty and secretive, it's only going to warp their relationships with it and lead to unsafe behaviors.

As far as accessibility, my experience in the US is similar to Chen's in Canada in that an adult escorting a child will use the one for the adult's gender. Escorting a handicapped person of the opposite gender in either is acceptable, but some places have a separate bathroom with better accessibility features.

So if that's acceptable, why is it not acceptable for non-handicapped persons to be in the "wrong" restroom?

For one, it's usually a separate room off of the restroom with a sofa and chairs, so it's only "unsanitary" by proximity. Either way, it's not really a strong point for/against gendered bathrooms in general since they aren't that common. They're mostly in offices where some women may not be comfortable breast feeding/pumping at their open-plan desk. I was just attempting to point out an example where gender specific accommodations can be helpful.

Why have it attached to the bathroom at all? The area around the restroom is already covered in germs, whether there's a breastfeeding room or not.

Also, sporting arenas, concert venues and the like probably don't benefit as much from segregation, so I don't know which would be preferable.

Considering the scale of bottlenecking at the restrooms , to the point that's a cliche standup comedian joke, the preferable one would be obvious.

...but I just don't see much benefit...

...probably don't benefit as much from segregation...

You've yet to demonstrate the fabled benefit of the segregation beyond noting that some bathrooms have separate rooms for breastfeeding mothers, other than asserting that it exists.

The benefits of unisex bathrooms are:
(1) eliminates the stigma around genderqueer persons (including breastfeeding as appropriate)
(2) eliminates the stigma around chaperoned persons having to use the "wrong" bathroom
(3) cuts down on wait time by removing bottlenecking
(4) cuts down on cleaning time (since many places require the man to clean the men's room, and vice versa, or wait until the bathroom is empty)
(5) allows men or women access to whatever vending is in the opposite bathroom
(6) gives both genders access to changing tables if needed

What are the benefits of segragated bathrooms? Lack of peeping ain't one of them, since it happens in them anyway, nor is privacy, as the irksome presence of people talking to you at a urinal, or hearing you crap, or glimpsing you through the stall door crack, etc., is already a well-known facet of segregated bathrooms.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Thu May 07, 2015 10:41 pm UTC

Benefits of segregated bathrooms:
(1) Being able to do your business without worrying about that being the first impression of a potential mate in the next stall. (Not applicable for homosexuals, but they have to deal with that either way)


KrytenKoro wrote:
slinches wrote:The reason for that is the same reason it would be a bad idea to have unisex locker rooms and showers in high school.

(1) Schools and offices generally don't have showers or ask you to get naked, unless it's something like a manufacturing job or a hazardous materials job.
(2) "It's a good idea to have segratated bathrooms at schools and offices because segragated rooms exist" is circular.

This is the argument I was making:
Schools have PE and often require students to shower. Coed locker rooms and showers would cause a lot of sexual harassment issues, especially for teenagers. Bathrooms have similar problems, just less pronounced.



KrytenKoro wrote:
slinches wrote:Also, sporting arenas, concert venues and the like probably don't benefit as much from segregation, so I don't know which would be preferable.


Considering the scale of bottlenecking at the restrooms , to the point that's a cliche standup comedian joke, the preferable one would be obvious.

Just because it looks obvious, doesn't mean that it is. The reason for the gender difference in lines is that men can use urinals, which take up less space. If the access to the urinals is limited by having a single mixed gender line, a unisex bathroom could be significantly less efficient even though the stalls are more fully utilized.
Last edited by slinches on Thu May 07, 2015 10:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu May 07, 2015 10:46 pm UTC

I just really feel like those are problems that would be reduced by exposure. Like, I think we do a lot of things that are embarrassing the first time. Like school showers.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu May 07, 2015 11:17 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Benefits of segregated bathrooms:
(1) Being able to do your business without worrying about that being the first impression of a potential mate in the next stall. (Not applicable for homosexuals, but they have to deal with that either way)

So, not an existing benefit of segregated stalls.

This is the argument I was making:
Schools have PE and often require students to shower. Coed locker rooms and showers would cause a lot of sexual harassment issues, especially for teenagers. Bathrooms have similar problems, just less pronounced.

So, not an existing benefit of segregated stalls, unless you believe that sexual harassment is somehow not present in current locker rooms/showers. If so, I greatly envy your school experience.

Also, what Copper said.

KrytenKoro wrote:Just because it looks obvious, doesn't mean that it is. The reason for the gender difference in lines is that men can use urinals, which take up less space. If the access to the urinals is limited by having a single mixed gender line, a unisex bathroom could be significantly less efficient even though the stalls are more fully utilized.

Can you please clarify to me which bathrooms enforce a single line even when there are open urinals? Every men's room I've ever been to has had two lines at the least, one for the stalls and one for the urinals.

So if that's acceptable, why is it not acceptable for non-handicapped persons to be in the "wrong" restroom?

I still want an answer to this one. Why is it not a problem to enter the "wrong" restroom while chaperoned, but immediately becomes a problem when on your own?
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 07, 2015 11:18 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Just because it looks obvious, doesn't mean that it is. The reason for the gender difference in lines is that men can use urinals, which take up less space. If the access to the urinals is limited by having a single mixed gender line, a unisex bathroom could be significantly less efficient even though the stalls are more fully utilized.
Put urinals with privacy guards in unisex bathrooms. It seems obvious to me that the only difference is the removal of a wall. If you had 20 thrones and ten urinals before, why would you have any less after. It would probably drive plumbers nuts though. If privacy is the issue than just make each stall private with full size partitions and doors.

Edit
On refection I do see a possible problem. Competition for available bowls. It would be an interesting thing to calculate if the number of people competing for the same limited resource would cause a problem if the timing of usage for a particular gender cuased the other gender to end up with less overall availability at peaks.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Thu May 07, 2015 11:37 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
slinches wrote:Benefits of segregated bathrooms:
(1) Being able to do your business without worrying about that being the first impression of a potential mate in the next stall. (Not applicable for homosexuals, but they have to deal with that either way)

So, not an existing benefit of segregated stalls.

Why is that not a benefit? Just because it doesn't solve a problem for ~10% of the population doesn't mean it isn't beneficial to the other 90%.


KrytenKoro wrote:
This is the argument I was making:
Schools have PE and often require students to shower. Coed locker rooms and showers would cause a lot of sexual harassment issues, especially for teenagers. Bathrooms have similar problems, just less pronounced.

So, not an existing benefit of segregated stalls, unless you believe that sexual harassment is somehow not present in current locker rooms/showers. If so, I greatly envy your school experience.

It is a benefit as it would be worse with mixed genders. Or do you think the harassment would somehow stay same sex only?

KrytenKoro wrote:
slinches wrote:Just because it looks obvious, doesn't mean that it is. The reason for the gender difference in lines is that men can use urinals, which take up less space. If the access to the urinals is limited by having a single mixed gender line, a unisex bathroom could be significantly less efficient even though the stalls are more fully utilized.

Can you please clarify to me which bathrooms enforce a single line even when there are open urinals? Every men's room I've ever been to has had two lines at the least, one for the stalls and one for the urinals.

The ones where the line extends out of a single entrance. Once you get in the line can break into two, but that doesn't mean much if the bottleneck is getting in the door.

KrytenKoro wrote:So if that's acceptable, why is it not acceptable for non-handicapped persons to be in the "wrong" restroom?

I still want an answer to this one. Why is it not a problem to enter the "wrong" restroom while chaperoned, but immediately becomes a problem when on your own?

Because you have your own bathroom to use. If there's extenuating circumstances, like you're chaperoning someone or one of the restrooms is out of order, that problem goes away. If you're intentionally using the other bathroom when yours is equally available, it's assumed you're doing so for a nefarious purpose.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu May 07, 2015 11:51 pm UTC

slinches wrote:It is a benefit as it would be worse with mixed genders. Or do you think the harassment would somehow stay same sex only?

Worse in the sense that the opportunity would be greater? The reason I don't like this argument is that it smacks of assumption of criminality. We definitely want society to have the ability to nudge people in the right direction. At the same time, arguments that fully embrace an actuarial view and disregard responsibility kinda seem to me to result in irresponsible people nine times in ten.

I'm not sure that common bathrooms really offer a special opportunity for sexual harassment. If they do, I suppose that they would do so inequitably. There is going to be a golden rule logic at work there, but it doesn't automatically compensate in any way for advantages that men might have over women in the arrangement.

I think that how the balance of incentives and common decency work out is a more reasonable discussion than assuming a constant rate of sexual harassment and trying to reduce opportunities for it by using sex as a rough proxy for sexual orientation and assuming that we can't ever trust people to be adults, so we'd better design systems that are asshole-proof.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Fri May 08, 2015 12:24 am UTC

That's an interesting point. Is it an overall net benefit to society to force ourselves to get over our insecurities and learn to treat others more respectfully at the cost of some potential conflict as we mature? I think that warrants investigation. Are there any studies that try to look at this. It seems like it would be difficult to determine whether that's causally related or just correlated.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby BattleMoose » Fri May 08, 2015 3:08 am UTC

As a gay man, gym change rooms can and do provide the occasional eye candy. Its nice sometimes but that's it. The world didn't explode, no fire or brimstone or some such. It just is what it is. Learning how to behave appropriately is an important part of being adult. And learning how to behave appropriately around opposite gendered people in a naked environment could be an important part of that. And gender segregation might be doing more harm than the good, reinforcing stereotypes and what not.

The Norwegian army have recently done something very interesting, with having unisex dormitories and with a decline in sexual assault, despite the boys seeing "boobs".

http://www.dw.de/norways-military-consc ... a-17995882

Its a brave new world, maybe the ways we have done things, aren't the best.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby K-R » Fri May 08, 2015 6:28 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:What cost are you imagining here? Where I've seen it done, it is at most slapping a new label on the door, sometimes even written up hastily on notebook paper. Men are able to use stalls, after all.

Repurposing a women's bathroom might not be too complicated, but repurposing a men's would be. There's often, at least here, only one or two stalls.



KrytenKoro wrote:Can you please clarify to me which bathrooms enforce a single line even when there are open urinals?

Literally every one I've ever been in.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Fri May 08, 2015 11:32 am UTC

K-R wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:Can you please clarify to me which bathrooms enforce a single line even when there are open urinals?

Queue theory and mapping the dynamics inside a bathroom is entirely too complex to bother discussion given the variations in layouts. However, every bathroom I've ever seen has one entrance, and when usage is above nominal capacity the unavoidable reality is that there can only be one line.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Dthen » Fri May 08, 2015 11:39 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Can you please clarify to me which bathrooms enforce a single line even when there are open urinals?

Literally every one I've ever been in.


I have an ingenious solution! I propose that our new, glorious unisex bathrooms have male/female labelled doors ... that both open into the same bathroom! :lol:
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri May 08, 2015 2:05 pm UTC

Why is that not a benefit? Just because it doesn't solve a problem for ~10% of the population doesn't mean it isn't beneficial to the other 90%.

Because the problem, as much as it's even real (which, seriously, you have not demonstrated), still exists in non-negligible quantities.

KrytenKoro wrote:It is a benefit as it would be worse with mixed genders. Or do you think the harassment would somehow stay same sex only?

I think you have an entirely too-rosy view of the current locker room environment if you think it can get much worse, at least where it isn't being policed in ways that would also prevent the problem in mixed-gender locker rooms.

The ones where the line extends out of a single entrance. Once you get in the line can break into two, but that doesn't mean much if the bottleneck is getting in the door.

However, every bathroom I've ever seen has one entrance, and when usage is above nominal capacity the unavoidable reality is that there can only be one line.

To everyone talking about this:
(1) Are we talking about bathrooms that would realistically have high turnover? Airports, conventions, stadiums, etc.?
(2) When I say "enforced", I mean that you cannot simply ask to cut in line to use the urinal. This could very well be a cultural thing -- in high flow bathrooms like these, are the people saying there is only one line talking about bathrooms where it is culturally unacceptable to ask to move ahead?

In large-population bathrooms (like stadiums, museums, retail stores, campgrounds, rest stops, schools, airports, or conventions), I nearly always see multiple doors to the same bathroom. In small bathrooms with urinals, I have honestly never seen them so full that you can't peek your head in, or scoot to the front of the line and say "Excuse me, I just need to use the urinal".

Because you have your own bathroom to use. If there's extenuating circumstances, like you're chaperoning someone or one of the restrooms is out of order, that problem goes away. If you're intentionally using the other bathroom when yours is equally available, it's assumed you're doing so for a nefarious purpose.

Which is bullshittery.

Seriously, why is it that chaperoned persons can be implicitly trusted to never have a nefarious purpose, but other persons cannot? Why should women feel safe around chaperoned men, when you're arguing they can't feel safe around unchaperoned men. You're already begging the question by assuming that "you have your own bathroom to use".

Yes, I will admit that this is very much a trap question, because the assumptions you have to use to allow one without the other expose either severe ableism, ageism, or sexism. This really isn't a rationally defensible paradigm you've constructed.

That's an interesting point. Is it an overall net benefit to society to force ourselves to get over our insecurities and learn to treat others more respectfully at the cost of some potential conflict as we mature? I think that warrants investigation. Are there any studies that try to look at this. It seems like it would be difficult to determine whether that's causally related or just correlated.

It's, again, already kind of a cliche that children who grew up on farms or didn't get the "sex is forbidden fruit" treatment grow up with a much healthier attitude towards it.

Repurposing a women's bathroom might not be too complicated, but repurposing a men's would be. There's often, at least here, only one or two stalls.

Men's bathrooms already look like what a "unisex bathroom with stalls and urinals" would look like. Yes, the urinals take up potential stall space, but again, we're talking about a label on the door.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Fri May 08, 2015 4:11 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
Why is that not a benefit? Just because it doesn't solve a problem for ~10% of the population doesn't mean it isn't beneficial to the other 90%.

Because the problem, as much as it's even real (which, seriously, you have not demonstrated), still exists in non-negligible quantities.

So if a solution to a problem only fixes it 90% of the time, it's not worth pursuing?

The problem is real because most people seem to want to put forward a good first impression and what's done in the bathroom generally wouldn't qualify as such.

KrytenKoro wrote:I think you have an entirely too-rosy view of the current locker room environment if you think it can get much worse, at least where it isn't being policed in ways that would also prevent the problem in mixed-gender locker rooms.

I do? Just because it's bad doesn't mean it can't get worse.

KrytenKoro wrote:
Because you have your own bathroom to use. If there's extenuating circumstances, like you're chaperoning someone or one of the restrooms is out of order, that problem goes away. If you're intentionally using the other bathroom when yours is equally available, it's assumed you're doing so for a nefarious purpose.

Which is bullshittery.

Seriously, why is it that chaperoned persons can be implicitly trusted to never have a nefarious purpose, but other persons cannot? Why should women feel safe around chaperoned men, when you're arguing they can't feel safe around unchaperoned men. You're already begging the question by assuming that "you have your own bathroom to use".

Yes, I will admit that this is very much a trap question, because the assumptions you have to use to allow one without the other expose either severe ableism, ageism, or sexism. This really isn't a rationally defensible paradigm you've constructed.

First of all, I'm not begging the question. You asked why someone not acting as an escort would be considered wrong for using the "wrong" gender bathroom. This implies gendered restrooms are the norm for this line of reasoning.

The reason for the negative assumptions about someone doing this is just because this is the way people work. If you are seen to be violating any cultural norm or taboo without extenuating circumstances, it's generally frowned upon and you lose the benefit of the doubt. Are the norms or taboos always rationally justified? Of course not, but that doesn't stop them from existing.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 08, 2015 5:26 pm UTC

slinches wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:
slinches wrote:Benefits of segregated bathrooms:
(1) Being able to do your business without worrying about that being the first impression of a potential mate in the next stall. (Not applicable for homosexuals, but they have to deal with that either way)

So, not an existing benefit of segregated stalls.

Why is that not a benefit? Just because it doesn't solve a problem for ~10% of the population doesn't mean it isn't beneficial to the other 90%.


Harassment isn't really the same thing as gender identity or preference. It can simply be a display of power, etc. In short, high school kids are idiots who will cheerfully be cruel to someone else for any number of reasons.

This is probably much less of an issue in more mature crowds. And, as others have said, learning how to behave appropriately is just part of growing up.

Azrael wrote:
K-R wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:Can you please clarify to me which bathrooms enforce a single line even when there are open urinals?

Queue theory and mapping the dynamics inside a bathroom is entirely too complex to bother discussion given the variations in layouts. However, every bathroom I've ever seen has one entrance, and when usage is above nominal capacity the unavoidable reality is that there can only be one line.


At such high usage loads, x bathrooms will probably only accomodate the same number of people regardless of if it's one bathroom or two. You might get outlier results for extremely unusual cases, such as when equal number of toilets exist for both genders, but the crowd is heavily biased towards one...but as toilets can be used as urinals, sub-optimal efficiency isn't a problem unless far too many urinals exist, relative to toilets. That's pretty much a problem for the designer in the first place, not really something introduced by segregated bathrooms or unsegregated bathrooms.


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