Dear LGBT: Thanks for the creepy, privacy-destroying gender-neutral bathrooms
In fact, one argument that the pro-LGBT crowd always raises in defense of gender-neutral-bathroom laws is that we already do that in college, so what’s the problem with doing it from graduation day until death? For a good 25 years or so, colleges and universities have conducted a kind of conditioning experiment in co-ed showering, shaving, toilet-using, and teeth-brushing. As Jezebel writer Anna Long argued in 2009, showering in a communal room full of other naked bodies (with no separate stalls) is morally uplifting:
But I will say that I briefly experienced . . . a breakdown of the woman-as-sex-object–man-as-predator dichotomy, an instant when I was a human being . . . and not an image to be evaluated for attractiveness. And I wonder if allowing young men and women to piss and shit and shower together . . . might help them view each other as a little more fully human.
Well, maybe. But in fact, even liberal women of the Jezebel-reading persuasion say they can’t stand the idea. A commenter on Long’s article wrote that she would “rather have my eyeballs scooped from their sockets with rusty spoons” than take a shower in a roomful of naked men. Another wrote: “Like, let there be a little mystery for [goodness] sake. I don’t need to see everyone I know naked.” In a 2007 article for College Candy titled “Get Me Out of This Co-ed Bathroom!” a writer who called herself “Jess” wrote: “Who decided that it would be totally cool to completely devoid college kids of any type of privacy?” In October 2013 Madeline Harris of HerCampus put together a seven-item listicle of the “awful” things that regularly take place in co-ed college johns. High on the listicle was the common practice — also described by Tom Wolfe in his 2004 campus novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons — of young men having simultaneous bowel movements in adjacent stalls and talking about them out loud in detail. Harris’s article included photographs of what co-ed bathrooms actually look like in terms of flipped-up seats, refuse on the floors, and general filth.
Posted by Charlotte Allen
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