Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

With all the debate swirling around, why can't they just make it so that anybody can go in any bathroom they want?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42444points) April 26th, 2016

Edit: I didn’t include the following caveat (in bold) in my original question: I am referring to multi-stalled public bathrooms, NOT single rooms.

Also, this isn’t about transgendered people. It’s about any people using any bathroom they want to.

I don’t want to hear what other people might say. I want to hear what you say. I want to hear your opinion, not the fact that others might go into melt down.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

95 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Makes sense to me.

A lot of restaurants just have a bathroom. You lock the door when you go in, no one else can come in and bother you.

I don’t have gender specific bathrooms at home (although my kids’ has all my daughter’s stuff out everywhere and her brother prefers to use my bathroom.)

dxs's avatar

They should. It’d certainly make things quicker.

Coloma's avatar

Beats me, a lot of paranoia out there and rigid gender programming I guess.
If ya gotta go, ya gotta go.
I took about 6 women into the mens room at Target a few weeks ago when the womens bathroom was being cleaned. I was the trail blazer, look out guys, this mob of women are goin’ in. lol

anniereborn's avatar

Frankly I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a multi stall women’s bathroom with a man (bio or trans) coming in to it. (unless I knew them of course) . Single bathrooms are another story, I don’t care at all.

Seek's avatar

That’s how it was before people started making laws about it.

Voyeurism and molestation are already illegal. All this fiasco did was make it illegal to be in a room whether or not you were doing anything else illegal while in there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, a single room bathroom is nothing at all. You’re by yourself. You lock the door.

I’m referring to multi stalled bathrooms. Perhaps I need to edit.

chyna's avatar

I can’t tell you the last time I was in a store like Target or Walmart bathrooms if ever. But I don’t have kids that seem to need to go to the bathroom everytime they go to a store. I do go into restaurant bathrooms and I would be fine with one bathroom for all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What about a nightclub or bar @chyna?

chyna's avatar

I don’t go to night clubs or bars. I’m boring.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Pee anywhere you want.

But please keep the pee pee dance to yourself.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t any more either, but just pretend, @chyna.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is and has been a for a long time problematic to have a “Unisex” bathrooms in a public restaurants in North Carolina (I know a couple of restaurant owner that tried to put in Unisex bathrooms) The real reason for the law is to let businesses discriminate!
North Carolina’s law has taking the right of individuals to sue for discrimination away, now those that feel they have been discriminated against must go to a Federal Court.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

So many restrooms are now unisex, although the tend to be single-user rooms. I’d be all for single, communal restrooms with no open urinals and stalls around each toilet – full privacy for intimate activities. Using such a facility might be awkward the first couple of times, but I truly believe we’d all adapt. I really don’t care if some guy sees me wash my hands or fix my lipstick.

anniereborn's avatar

@Love_my_doggie See now, I am weird that way. I barely feel comfortable with women watching me doing my make-up and hair, let alone a guy. I have issues I guess

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ So, if you have issues with women seeing you, it really shouldn’t matter whether a restroom is all-female or unisex? If you’re equally awkward around both men and women, you’ll be uncomfortable either way.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

By the way, @Dutchess_III, the word “swirling” is an excellent choice for this question!

Mariah's avatar

Guys don’t want to give up the convenience of urinals and women don’t want to see random dudes’ dicks.

I’m fine with having transwomen use our bathrooms because they are women.

anniereborn's avatar

@Love_my_doggie No, I was just talking about fixing my hair and make-up. I do that maybe 10 percent of the time that I use a public restroom.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I agree that it’s much ado in a teapot. I don’t see why it’s so tough to escape the Victorian era.

Jaxk's avatar

Nobody has an issue with single room unisex bathrooms. The problem comes in when you have open urinals or a bathtub/trough as they have in some places. I’d rather not have a bunch of swinging dicks walking around when my granddaughter is trying to use the toilet. Hell, I know a lot of guys that can’t use the trough with other guys. I don’t use the toilet when my wife is on the toilet and I’d just as soon she not come in when I’m on the toilet. If the bathroom is designated Men or Women, let it go. Frankly I don’t see the issue for those that are trans to follow the same rules. Why make others uncomfortable just to make some obscure point.

Mariah's avatar

^ It’s not just to make a point, it’s for the safety and comfort of the trans people, many of whom “pass” so well that others wouldn’t even realize they are trans in order to be uncomfortable. In fact people would be uncomfortable if they went into the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth.

anniereborn's avatar

@Jaxk I should hope you don’t use the toilet when your wife is on it. Unless it’s one of those kinky things :P

anniereborn's avatar

Transwomen using the same bathroom as me is no problem for me. However, some completely bio/male identified person coming in just makes me not comfy.

ibstubro's avatar

Honestly, I think allowing anyone to use any bathroom calls for one person, individual bathrooms. I’m all for that, but it can be cost prohibitive in large venues.

I’ve been seeing the designation “Family Bathroom” quite a bit lately. Meaning that there is a standard men’s (stall & urinal) br and a standard women’s (stalls) br, plus another, large bathroom with a single toilet and a lock on the door. Meant, presumably, for a parent that has to take more than one kid in the br at a time for security/convenience. But doesn’t that solve the trans dispute, too?

Jaxk's avatar

@anniereborn – It’s not a problem. If she just spreads her legs a little, I can get right through there.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I always have. If I need to go and the men’s facilities are occupied, I think nothing of using the women’s. God forbid if anyone gets in my fucking way. I’ve never been arrested for this, but If I am, so be it. I have a right to use a toilet whether that right is recognized or not. Fuck ‘em all.

jca's avatar

I have no problem with unisex bathrooms (multi-gender, whatever you want to call them). I use them myself and I’ve used men’s bathrooms on occasion when there’s a slow poke in the ladies’ room and I need to go, and there’s a one stall men’s room available. However, in thinking about this issue, my daughter is almost 9 and now old enough to go by herself into the ladies’ room without me accompanying her. I would not be comfortable knowing there’s a man in there at the same time. I am able to handle myself when it comes to interacting with other people, but an 8 year old? If a man were at a urinal, I’d not want her to see that, either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I asked the mods to push this back to editing so I can specify MULTIPLE USER BATHROOMS, not single rooms. I don’t think twice about using a men’s single room either, although I about gave an older woman a heart attack the other day, for that very reason.

I just don’t like the idea of urinals, period. Why must it be so public for men in the first place? I think many of them aren’t comfortable with it either. What makes them think we, and our children, should be? Keep in mind, this question isn’t about transgendered, it’s about ALL people using any bathroom they want.

@anniereborn what about transgendered women who still have a penis?

anniereborn's avatar

I would hope that unisex multi stall bathrooms would not have open urinals.

Pachy's avatar

The rest of the world must be laughing their asses off at the US.

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III That doesn’t bother me. Especially since I can’t see how I would be privy to that information.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess that really goes to the heart of my question @anniereborn. Would the men be required to use a stall for everything, just like women are? Would they have a problem with that? Or would we women have to accommodate the men in the area they’re used to?

@anniereborn if they were peeing at a urinal you would be privy to that information.

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m not going into any bathroom that has any gender/sex peeing into an open urinal. I mean if that’s the case, just rip the doors off the stalls too.

ucme's avatar

There was a news item the other day telling of a woman who got herself arrested for masturbating with a sausage in a supermarket toilet, I assume it was frozen…at first :(

Unisex bogs are fine by me, but give us lads cubicles only too

ibstubro's avatar

You can’t put non-enclosed urinals in multiple stall, unisex bathrooms.

I’ve used the same venue as other penis holders for over 50 years, and I can tell you from experience that some of those gentlemen are uncommonly proud of their equipment.
If they’re so proud they would show other guys, why would they hold back if a woman chose to be present?

jca's avatar

I don’t want my kid looking at men waving their penises.

Jeruba's avatar

One thought that occurs to me is that if there didn’t have to be two bathrooms in a public place like a store or restaurant, there would be only one. From the store’s point of view, half the space, half the maintenance.

That’s reduced access for everybody.

Seek's avatar

@Jeruba

I believe number of bathroom stalls relative to capacity is regulated by local building codes and ordinances.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Many of the restaurants in NYC have only one single user toilet.

I wish as much energy were expended on limiting gun deaths as it is on gender and toilets!

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@janbb Americans fixate on issues such as gender-toilets and gender-marriages, so that they don’t need to address the things that really matter.

Jaxk's avatar

I can’t help but wonder, where’s the logical conclusion in all this? How about high school? Do we want that to be open to all as well? How about grade schools? Should we open the locker rooms to anybody? Showers?

I think this is primarily a move by the feminists to slow down the line for the mens room at ball games and big events. They can’t speed up the line for the ladies room so why not slow down the line for the men’s room. Equal aggravation is what it’s all about.

Buttonstc's avatar

Until this recent Carolina law, people were using the bathroom which best matched their current gender presentation (rather than their birth gender) and, by and large, it worked just fine.

There were ZERO instances of women being assaulted by transgender people and the vast majority of transgender women had the good common sense to wait use the women’s room until they were far enough along in their transition to be basically passable. There were no penis waving around and nothing done to disconcert little nine year old girls.

If we coukd just go back to that, I’d be fine with it. The chief desire for transgender women is to blend in as seamlessly as possible. They’re not interested in causing problems for anybody. They just want to be able to pee in peace like the rest of us.

Legislating that they must use the men’s room because it matches their birth gender just makes them a target for violence from transphobic men.

This whole issue has been blown way out of proportion by right wingers. I’d be fine with going back to the status quo. Everybody uses the bathroom that most closely matches how they look. There is no record of any transgender person who ever used that to rape anybody or commit assault.

I don’t think that eliminating mens and women’s (communal) designations serves any useful purpose. Just go back to what it has always been and provide as many single use rooms as is economically or logistically feasible to supplement the multi use rooms seems pretty sensible to me.

Seek's avatar

Are there still high schools that require public showering? Because being rid of that entirely is something I could get behind.

Coloma's avatar

Well here at the ranch we pee wherever we are, behind the horse barn, the woods off the big pasture, I mean hey, if you’re 3 acres away from the house you just go in the weeds like the animals do. Rancho unisex. lol

josie's avatar

I don’t care one way or the other.
But your question sort of implies a concern about what others might think. Otherwise there would be no debate.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Why am I the only one to give this a GQ so far?

I’ve been in unisex bathrooms. It was a bit of a cultural shock, but the experience was non-threatening. There were stalls vs. a combination of urinals and stalls. It helps when there is a restroom attendant, a friend with you, or someone outside waiting for your return.

si3tech's avatar

Nothing, NOTHING is wrong with the way it has always been and hopefully will remain. It is sheer insanity to “replumb” the whole country to accommodate less than 2 % of our population!
And make no mistake this will not make the 2 % happy.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Jaxk If co-ed restrooms would help prevent high school boys from being hit and bullied, then let’s create them tomorrow.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Fluther is acting up..

You misunderstood my intention, @josie. I didn’t want to hear what others might think or do, I wanted to hear each person’s own opinion on the matter. It seems to be turning out OK so far.

I also just got the irony of using the world “swirl” for this Q!

Coloma's avatar

@si3tech Do you think that breast feeding women should just stay home with their children for a year or more too because they only represent a small percentage of the population?
Anytime their is a major shift in societal norms we need to try and be inclusive, not any different than the civil rights movement or womens rights or any other major shift that is off putting to more conservative and traditional types.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Eww, no. Haven’t you seen how filthy most men’s public restrooms are? They can keep their cooties.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@dammitjanetfromvegas I know, right? I’ve never figured that out. Is it the men who are slobs, or do they just not bother to clean the men’s bathrooms?

cookieman's avatar

I once went into a public bathroom with many stalls and no urinals. It was in a hotel in Boston. Each stall had a real door on it (floor to frame like your home bathroom) and a lock.

This would be a perfect setup for a multi-sex bathroom.

With this, the only time your near other genders (in the open) is at the sink.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@dammitjanetfromvegas: “Eww, no. Haven’t you seen how filthy most men’s public restrooms are? They can keep their cooties.”

As someone who used to have to clean public restrooms, I will have to call foul on this. :) Both the men and women I worked with would play rock/paper/scissors in hopes that we’d get to clean the men’s room rather than the women’s room.

In all seriousness, how is this going on beyond 2 or 3 comments? We’re talking about bathrooms, right? I’m not how any of the “I wouldn’t feel comfortable with men in the shitter next to me” comments are even relevant. These are rooms designed so that we can fill a pot with excrement or urine. Make them open to all possible genders. If you’re concerned about kids accidentally seeing a penis, lock yourself and kids at home. In a closet. There’s nothing more disgusting than shitting and pissing in public. It doesn’t matter if you’re surrounded by men, women, or any other gender.

Seek's avatar

So, as I’ve mentioned, I am a member of a historical recreation club.

We hold our event at places like Boy Scout campgrounds, and state parks, and stuff like that.

Do you think we double our cost to rent separate men’s and women’s shower? Hell no. We’re a nonprofit. We don’t have that kind of cash.

Everyone uses the same facilities. After a full day of heavy weapons’ fighting, and riding horses, and firing the ballista, or even just sitting around and embroidering in the Florida sun in full Tudor garb, everyone fucking stinks, and everyone needs a shower.

Imagine this: Five shower stalls in the Boy Scout shower cabin. Men and women and children showering a scant few feet from each other while orderly lines form outside the bathroom stalls. No one peeks over or under, because they all have mutual respect for each other. We all brush our teeth at the same sinks.

Having loads of personal experience with unisex toilets, showers, camping facilities, etc., I will say I do not care what is in your pants, as long as you’re willing to pass a little TP under the stall if mine is out. That’s just common courtesy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Seek, you’re assuming the privacy of stalls. If the bathrooms have stalls, I don’t see a problem, but what about open urinals?

How would men feel if a woman walked in on them while they’re urinating in the trough? Or a girl child? (I never really thought of that before…how would any of you boy-jellies feel?)

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I should clarify, if there are individual stalls, let ‘er rip. I’m not talking about a row of urinals and open stalls, but…this is more about individual privacy vs. what sex is going in the same room as I am.

cookieman's avatar

Certainly no urinals. That seems obvious.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why not @cookieman? Let’s say it’s not obvious. Spell it out.

chyna's avatar

Because @Dutchess_III that would mean there would be penises flapping out in public in front of small children.~

Coloma's avatar

Maybe there should be a lounge area for flapping penises and breastfeeding women. lol

dxs's avatar

@dammitjanetfromvegas And how often have you been in a men’s room? I second @DoNotKnowMuch. I have to clean both a women’s and a men’s bathroom, and the ladies room is consistently worse. Nowadays, I have everyone use just the ladies’ room, and surprisingly, it’s actually been less of a hassle to clean.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I find it funny that this issue never was a concern of anyone’s until after the Supreme Court passed its ruling in Obergefell vs Hodges.

“Well we lost that battle, what else can we do to marginalize the homoqueers?”

Coloma's avatar

Just come use my bathroom, it;s always clean, but, you’ll have to put up with bathroom pussy, my giant cat that likes to keep you company on the pot. lol

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

I’ve seen a few men’s restrooms but I’m going off of what my husband has told me. Maybe it’s a rural thing? You should hear the stories Jon tells me about how filthy they are.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t read the above, but I’ll state my opinion. I don’t think there should be a law about it. I do think it’s fine to label restrooms women’s and men’s. The public has been able to figure it out since I can remember, I don’t see any reason to legislate anything. Transvestites and transgender have been going in the bathroom they identify with since I can remember.

When I was a teenager the transvestites went into the girls room. It was intimidating. I was a 16 year old sometimes with 2 or 3 6ft+ (and the + is a lot, because often you add 4–5 inch heals to their height) so generally us girls went to the bathroom in pairs. Surprise. Girls often go to the bathroom in pairs. Of course, we are not always in a situation where we can go in pairs, but we can use our judgment for safety. Not that trans people are more likely, or even likely, to harm us compared to straight men. Fear of trans people is ignorant and paranoid.

The laws are stupid. It shouldn’t even be a thing.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

My husband was in a tavern yesterday and a drunk was complaining that the men’s toilet didn’t have a seat. The bartender told him she was done buying seats because she’s had to replace it 4 times in the past month. She told him to take a shit in the women’s restroom.

Jak's avatar

You said “swirling”! HAHAHAHAHA! Was that intentional? Anyone whining about a transgender person in a bathroom near me gets a Swirly! Then they will at least have something to whine about! Hehehehe, “Get that person out of glubglubglubglubglub….”

JLeslie's avatar

@dammitjanetfromvegas And what? Break the seat in our room?

anniereborn's avatar

Do I want to know how anyone breaks a toilet seat?

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Drunks being drunk I guess.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Drunks can break anything.

cookieman's avatar

@Dutchess: I don’t care personally about flapping peni.

I’m just thinking that if we’re talking about a practical solution to a multi-sex bathroom, there should be some consideration to people’s sensitivities. Stalls provide privacy. Urinals do not. Pretty simple.

si3tech's avatar

@Coloma I do not believe that there has been any major shift in societal norm. There is, however, a MONUMENTAL effort diametrically focused on creating this illusion. It has gotten a lot of traction and grassroots people, I hope, can see it for what it is.

jca's avatar

I’ve heard guys at work and guys at our holiday party (at fancy ballroom at hotel) say that the men’s rooms are disgusting. Men pee on the floor, the coworkers speculate it’s because they drip all over. At work they asked me to call maintenance to clean it up and at the fancy party they said the cleaning staff was in there mopping up the pee. Ladies’ rooms that I’ve been in are not usually disgusting. Once in a while there’s something gross like blood running down the front of the bowl, or someone missing when throwing paper into the toilet, or a drop of pee on the seat, but generally not too bad.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We men have no defense against the piggy aspects of men’s rooms. There is absolutely no question regarding the hygiene implications of men turned loose in ladies’ rooms.

johnpowell's avatar

I was a janitor in college. I cleaned around 20 urinals and 20 men’s toilets a night. I also cleaned around 40 woman’s toilets a night in the same buildings. This was at a TV station and office park building that had a bank a was mostly C.P.A offices. Professional places where everyone was well dressed and for the most part well mannered.

The women’s restrooms were way worse. And I am excluding the tampon/pad bins from this calculation. I never cleaned shit from the walls in a men’s restroom and it was unfortunately common in woman’s restrooms. Perhaps hovering gone wrong.

However, I did clean the bathrooms at a bar occasionally and the men’s were a extra 30 a hour worse.

On the issue of transgender people using what they want. I don’t care. Criminals are going to commit crimes anyways. It works when we talk about guns so it should work here.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I agree with @dxs. I was in the bar business with my father for awhile and the women’s room was a disaster area compared to the men’s. On top of everything else, the toilet was constantly clogged with tampons despite a big sign over the toilet to dispose of them in the provided container.

JLeslie's avatar

@johnpowell It wouldn’t surprise me at all that women’s rooms are worse. I think women are more concerned about germs so many of them don’t sit, and they have to sit for everything. Not sitting means pee, and everything else can wind up on the seat. They are more concerned about germs so they don’t touch the handle on the way out of the restroom so a paper towel can wind up in the floor or on the top of trash and because for some idiotic reason companies put trash cans with flaps. Flaps that we aren’t going to touch.

I worked for Bloomingdale’s in FL. Upscale store in an upscale mall in an affluent city. Customers were mostly well groomed, many with expensive jewelry on their fingers and wrists, and had driven up in Mercedes and BMW’s. We used to get complaints sometimes about the condition of the bathrooms from women. The thing is, the customers were the slobs! We had a person who all day long she went from the first floor bathrooms, then to the second floor bathrooms, then the third. All day. One after another. When she left they were clean. The men and women cleaning were good at their job.

jca's avatar

I just used one of our single use, handicapped accessible bathrooms at work. There was something on the seat and I took a damp paper towel and cleaned the seat. I know I’m a rarity in that most people are not wiping the toilet seat, but that’s just me. I’ll also glance at the seat when I leave it, to make sure it’s clean. I think I asked a question on here once about that very topic.

JLeslie's avatar

Many of the toilets in building flush so hard that they spray water up on to the seat. It’s an impossible balancing act. People put all sorts of things they shouldn’t in the toilet, so the more forceful flush is more likely to clear the toilet bowl, but it sprays up and can get the seat wet or your bottom wet if you are sitting on it when it self flushes. Ew.

Coloma's avatar

Oh man, I hate the auto flush toilets, I just got splattered at the movie theater a few days ago. You barely shift forward and the damn things go off. So disgusting!
I too, always use the seat covers and make sure they flush away and aren’t stuck on the seat. haha

janbb's avatar

If we’re moving on to the topic – as we seem to be – of pet peeves about public toilets, what pisses me off (literally) is when people use seat covers and then leave them on the seat.

ibstubro's avatar

I stock the bathrooms at our small rural auction house.
The women’s room is far nicer than the men’s and always way messier. The women constantly complain about the women’s room.

For those reasons, the women’s room may very well be cleaner, overall, than the men’s room. The women’s needs more frequent attention and the women see that it’s done.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I have only come across that one time. I’m surprised you run into that a lot. I guess maybe because the toilet wasn’t flushed?

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie No – they leave the seat cover on the seat. I see it at my college bathrooms frequently.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I understood on not in. The paper seat covers have a flap that go into the water so that when the toilet is flushed the seat cover on the seat flushes down also.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, what is stopping men from using a bit of tp to dab the end of their penis after they pee, so they don’t drip all over the place?

@chyna I know it means there would be flapping penises in front of small children, but what’s wrong with that? Small boys get exposed (ha ha) to that really early, and it doesn’t seem to hurt them.

johnpowell's avatar

@JLeslie :: In the C.P.A floor there was a guy that used a paper towel to open the door and would just toss it on the floor. Sigh, so much anger. I was making 5.25 a hour to clean up his shit. So I thought that I could change the behavior by putting the can next to the door. Asshole still just tossed it on the floor.

I had found out who it was and I had keys to his office. He might of had computer problems the next day.

si3tech's avatar

@Dutchess_III Here’s one very good example :http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Man-Dressed-as-Woman-Arrested-for-Spying-Into-Mall-Bathroom-Stall-Police-Say-351232041.html

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t understand what one perv has to do with anything. He’s a perv, period. Women get to deal with that shit all the time, not just in the bathrooms.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@janbb “what pisses me off (literally)...”

I want you to know that I was taking a sip of water when I read this, and that I almost choked laughing.

Yet another reason to adore my friend @janbb. :-)

Darth_Algar's avatar

The vast majority of sexual assaults on women are committed by someone they know and trust and in a location they’re comfortable in (often at home or work). Most rapes go unreported in part because the victim knows their attacker and coming forward could cause all sorts of problems among her family and friends, but also because of a pervasive culture that views any woman who claims rape with suspicion at best, outright hostility at worst. But nevermind all that, let’s fret about the ladymen who just need to relieve their bowels.

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