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NerdyKeith's avatar

Should the gender signs be observed on single cubical public bathrooms?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5489points) May 31st, 2016 from iPhone

What I mean is a single closed off bathroom that is suitable for only one person. A lot of coffee shops have them.

To me I don’t really see why they need a gender sign. Since it’s only one person using it and it invades nobodies privacy.

Basically I used one of such public bathrooms in a Starbucks. It was a single person bathroom. There was one single bathroom for men and another one for women. But the male bathroom’s inside lock is loose and tends to unlock. So I wasn’t going to use that out of fear of the door opening while I was doing my business. So I just used the female bathroom.

Anyway as I’m coming out if the bathroom. Some woman remarks in a very snarky kind of way “it’s actually the ladies”.

I just ignored her though and walked off. I kinda felt like saying to her that it really makes no difference who is in a single cubical toilets and to basically get over herself. But that would have resolved nothing and she probably would have got more snarky with me.

What are your thoughts?

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11 Answers

jca's avatar

I’ve seen the sign with the man/lady symbol, and I think that would remove any doubt.

I’d have been tempted to tell the lady off but then fighting with myself to hold my tongue.

canidmajor's avatar

When my friend bought a coffee shop that had two bathrooms she was informed that they had to be marked for men or women. I think she said that it was a state mandated thing.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The thing about bathrooms is that there can be “surprises” when it comes to matters of urgency. I think every man has experienced some desperate woman crashing into the men’s room and rushing oblivious past startled men at the urinals straight to the stalls. Only a fool would bother to confront or question that sort of desperate determination. When things are at the stage that a woman will enter the mens’ room, normal operations are suspended and should be. The same should hold true for men.

jca's avatar

I was in a gender neutral one person bathroom a few years ago in a fancy restaurant. I
was sitting on the toilet and my elementary school age daughter was standing next to me. A guy opened the door, I guess because I thought I locked it but didn’t. Of course he apologized and shut the door. He couldn’t see anything “critical.” These things happen and will happen with bathrooms like that. I always like a hook and eye lock or a sliding bar lock as opposed to the locks where you press a button for that reason. .

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s fine to ignore. Usually, it is a woman ignoring it, because usually the line for the ladies room is, well, a line, while the men’s room has no line.

I say go to the correct one for your gender, if both are empty, but if one has a line and the other doesn’t, go on in.

@canidmajor That must be by state. I know in NY I’ve been in Starbucks stores that have two duo gender single bathrooms. I think the OP is in Ireland.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’m all for changing single toilet bathrooms into gender-neutral ones.

If the lock is inoperative on a gender-specific single bathroom, I have no issue using it at the risk of someone walking in. I’ve also reported to the staff that the lock is broken. @NerdyKeith, did you?

Dutchess_III's avatar

On more than one occasion over the years I have ignored the gender sign in those kinds of bathrooms.

To my surprise, several business around this small, conservative, mid-western town have removed the gender signs and replaced them with just “Bathroom” signs. I guess I won’t be in danger of getting arrested now.

marinelife's avatar

I think that needs must. I don’t see why they are marked by gender.

dxs's avatar

Psht no. I mean, if there’s an option I’ll pick the men’s one first. But if the men’s is taken, you’re all going to have to pretend I have a vagina for a few minutes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We may need to double check that @dxs.

NerdyKeith's avatar

I suppose one could say they are gender fluid. But I’d feel like I’d be undermining the trans community by saying that.

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