General Question

occ's avatar

Is it appropriate for a woman to use the men's bathroom if it is a single bathroom?

Asked by occ (4036points) September 25th, 2009

Restaurants and other locations often have two one-room bathrooms (i.e., no stalls, just a small room with one toilet and sink). I’ve never understood why they would put a “women’s” sign on one and a “men’s” sign on the other if it’s a single room without stalls, rather then just have two bathrooms that could be used by either women or men (some restaurants do in fact do this, and have a sign that shows the bathroom could be used by either women or men).

The question is: If the women’s one-room bathroom is occupied, is it inappropriate for a woman to just use the empty one-room men’s bathroom, rather than wait?

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29 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I do if there is a line for the ladies room.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I do not think it is inappropriate as I do it sometimes. Most of the time I’ll wait for the woman’s restroom but sometimes there is no waiting, and let me tell you I feel no guilt in those circumstances. However if there were a line for the men’s behind me I might find it a bit rude to be in front of those for whom the bathroom is designated.

SuperMouse's avatar

Yes it is appropriate. It is also appropriate for a woman to use the men’s room in the Forum (or other large venue), if there are 40 women in line and the men’s room is empty. Especially if intermission is almost over.

@RedPowerLady welcome back, you haven’t been around much lately!

dpworkin's avatar

It’s all piss and shit.

juwhite1's avatar

I’ve done that as well. When there is a long line for the womens’ room, it doesn’t make any logical sense to stand there waiting in a line 5 women deep when the mens’ room is empty. Is appropriate for a man to use the womens’ restroom? Absolutely not… but it would be if places ever started making enough womens’ restrooms to accomodate us!

Sarcasm's avatar

Just get bigger bladders, that’s all.

Likeradar's avatar

Single stall, yeah. A bathroom is a bathroom.
But if there’s more than one stall, I don’t think it’s appropriate. Women wouldn’t want a man coming into their bathroom, and I doubt men would appreciate a woman coming in while they’re at a urinal or whatever it is men do in there.

janbb's avatar

Yes, it’s appropriate. I’m not always comfortable doing it, but I will at times (depends how badly I have to go) and have no problems with anyone else doing it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It sounds silly to segregate a single person bathroom.

empower's avatar

It may not be legal in some areas and building requirements may dictate separate men /women facilities…I would get someone to watch the door and let them know it was in use if I really had to go. I dont know why architects don’t figure in the difference between the time it takes for a woman versus a man and provide accordingly

tinyfaery's avatar

Ever seen Ani DiFranco, the Indigo Girls, any grrrl rock bands? All bathrooms are women’s bathrooms. The handful of men never seem to mind.

Blondesjon's avatar

Please God, save me from anyone who deems things as “appropriate”.

wickedbetty's avatar

I have done it before… but I had a friend guard the door and I squatted… those men are NASTY! BUT…. I have seen plenty nastier bathrooms from the ladies…

fireinthepriory's avatar

I think all bathrooms should be un-gendered. I mostly use womens’ rooms to avoid argument (and because they are usually a little cleaner). If there’s a line I have no qualms about using the mens’ room. The gender binary code of living is completely asinine and causes unnecessary hurt and discomfort for those who don’t fit within it. Did you know that there are more intersex people in America than jews?

RedPowerLady's avatar

@wickedbetty Speaking of how some people can be nasty. I was in one of those dual sex bathrooms once. It was a double stall but very small and had a lock on the door. I go in with my niece and lock the door. Well some employee comes in using the side door. He sees us and leaves. Then he comes back and pops his head in, just staring at us. He did this several times and never once knocked, it was obvious he wasn’t just waiting for it to be empty because he’d leave only a couple seconds between looking. I told him to knock it off but he was just a weirdo and kept doing it. Ick! When I told management they looked surprised but told me the door shouldn’t be locked. I was like, well that is really beside the point.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think there is a law that says public venues have to provide a restroom for men and one for women.

I personally do not want men coming into the ladies room so in the pursuit of equalism, I would not enter the mens room.

Would all those females above who deem it appropriate to use the mens room care if men entered the ladies room while you were using it?

Just curious

knitfroggy's avatar

I use the private men’s room at work all the time if the ladies is tied up. I figure if there are no men using it, I may as well.

What I wonder is when you go in a bathroom and the only stall open is the handicapped do you use it? I heard two ladies arguing in the restroom the other day because the one lady used the handicapped stall and tied it up. I think it just happens to be handicapped accessible and not only for handicapped use.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I do it all the time. I don’t see a problem with it.

jca's avatar

i do it – especially in a fast food place when the ladies room is taken – why wait. as long as the men’s room is decent…..illegal? i don’t think so. come try to arrest me for it and we can discuss it.

CaseyWVU10's avatar

Lower your voice a few octaves and adjust your imaginary junk when you come out of the restroom, so you can fully embody the male persona. I think you will blend right in :)

janbb's avatar

@rooeytoo I think we’re talking about single stall bathrooms where you can lock yourself into the whole room. Maybe they don’t have them in Australia? I don’t think there is a law here that separate ones must be provided; in New York City, there is often only one unisex bathroom in many small restaurants.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @fireinthepriory – I’m all for un-gendered bathrooms
and I will always use whatever’s open when there are single room bathrooms
I simply do not understand those women who will continue like sheep to stand in line for ‘their’ bathroom when the men’s is available – are you really that scared to put a toe out of line

fireinthepriory's avatar

@rooeytoo I wouldn’t mind at all if a man walked into a womens’ bathroom, provided he was there to use it! Actually, I think that’s even less strange than a woman walking into a mens bathroom due to the whole urinal thing. That’s one thing that keeps me a little iffy about using multi-stall mens bathrooms. I don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. (Interestingly, I’m gay, so it’s not like I’ll be looking, but how do they know that?)

:) @Simone_De_Beauvoir

JLeslie's avatar

Men sometimes do come into the ladies room with young female children. I have only seen it twice, but it doesn’t bother me. I would rather a 4 year old with her dad come into the womens room than the mens where there are men peeing in urinals. Women have stalls, the one exception where a woman might be exposed in the ladies room is when breast feeding, but even then she is not overly exposed, and a woman who is breast feeding probably deoe not care if someone sees her doing it.

palatinemike's avatar

Sure. It’s acceptable. But, yuck. I would not want to be caught using most men’s rooms. Ladies, enter at your own risk.

Hal7700's avatar

I live near a big city, and find that it is common for women to use the men’s bathroom rather than wait. And it doesn’t seem to matter single or multi-stall, privacy or no privacy. I have also had mothers walk into the men’s room with their young sons and stand next to the urinal I was using waiting for their sons. Practical needs often seem to overule gender separation.

Johnadaka's avatar

It is sometimes hard to tell if a bathroom is a single or double. I was peeing at a urinal today, when a girl came out of the stall. She apologized, and said she did not realize there would be someone in the bathroom.

Tom2011's avatar

I think women should start walking into men’s restrooms. Walk over to the urinals, peek at the guys using them, and laugh loudly while walking out. Then have a group of friends standing outside the restroom and point at them whisper something to each other and all of them laugh. Leave soon after as not to get arrested.

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