General Question

jca's avatar

Why do we consider it acceptable for a woman to use the men's bathroom but unacceptable if a man were to use the women's bathroom?

Asked by jca (35989points) July 6th, 2010

I am a woman, and if the ladies’ room has someone in it (say, in a fast food place) I have been known to quickly use the men’s room. This is not unacceptable and I have heard of many women that would do the same.

Yet, if a man were to use the women’s room, it would not be acceptable, he would probably have a woman say something to him at the very least, women would be upset and he may encounter more of a problem, say with the police or a security guard.

Why do you think this is so?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

130 Answers

MrItty's avatar

I don’t know who this “we” is, but I certainly don’t find you using the men’s room acceptable. On the contrary, seeing as guys in the restroom are, shall we say, hanging out in the open, and women are safely hidden from view behind stall doors, I would say that a woman using the men’s room is significantly LESS acceptable than a man using the woman’s room.

(Not that I would do that either. Cripes, hold your damn bladder.)

mea05key's avatar

When I was living in a house with 8 others, we have a bathroom for the girls and another for boys. The girls wouldnt allow the guys to use their bathroom. I suppose its all about cleanliness , the guys bathroom is messy and drips all over the seat occasionally. Ladies require more privacy and wouldnt like sharing unless required. I suppose if given, a lady would want the whole toilet for herself !

stratman37's avatar

‘cause we always leave the seat up!

keobooks's avatar

“Hold your damn bladder” are not wise words to say to a third trimester pregnant woman. When I gotta go, I GOTTA go. I don’t care if it’s the men’s or women’s restroom. Luckily at this point, women see my huge belly and everyone lets me go first in line to the restroom. You just don’t want to come between a pregnant lady in the toilet. It’s only slightly less dangerous than coming between us and a bowl of ice cream.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t care if a man uses the women’s bathroom, especially if they are single rooms, no stalls. In fact, if a man has a 4 year old daughter with him, I would rather he bring him into a woman’s room, then in with men standing at urinals. Women don’t pee in front of other people out in the open like men do, so it really is kind of a non-issue. In bathrooms with lounge areas there might be a woman breast feeding, but she usually has a her breast fairly covered anyway.

I guess the only thing that is annoying in the case of a regulr bathroom with no stalls is if the line starts to form, and there is a man in there taking up space, well, that would be annoying.

Sarcasm's avatar

Well, personally I don’t find either situation to be acceptable.
If we’re going to assume that’s true, however, I can see two reasons.

1) Our society has an idea that all voyeurs, perverts and creeps are male. So I would assume people seeing a man go into the ladies’ room would think he’s just there for some upskirt action, rather than the need to relieve himself.

2) Womens’ room is always busy. Mens’ room is generally not.
For a man to go into the ladies’ room, that would be downright inefficient and laughable. Why would he want to wait longer to relieve himself?
Meanwhile, a woman who really has to go could theoretically cut down her time greatly by using the gents’ room.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks I let you go first. I let all pregnant women, doing the wiggle gotta pee dance, cut ahead in the line.

gemiwing's avatar

I don’t care, personally.

In a general sense, I feel it comes from the idea that men are never in control of their sexual urges and will attack/rape/molest any female that comes across their path. Women are gentle/weak and need protecting from the Dangerous Men- even while taking a dump.

JLeslie's avatar

@gemiwing Yeah, that kind of makes sense. We should feel safe when we have our pants down around our legs. I also think back in the day there was simply much more modesty. Women did not go to the bathroom, they powdered their nose. The ladies restroom was a private place not to be revealed to the eyes of men.

MrItty's avatar

@keobooks every rule has exceptions.

keobooks's avatar

I think more stuff goes on in the women’s restroom than in the men’s. Not only do women use the toilet for the same reasons men do, we also change sanitary napkins or tampons. Women generally take their children in to the bathroom a lot more than men do. Pregnant women use the bathroom more than anyone else on the planet. And women are more prone to bladder/urinary tract infections than men.

Combine this with all the extra layers of clothing women have to take off every time they sit on a toilet. If men have to pee, all they need to do is unzip and flip. Women may need to take off panties, “foundation garments (girdles), panty hose, and THEN take down the pants! They have to do this every time they go to the bathroom. Men only need to take off everything from the waist down if they have to poo. And they generally don’t wear panty hose or foundation garments.

Also, the urinals are kind of an express line. You have 2 or so urinals dedicated to quick trips. No matter how crowded it is, you’ve got two lines that are generally going to go really really fast. In a women’s restroom, all of the toilets can be held hostage by people with various situations.

I think in general the women’s restroom is MUCH busier than a man’s restroom. And women will be more likely to sneak in.

As for women’s restrooms being cleaner—I’m sorry but I’ve worked retail and had to do bathroom checks. I’ve seen hideously horrible things in a women’s restroom that you would NEVER see in a men’s restroom. If I even hinted at them, this post would probably get deleted for being just plain nasty. But I’d rather use the toilet in the men’s room because I trust it to be cleaner—sorry but true. Women may be neater at home, but in public restroom *yeerrrch**

MrItty's avatar

@keobooks Everything you say speaks to a women’s room being more crowded, which is certainly true. However, barring extreme circumstances and immediate dire need, I don’t see how the inconvenience of having to wait makes it acceptable for women to intrude into the men’s room where males of all ages have their penises exposed to the open air. Can you imagine the extreme humiliation and embarrassment a young teenage male might feel if a woman walks into the men’s room and sees him in that state?

Sorry, but barring unusually urgent circumstances, you have to wait.

rebbel's avatar

What happened to equal rights for men and women?
If need be we should all be, men and women, allowed to use each others loo.
We don’t want exploding bladders around now, do we?

MrItty's avatar

@rebbel if men and women were equally allowed to use women’s and men’s rooms (respectively), what would be the point of having men’s and women’s rooms? There should just be one bigger generic restroom.

JLeslie's avatar

I think when there are two private rooms they should both be marked both men and women. Having a line outside of one and the other being empty is ridiculous.

And, I second what @keobooks says, I htink the womens room is more likely to be a mess. It gets used more first of all, and we are disposing of more things, we have to sit for everything, and a lot of people don’t sit they hover. Women worry more than men about germs, and so if ther eis not trash can near the door you might find some paper towels on the floor.

keobooks's avatar

I’m more for plenty of stalls available to both genders at all times. Cause sorry @MrItty it’s really frustrating to be in a huge line in the women’s room and there isn’t a soul in the men’s room. I’ve only used the mens room a few times in my life and I called out to make sure no one was in there. When the door opened, I called out again so there were no surprises.

I think there need to be more family stalls too. Fathers can change diapers—but in many places, they can’t do it because there is no diaper station in the men’s room. Also, there is more room to help a preschooler with their bathroom stuff than one of those tiny stalls.

laureth's avatar

If it’s just a locked room with one seat in it, I don’t see what the fuss is about. It’s not like there’s anyone else in there, and they should be used by anybody with impunity.

If it’s a many-stalls restroom, it is not acceptable to just sneak in for a minute.

However, to answer what the original question seems to be asking, it’s like this. A naked woman is pretty much non-threatening, and usually seen in a friendly, inviting way (even if that’s not what she intends). That’s just the way it is. Also, a naked man is almost never seen as inviting, and is usually considered a threat. (If you see a naked man in a park, you assume he’s a flasher or perv. A naked woman, you might feel sorry for and wonder what has befallen her, or you might think she’s displaying the products for sale, but either way, it’s not all that scary.) While most people don’t go to the bathroom to get naked, there is a lot of concentration on the nether regions in there, and in general, these rules apply.

MrItty's avatar

@keobooks Your frustration doesn’t justify your intrusion. It just doesn’t. If a guy used that logic to enter a woman’s room, he’d be beaten senseless and then arrested.

Fenris's avatar

@everyone – because women have tits. the end.

I mean really, you can throw philosophy around all you want, but women have the parts that men want. The glass ceiling is a pale shadow of what it once was, I know more female professionals and government leaders than I know men, and women just get away with a lot more. Women have the parts men want. Therefore, they get to do more.

breedmitch's avatar

@laureth: I’ve never seen a naked man as a threat. I think that’s your personal prejudice.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because clearly a man using a woman’s bathroom is doing that under the pretext of wanting to rape someone…and a woman would never be predatory in her behavior so the little lady can go pee…yes, it’s all ridiculous…and, obviously, I think men’s and women’s restrooms are ridiculous and transphobic and am all for gender neutral restrooms or for men using women’s and vice versa…and while we’re on the subject…I don’t get why men have to be exposed ever in front of others (of any gender) and why can’t the urinals be inside stalls?

Coloma's avatar

Hmmm… interesting.

I have used the mens room on occasion, usually a single toilet private room, I have not wandered into a multiple stall/urinal mens room.

I say if it is a singular room men or women do not bother me.

A larger ‘public’ facility…no, not appropriate for either sex.

In a Japanese resteraunt in Taiwan a few months ago the mens/womens restrooms were separated by only driftwood pieces arranged artistically. Us gals had a perfect view of the men at the urinals…lol

MrItty's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir because there’s no reason for them to be. What an incredible waste of space that would be.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir That’s what I say, why can’t the urinals be in stalls? I just find it so odd.

JLeslie's avatar

When I was a teenager the dance club I went to Tracks was full of transvestites, and we girls used to always tell each other to go to the bathroom in pairs because there were men in there. Haha.

Fenris's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir : a lot of them in the South are in short stalls without doors. I never saw a urinal without barriers on either side until I moved north. It’s some sports psychology don’t-fear-the-penis fear desensitization shit they talk about. We’re not supposed to feel shame but we are supposed to show modesty.

@MrItty : could you add some reason to your statement? It’s pretty empty and useless to the thread as-is.

@JLeslie : That’s why I always advocate for unisex restrooms, like what they’ve got at my local library.

MrItty's avatar

@Fenris My statements have all been very explicitly explained. Which one are you having difficulty understanding?

breedmitch's avatar

Sorry if that came across snarky, laureth, but your broad generalization struck me funny.

Fenris's avatar

@MrItty : What is your reasoning in saying there’s no reason for them, and why do you say they’re a waste of space?

MrItty's avatar

@Fenris Constructing walls and a door would be a waste of space because a stall takes up a lot more room than a urinal. There is no need for the urinal to be inside a stall because guys (in the general case) don’t have a problem walking up to one, unzipping, keeping their eyes pointed at the wall in front of them, doing their business, zipping, and moving on.

Fenris's avatar

@MrItty : How do you feel about those simple dividers they put between the urinals in some places?

MrItty's avatar

@Fenris I see no point in them either.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Fascinating discussion! With private, one at a time rooms, I see no need for differentiating them for males and females. If women feel safer without men in the larger facilities, then I’ll live with that. If a woman comes into the men’s room to use a stall, I will not challenge her.

Keysha's avatar

If it is a multi-stall restroom, the only time I have ever seen it ‘taken over’ by women is at concerts, when the women’s rooms are lined up quite a ways, and the men’s rooms are empty. Generally someone that is pregnant will go, pound on a door to see if men are in it, and then the line at the women’s splits and the men’s room is taken over for a time.

If it is a single room, they should all be unisex.

I find it a bit presumptuous of anyone, male or female, to feel they have the right to take over a restroom of the opposite sex. If you cannot hold it, then you should have gotten up a bit earlier. Period.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

All I want to say is that I think the double-standard is ridiculous, but that said, I still wouldn’t want to share a bathroom with men. Sorry, but when I’m using a stall that has wide gaps in the doors and I have to change a tampon, I’m already uncomfortable enough if I woman is standing right outside the door. I’d be extremely uncomfortable if a man was standing right outside the door.

MrItty's avatar

@DrasticDreamer there is absolutely nothing wrong with that stance. I can’t imagine any woman feeling comfortable in that situation. What is ridiculous is the idea that a man should be A-okay with a woman 5 feet from him while he’s hanging out in the breeze.

BluRhino's avatar

The store I worked in has 2 public use restrooms; ( labeled mens & womens); both were “one-holers” (for one person at a time). They are identical except the mens has a urinal. The Womens’ frequently had a line, while the mens had none. The Mens room was usually ‘acceptably’ clean (for a public mens room, they were both frequently monitored) but the women eschewed it anyway for some of the various reasons above, I’m sure. Some women take a ridiculously long time in there, forcing others to wait, (or choosing to wait) while an perfectly usable one sits unused. The womens’ was frequently trashed beyond belief as well, more than the Mens. I would often go by and suggest to the waiters to use the employees, but refrained from offering use of the Mens…One obvious solution would be to make them identical and unisex restrooms. My personal observation is that women do not treat a public restroom any better than men, but there are some people who are totally unthinking,uncaring slobs, or who do it for kicks or..??? (“They have people for that,” kind of thinking)

laureth's avatar

@breedmitch , I thought it would be tiresome and overlong to enumerate every person who is the exception to the general rule. (I would have to include myself on that list, fyi.)

DominicX's avatar

I don’t. But @Simone_De_Beauvoir got it right. It’s because we assume the man is more likely to be a predator. Doesn’t mean it’s true. Frankly, I wouldn’t exactly be comfortable with either situation.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MrItty Well, why are there stalls in the women’s bathrooms? Is it because of ass exposure? It wouldn’t be a waste of space because there are stalls in men’s bathrooms anyway for pooping and we can finally say goodbye to that oh so tiresome ‘don’t look over there, look in front of you’ man-book/man-code idiocy. @DrasticDreamer I know, I used to feel the same way…but after going to parties where all genders used same bathrooms, I really was able to see there is nothing wrong or weird or creepy about it…but I guess you have to experience it in order to decondition yourself from feeling that way.

jazmina88's avatar

I do think men are more open to peeing with others watching…..with or without dividers, while women are always more private. I think there are more males that dont mind a pecker peek than females, except those eer, women, who dont wear gotchies under those short dresses.

I still dont like when my men friends walk by the bathroom when the home door is open. The close friends…..

SeventhSense's avatar

If it’s a one person room and the mens room is occupied I’ll use the ladies room. Of course I leave the seat up. Women like the cool porcelain on their cheeks from what I hear. :P

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jazmina88 Women are taught to be more private and men to not care.

jca's avatar

When i asked the question, i was referring to the single toilet restrooms, like @JLeslie and @Coloma were talking about. i did not mean that i would ever go into a multi-stall men’s room, i meant i would go into a single toilet men’s room, like the kind at some fast food restaurants. Sorry – should have clarified. There seem to be a lot of angry-sounding people thinking that i or any other woman feel it’s acceptable to be among men at urinals, which was not what i meant!

MrItty's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Why are there stalls in the women’s room? For the same reason there are stalls in the men’s room – yes, because when your pants are around your ankles, you want privacy. When you’re just unzipping, whipping it out, and zipping, no such privacy is required.

It would be a waste of space because stalls take up more room than urinals. If you were to remove the 4 urinals, you might be able to fit only 2 or 3 additional stalls.

Why you have a problem with “man code” as you call it, I have no idea. How, exactly, does it impact you?

MrItty's avatar

@jca in that case, I have to say I have absolutely no problem with either gender going into either other gender’s single-user restroom. Indeed, the fact that we arbitrarily call one of them “mens” and other “womens”, when they are effectively exactly the same, is idiotic.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MrItty Look, I know you’re all kinds of comfortable with unzipping and whipping but not all men are or should be…as far as the man code, it’s just silly and it impacts everyone in that it’s a small but very annoying part of a gendered culture that is limiting

gorillapaws's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m sorry but I still don’t understand how the man code is so limiting. Certainly, there’s a women’s code that you don’t stand on the toilet seat of your stall and peek over at the lady next-to-you right? The reason for the code is as @MrItty has said, allows for more urinal space which can make a huge difference at a bar or a sporting event.

MrItty's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Those men who aren’t comfortable with it are free to use the stall. I seriously have absolutely no idea what point you’re trying to make.

Is women code really that different? Do you all hang around in the locker room inspecting each other’s vaginas? Or when you’re changing to use the pool, is it pretty generally understood that you look at faces and not other body parts?

Coloma's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

I don’t think there are too many men feeling seriously depressed about the issue. It probably is of concern to some, but, I have NEVER had a man complain about ‘unzipping & whipping’ in all my years…is there an underground urinal rights group somewhere? lol

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@gorillapaws Okay, really this takes away from the q and it’s not an important topic anyhow but there is more to this ‘man-code’ than not seeing each other’s penises and I have heard of it used against women more often than not
@gorillapaws @MrItty Women code? Look, if there is such a thing, I don’t use it…I’d abhor it just as much as man-code, obviously…please don’t ask me how ‘we all’ hang out because I am not presuming to speak for women…
@Coloma Look, forget it, I just think it doesn’t matter ‘cause it’s supposed to not matter but if one is so worried about others looking at your thing, maybe stalls are the answer.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
gorillapaws's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir also it might be worth noting that the “man code” probably originated with trough-style urinals where there are no divisions. I suspect it’s hundreds of years old, but that would be a total guess. I’m still curios how this could ever possibly be used “against women” though, I’m really scratching my head on this one.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Really? I don’t see it that way. I think most men, myself included, would be shocked and repulsed to see a woman in the men’s restroom as we’re using it. A man’s restroom is more “out in the open” than a woman’s, with their respective urinals, and for a woman to see a man doing his thing there would be below himself, an affront to his manhood. Both genders appreciate privacy, and this privacy should always be respected, regardless of what some people think.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Parrappa's avatar

I honestly don’t care. It’s not that it’s acceptable for women to use the men’s bathroom, but I just don’t care enough to make a scene over it.

cazzie's avatar

This must be one of those ‘American’ discussions. I was recently at a conference in Finland with many more men than women. It made sense. The men freely used the women’s bathroom and I didn’t care. There were stalls. They closed the door to the stall to be polite. Not a problem. (There were many many North American’s at the conference….. so I’m really confused this is an issue) If you gotta go, you gotta go.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Personal attacks and off-topic remarks later in the thread have been removed. Please remember: A) General Section guidelines apply and B) it is entirely possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

downtide's avatar

As a transsexual male, the “bathroom” issue is one of the hardest issues I currently face. I don’t look male enough to use the mens’, I don’t look female enough to use the womens’. Whichever one I pick, someone will tell me I’m in the wrong one. I have memorised the locations of all the unisex and disabled toilets in my town.

I wish Britain was more like Spain. When I was there, people would use either bathroom, whichever one had the shortest queue, and no-one really cared.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because women take better aim and hardly miss the target while taking a leak?

MrItty's avatar

@mattbrowne anyone who’s ever cleaned a public restroom knows that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Women, being largely germophobic, have a tendency to “hover” rather than sit on the public toilet, and therefore end up missing.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@MrItty He did say “hardly”. And yes, the same thing crossed my mind. I’ve experienced more than one wet toilet seat in the women’s restroom. Some hoverers either don’t check or decide to clean up after themselves. But I’ve also noticed that a few toilets splash on the seat when they are flushed.

mattbrowne's avatar

@MrItty – I was speculating. As a student when visiting female apartment-sharing communities I always found a sign in their bathroom asking all men to sit down before taking a leak. I always wondered why. Maybe their experience wasn’t that good.

MrItty's avatar

@mattbrowne My speculation is that women behave differently at “home” regardless of whether or not the home toilet is shared.

TooBlue's avatar

I never realised how comfortable men are to stand next to another random stranger peeing, without a wall. If I was a guy nothing would scare me more. Aren’t they worried at all? Wtf. Why doesn’t privacy apply to men?

MrItty's avatar

@TooBlue No, if you were a guy, you’d probably feel like the rest of us do – that as long as you abide by the unwritten rules, there’s nothing to worry about.

Privacy applies. It’s just community-enforced, rather than externally enforced.

MrItty's avatar

@TooBlue (And seriously, what are you thinking we should be “worried” about? Nothing is less threatening than a guy busy expunging urine, as there’s very little else he can do at the time)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@TooBlue From what I understand from a few men, there may not be a divider, but there are rules.
1.) Don’t look down.
2.) Don’t look to the side.

This was explained when a male friend told us that he was on some type of medication that turned his urine bright orange. Apparently, at some stadiums, the men’s room has troughs instead of individual urinals. When he relieved himself, the people next to him and looked to the side.

There are always stalls in a men’s room, should they opt for that for a bit of privacy.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t even go if I’m too close to someone else or feel too exposed. Hence why I never use urinals. :\

JLeslie's avatar

Are the urinals ever all full? I have seen those rules for the men’s room, and it seems like you are not supposed to stand next to anyone while peeing.

TooBlue's avatar

But they’re called private parts for a reason, isn’t there any hesitation at all in having your penis out in the open? And what age do young boys start peeing “in the open”?

rebbel's avatar

In addition to @DominicX ‘s answer “I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t even go if I’m too close to someone else or feel too exposed.” here is an interesting page on how men use which urinal (when a few are mounted on the wall).

MrItty's avatar

@JLeslie Yes. And if the urinals are full, you use the stalls. If both the urinals and stalls are full, you stand back as far as is practical and wait for one to become available.

@TooBlue How do you think little boys learn to pee? Their mommies and daddies teach them, by standing at the toilet with them. We literally start peeing “in the open” from the first moments we’re potty trained.

@rebbel Without reading the article, my own personal rules are that you leave one – and only one – urinal open between you and the guy already standing there. That way you have that buffer, but you’re not taking up an “extra” buffer if the third guy comes in while you’re both still there.

TooBlue's avatar

@MrItty I mean in the open as in, in public, around strangers…

MrItty's avatar

@rebbel…. and after reading the article, I disagree with most of the “correct” answers.

@TooBlue As soon as you’re old enough to stand and pee. When you’re at the mall with Daddy and you have to go, he takes you to the urinals. He doesn’t take you into the stall.

rebbel's avatar

@MrItty Go read it :-)
Here is one example from the tricky kind:

| | x | | | x | x | (2, 5 and 6 occupied)

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: __

———————————————————————————————-
Correct answer: 4
Believe it or not, 1 and 3 “couples you with the guy in stall 2. And we wouldn’t want THAT now, would we? This differs from question 4 in such a subtle way that the nuances cannot be explained. Suffice to say, only we men would understand!

MrItty's avatar

@TooBlue…. unless either A) you are too small to reach the urinal without considerable chances of missing, or B) Daddy himself is afraid of the urinals for some reason.

@rebbel Yeah that’s one of the ones I disagree with. I would choose 1, as I am guaranteed no one on my left. Three and four are equally bad, as they have a guaranteed someone on one side, and a possibly-arriving someone on the other side. The “coupling” nonsense is… well, nonsense.

MrItty's avatar

“VERY-Tricky-Indeed Section
| x | x | | | x | x | (1, 2, 5 and 6 occupied)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Correct answer: NONE! In such a situation, you must use the toilet instead – or wait until you get home!”

is clearly idiotic. Again, either 3 or 4 are equally bad, and therefore equally acceptable.

MrItty's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer God I hate the troughs. For reasons I can’t explain, peeing into my own individual urinal is vastly more acceptable than peeing into a community urinal where other men are also currently peeing. Ugh.

rebbel's avatar

@MrItty
I think it is a bit tongue-in-cheek test, this is, i am sure you will agree.
Although, i can agree with some of them.
One time, when travelling back from Spain to Holland, by coach, we made a restroom stop at a restaurant and i really, really had to pee very badly.
The line to the urinals was massive, and while in that line i was already worried they were urinals (as opposed to a ‘normal’ one) because i am one of those guys that has trouble releaving when in company.
Of course, when it was my turn, i couldn’t for the life of it, squeeze one drip out.
The feeling being made worse, knowing that behind my back were another few dozen of men waiting…
I felt a big loser to return to the coach still needing to pee…

MrItty's avatar

@rebbel Oh it’s definitely tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are unwritten rules about which to use. It’s just obvious that they’re not universal rules. :-)

And yes, “performance anxiety” is not an uncommon problem.

CMaz's avatar

Because you are more likely to find men with other intentions then taking a piss wandering the ladies room.
Then you will with the ladies going in the men’s room. Besides, for the most part they pose no threat.

Though you would probably get plenty of hooker traffic at most truck stops if the ladies were allowed to use the men’s room.

MrItty's avatar

@ChazMaz this logic absolutely boggles my mind. You think if a man wants to commit rape, the sign on the door saying “women only” is going to stop him? You think if a woman is a prostitute, the sign on the door saying “men only” is going to stop her?

These signs are 100% ineffective in stopping anyone who has less-than-pure intentions. They are for informational purposes, so that people who follow “the rules” know which door they’re supposed to open. They serve absolutely no other purpose. People who don’t follow the rules of society and morality aren’t going to be phased by them.

cazzie's avatar

@TooBlue LOL…. when do little boys start peeing in the open??? hahha… I’m a mother of a little boy and when he has to go, he’ll pull it out ANYWHERE and go. It doesn’t bother me that he lowers his pants and pulls his penis out, but I have to make sure his pee doesn’t land somewhere people will walk. hahha…

CMaz's avatar

“this logic absolutely boggles my mind.”

Sorry you are boggled. It is the way it is. I did not say anything about rape, thought it sure has it’s possibilities. Apparently there are deep issues you want to avoid.

As far as hookers go. If they could freely enter the men’s room, there would be less in the parking lot.

Speaking for myself. I am not comfortable as it is crapping out a decomposing Pied Piper with someone in the stall next to me. Let alone, blowing out the doors, stepping out of my stall to have a woman standing there washing her hands.

If my mother was taking a piss and there was a man at the sink, minding his business. She would still be uncomfortable with it.

No reason why a person cant have the most possible comfortable bathroom time as possible without the inclusion of people of the opposite sex involved.

I mean if you have to take a piss, who cares where you go. But in general, it is a non issue. Rather common scense to me.
You feel a need for coed bathrooms, find one, use it.

“These signs are 100% ineffective in stopping anyone who has less-than-pure intentions. ”
But it will stop individuals that will walk in because NOW they can. Basically it can’t hurt.

MrItty's avatar

@ChazMaz I’ll thank you for not putting words in my mouth in the future.

You said “men with other intentions”. You’re right, I made an assumption. If it was false, please do clarify what “other intentions” you were alluding to.

Hookers can freely enter a men’s room. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing so. I don’t understand what makes you think they can’t. Why do you believe that a woman with the intention of committing an actual crime – prostitution – is going to be confounded by violating a simple taboo?

I’m not comfortable with the concept of opposite-gendered people in a restroom either. That was, if you’ll note, my very first response in this thread. My latest point is that the “men only” and “women only” concepts of restrooms are a social agreement, not a physical barrier.

Why do we have gender-specific restrooms? Because in general, no one is comfortable doing their business while an opposite-gendered person is in the immediate vicinity, and so we all agree to separate by gender when nature calls.

The idea that we have gender-specific restrooms to prevent any illicit activities, on the other hand, is laughable.

CMaz's avatar

“I’ll thank you for not putting words in my mouth in the future.”
That is a two way street.

“Hookers can freely enter a men’s room.”
As long as they do not get caught by the establishment or patrons of that bathroom.

“The idea that we have gender-specific restrooms to prevent any illicit activities, on the other hand, is laughable.”

You can leave your front door open all day. Most people will walk by, some will take the opportunity. So you lock it.
They can still break in, but it is a preventative deterrent.
No question the hard core deviants will go in anyway. But, if the bathroom says Women and there is a man in there. Someone will at least alert someone.
If it says Co-ed. Then you have to mind your business.

MrItty's avatar

@ChazMaz Locking one’s door is a physical barrier, even if it’s not an absolutely effective one. Putting a “women only” sign on the door is only a moral barrier. Someone who intends on committing an illegal or immoral act isn’t going to be stalled by a moral barrier.

CMaz's avatar

”“women only” sign on the door is only a moral barrier.”
We agree to disagree. :-)

A barrier is a barrier. Taking some form of effort to breech.
Be it as simple as a sign or complex as a door lock.

Some will just plow through, some will find a back door. But any barrier is better then no barrier.

jca's avatar

@MrItty : if you read my second post you’ll see I had clarified my question by explaining that i was referring to single toilet restrooms, so therefore, your recent back-and-forth to @ChazMaz does not apply, when you say “no one is comfortable doing their business when someone of the opposite gender is in the immediate vicinity.” I did not mean a woman in the bathroom with other men, or vice versa, i meant someone sneaking into a single-toilet bathroom, where it’s just them, but they’re using a bathroom intended for another gender.

MrItty's avatar

@jca I think your original question was answered fairly well, and the recent back-and-forth with @ChazMaz was about a new-yet-related topic.

downtide's avatar

@jca I think it’s totally pointless for a single-toilet bathroom to be gendered at all.

MrItty's avatar

@downtide 100% concurred.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@downtide I agree as well. Put a unisex sign on the door and a lock on the handle. Dr_Lawrence mentioned it earlier in the thread.

They already exist on airplanes and places with Port-A-Potties. It would be relatively easy to convert in some places like a gas station or fast food restaurant. I’m having a hard time imagining how it could be effectively pulled off in an airport or stadium.

downtide's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer In larger venues they could do what some pubs have done in the gay quarter of Manchester – this way for urinals, that way for stalls.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@downtide Ah, that would work. It would be a relatively easy construction conversion. Most public restrooms are side-by-side.

SeventhSense's avatar

I think I’ll just take a piss in the woods after all this. It’s interesting to see the amount of heated debate over something so basic. And apparently there appears to be a lot of investment in protocol but from my experience as far as men are concerned, the one rule is to just do your business and get out .

There was an interesting program(Nat Geo?) on sex and the brain and there was a fascinating insight into the differences between the female response to orgasm and the male response as far as brain activity. It appeared from cat scans and EEG response etc that the female brain during orgasm and sex was almost completely shut down as far as normal reactions and responses, thinking capacities etc. Now the male brain was also dulled but less so and still able to respond to some outside stimulus information etc.

One theory is that this may be a primitive leftover when having sex on the Savannah in Africa was a dangerous proposition and may have necessitated one partner being more aware of its surroundings and this of course made sense that this was the male protector.
Now I would imagine likewise that urinating/defecating may have also been a vulnerable time as well-i.e.: smells to predators, lack of response to dangerous threat etc. As eons have passed this may have evolved into the man code or privacy with either sex when in the past it may have meant one may have been clubbed, pounced on or even raped while letting go that golden stream. That’s my theory.

laureth's avatar

@SeventhSense – re: “may have necessitated one partner being more aware of its surroundings and this of course made sense that this was the male protector.”

Funny, that. Most of the couples I hear talk about this very thing, it’s the woman who is thinking about England or what to make for dinner the next day, and the man who’s so into it that he wouldn’t know if there’s a dead skunk on the bed. ;)

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense Are you saying that women prefer more privacy when urinating? I’m not sure I caught your meaning in your last paragraph?

SeventhSense's avatar

@laureth
OK so who’s more attentive and “in the moment” and who’s so relaxed their mind is “not even there”?....and of course this never happens with my lovers :)
@JLeslie
Both sexes but I think generally more so women.

Somehow this is going to come full circle to me being a typical male I’m sure. What can I tell you blame it on the testosterone in mama’s womb

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense Well, interestingly girls talk to each other while peeing, and from what I understand men try very hard to avoid acknowledging there are actually other men around in the bathroom. I think generally women are more comfortable being naked around each other also. The tricky part is the whole period thing. A woman isn’t going to change a tampon in front of another woman. Sorry to be so graphic. But, we feel each others new breasts when they get augmented, and sit with each other while breast feeding, and in the gym we change in front of each other (I guess men do that too?) so I don’t think women more, but maybe I am wrong. I don’t really know how guys are about these things. I also think it depends on the woman, how comfortable she is with her own body. Maybe men don’t care no matter what size they are, I think with women their weight would make a difference with how private they want to be.

SeventhSense's avatar

@JLeslie
OK now you got me on a whole other tangent…..“cue dream sequence”....pillow fights.. camp bunk beds…cheerleaders after the game….Oh wait I’m sorry what were we talking about?

laureth's avatar

It’s easier for women to talk while peeing because there’s a stall wall between them, I think. Men at urinals don’t have that, so their feigned ignorance replaces it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@SeventhSense I’d go outside and pee behind a tree or shrub before I’d use a men’s room urinal.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer
As a lady of course I don’t blame you. The protocol doesn’t apply to women. That would be a big red flag and a serious fear of scatter spray. We’d have to add to the playbook.

JLeslie's avatar

@laureth I don’t think they talk to each other in stalls either.

MrItty's avatar

@JLeslie Most of us don’t, certainly. There’s always those one or two obnoxious people who think it’s appropriate (or even acceptable) to carry on a conversation in the bathroom. Or even worse, talk on their cellphones. (I try to flush every toilet in the room when I hear someone doing that. You’re not that important – they can call you back, damnit.)

MrItty's avatar

@JLeslie @laureth Addendum: You also need to keep in mind that guys don’t go to the bathroom together. Indeed, if there’s a group of people at the table, and one guy gets up to go, the other guys who have to go will happily hold it until he gets back. (Only general exception – during a break in a sporting event).

SeventhSense's avatar

@MrItty
The only graver offense being patting another man’s shoulders, or touching another man at the urinal. Punishable by death of course.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@SeventhSense Thank you for your response to my post. It’s true, and it made me laugh. I’m still smiling at it.

@MrItty Good point. I’m a female and have never asked another woman to go to the restroom with me…maybe someone can explain that phenomenon.

I don’t know if this happens in the men’s room, but some women also have a habit of talking on their cell phone while in a restroom stall. Personally, I feel like it is taking multi-tasking a bit too far.

cazzie's avatar

makes me think twice about borrowing a cell phone. Ick.

Crchavo's avatar

My school had unisex bathrooms for a week and I have been to a couple places, a hippy festivial being one where the bathrooms were unisex or at least the mens bathroom was. I found that it was often the women who were obnoxious. They of course filled up the stalls and then stood in front of the urinals giggling and talking. Its like excuse me maam I need to whip it out and pee on that object you are leaning on. It was uncomfortable and awkward, I didn’t wanna be watched but a certain part of my anatomy felt like rising to the occasion. I believe in gender equality for just about everything, you know male and female astronauts sharing the rocket capsule, totally, but bathrooms?

JLeslie's avatar

I was at the racetrack this past weekend and a very young girl was in the bathroom herself. She came out to the sink while I was washing my hands. She couldn’t reach the soap well enough to push the difficult button to get the soap out so I helped her. She could not reach the paper towels. There was no parent so I asked her if she needed help getting back to her mom or dad. she didn’t really answer, she was a little nervous, but accepted my help. Well, of course she is nervous she has probably been told a zillion times not to talk to strangers. I turned the corner and there was a man there, and it turned out to be her father. He would not have heard her if she called out, the track is loud. Cars zooming around and all that. You have to be next to someone to hear them.

Seriously, men, you can come into the bathroom with your 4 year olds. That bathroom is at a racetrack, dark, not set up with any consideration for children. Just let us know there is a man coming in. My husband had to come into public bathrooms with me for a week after my accident; I could not use the bathroom myself.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I like the concept of the “family bathroom” which some places have. That way everyone in there understands there will be men and women and kids. The men won’t be there with their dicks out, the women won’t be horrified to see men walking in, and the kids can be accompanied without either parent worried they’re in the “wrong” bathroom.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Yes, that is a good thing the family bathroom, but older buildings tend not to have that option. Aren’t they usually single bathrooms? Not multiple stalls?

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther