How To End The Bathroom Debate
May 1st, 2016 | R. Rados

If you listen to the regressive progressives who have monopolized the news media, you'll think you're a bigot for believing that men and little girls shouldn't share locker rooms and bathrooms. That's the unfortunate state of modern liberalism. The shame game is played against anyone who uses common sense as a means of rationalizing. They'll pretend the existence of sexual predators and perverts is exaggerated by conservatives so they can maintain their vast, right-wing conspiracy to crush equality. Nevermind all that science, biology and psychology stuff about penises, sexual impulses and bad intentions. If you think allowing girls and boys to share bathrooms without question makes life easier for people with unsavoury intentions, you must have a vendetta against the transgender community. Luckily, there is a technical solution to this problem. We can fix it, if both sides are willing to end this debate once and for all.

There is a pub in Calgary called Roosevelt. It's on the most famous street in the city and has interesting bathrooms and a great blackened chicken sandwich. Their bathrooms still have gender signs separating them, but when you walk inside there are separate, fully walled stalls with doors. Inside each stall is a toilet and a sink. There are no flimsy dividers and the stalls are fully separated by walls and locking doors–no gaping spaces at the top and bottom. The stalls are their own rooms. The same type of stalls can be found across Europe. This is the simplest and most logical design for any bathroom and it should be the standard. Change rooms at Wal-Mart and Target can be (and usually are) designed the same way.

I've never understood why so many change rooms and bathroom stalls are designed with gaping spaces. It's almost like they were designed for foot mirrors and cameras. They definitely don't do much for ventilation. In most European watering closets, there are fully walled stalls without gaping spaces. It's here in North America where we find flimsy stalls that allow you to hear and smell everything going on in the stall next to you. By changing the standard design for bathrooms and locker rooms in Canada, we can end the transgender debate while making public bathrooms more comfortable for everyone.


Ditch The Urinals

Men don't need urinals. I've never enjoyed urinating so closely beside another man. When urinals are over packed, most men skip to the nearest available toilet stall. We use toilets at home regularly, so there is absolutely no reason for public bathrooms to have urinals. Water efficient toilets accomplish the same goal.


Ditch The Gaping Spaces

We don't need gaping spaces and flimsy dividers. We need walls. If ventilation is an issue, install a fan for every stall. Generally, gaping stalls have only ever punished everyone sharing the facility by allowing stenches to waft, rather than containing them. Eliminating gaping spaces reduces the ability of perverts to creep on women. A secure, locking door on every private stall keeps them out.

Ditch Main Entrance Doors

In large public facilities, getting rid of main doors not only works for sanitary reasons, it eliminates a sound barrier. Privacy can be maintained by having a wall with an open, doorless path around it – like in many arenas and sport stadiums in North America. This way, we avoid the spread of germs and make it easier for screams to travel freely.


Ditch The Gender Signs

Once we have doorless bathrooms with private walled stalls, we won't need gender signs. Men and women will be able to freely enter, exit and use any bathroom anywhere. In most Starbucks and small coffee shops, there are already separate, single room bathrooms with toilets and sinks. The gender signs essentially serve no technical purpose in most of these places. Although the two bathrooms are identical in design, people still feel uncomfortable using the opposite bathroom. Replacing gender signs with “washroom” solves that problem.

The same concept can be applied to some handicap bathrooms. By making most bathrooms handicap accessible, we solve another problem. All of this can be applied to locker rooms at gyms, spas and swimming pools. Private, lockable stalls with showers (if necessary) can make all locker rooms accessible by all genders. All 6,452 of them.


Equality

I could see both sides of this debate arguing against this simple idea. The transgender side might want to publicly flaunt their “identities” and keep trolling conservatives for “bigoted” reactions so they can get interviews on the nightly news. Not all in the transgender community are attention seekers, but a lot have been. They might argue that we shouldn't make all washrooms genderless because they want to have their own gender signs, or be able to continue baiting for reactions every time they enter the opposite bathroom. Truthfully, there is no legitimate, adult argument from the transgender community against having all gender associations in bathrooms eliminated. That's what the whole movement has been about.

On the anti-trans side, I could see those opposed to gender neutral bathrooms refusing to compromise. They might argue that we are letting social justice warriors win. That argument would be as stubborn and infantile as a transgender person arguing against it for trolling reasons. The people opposed to this idea would essentially be arguing in favour of more gaping, flimsy toilet stalls that spread foul odours. There is no legitimate argument on either side. Both sides would win and we would no longer have to bear the endless news stories about transgender individuals being victimized.

True equality in this situation requires the elimination of gender bathrooms. In retrospect, we should have always had gender neutral bathrooms. The only thing that has stood in the way of gender neutral bathrooms has been the design. The bathrooms in our homes, whether we share them with siblings, spouses, parents, cousins or roommates, have always been gender neutral. Going to the bathroom has always been–and always will be–a private affair, with or without gender signs.