slinches wrote:My opinion on unisex public bathrooms in general is that they would probably work fine, but I just don't see much benefit. Certainly not enough to warrant the cost of renovating existing buildings.
What cost are you imagining here? Where I've seen it done, it is at most
slapping a new label on the door, sometimes even written up hastily on notebook paper. Men are
able to use stalls, after all.
Although, I still think that places where people are expected to spend extended periods of time like schools and offices, gendered restrooms are better. The reason for that is the same reason it would be a bad idea to have unisex locker rooms and showers in high school.
(1) Schools and offices generally don't have showers or ask you to get naked, unless it's something like a manufacturing job or a hazardous materials job.
(2) "It's a good idea to have segratated bathrooms at schools and offices because segragated rooms exist" is circular.
As much as the "peeping" issue is even an issue
(especially as one not
already handled by punishing people for peeping), my impression from reports in the media is that the scale is about the same for different-gender vs. same-gender. More to same-gender, I would hazard, as you don't have to hide your presence in the room, simply the fact that you're peeping. Certainly the segragation doesn't stop certain people from screaming that the "wrong kind" of women or men are in the respective bathrooms. What's more, the whole setup fosters a hell
of a lot of "forbidden fruit" behavior.
Honestly, the whole thing seems pretty analagous to the abstinence/sex education axis. If you constantly enforce to the kids that the thing is so naughty and secretive, it's only going to warp their relationships with it and lead to unsafe behaviors.
As far as accessibility, my experience in the US is similar to Chen's in Canada in that an adult escorting a child will use the one for the adult's gender. Escorting a handicapped person of the opposite gender in either is acceptable, but some places have a separate bathroom with better accessibility features.
So if that's acceptable, why is it not acceptable for non-handicapped persons to be in the "wrong" restroom?
For one, it's usually a separate room off of the restroom with a sofa and chairs, so it's only "unsanitary" by proximity. Either way, it's not really a strong point for/against gendered bathrooms in general since they aren't that common. They're mostly in offices where some women may not be comfortable breast feeding/pumping at their open-plan desk. I was just attempting to point out an example where gender specific accommodations can be helpful.
Why have it attached to the bathroom at all? The area around
the restroom is already covered in germs, whether there's a breastfeeding room or not.
Also, sporting arenas, concert venues and the like probably don't benefit as much from segregation, so I don't know which would be preferable.
Considering the scale of bottlenecking at the restrooms , to the point that's a cliche standup comedian joke, the preferable one would be obvious.
...but I just don't see much benefit...
...probably don't benefit as much from segregation...
to demonstrate the fabled benefit of the segregation beyond noting that some bathrooms have separate rooms for breastfeeding mothers, other than asserting that it exists.
The benefits of unisex bathrooms are:
(1) eliminates the stigma around genderqueer persons (including breastfeeding as appropriate)
(2) eliminates the stigma around chaperoned persons having to use the "wrong" bathroom
(3) cuts down on wait time by removing bottlenecking
(4) cuts down on cleaning time (since many places require the man to clean the men's room, and vice versa, or wait until the bathroom is empty)
(5) allows men or women access to whatever vending is in the opposite bathroom
(6) gives both genders access to changing tables if needed
What are the benefits of segragated bathrooms? Lack of peeping ain't one of them
, since it happens in them anyway, nor is privacy, as the irksome presence of people talking to you at a urinal, or hearing you crap, or glimpsing you through the stall door crack, etc., is already a well-known facet of segregated bathrooms.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.