Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri May 08, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

slinches wrote:The problem is real because most people seem to want to put forward a good first impression and what's done in the bathroom generally wouldn't qualify as such.

That just seems like a very narrow set of circumstances. I really have a hard time thinking of this as a major reason for the present convention.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby K-R » Sat May 09, 2015 3:18 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
Repurposing a women's bathroom might not be too complicated, but repurposing a men's would be. There's often, at least here, only one or two stalls.

Men's bathrooms already look like what a "unisex bathroom with stalls and urinals" would look like. Yes, the urinals take up potential stall space, but again, we're talking about a label on the door.

But...they don't. That was my point. They look like a bathroom with urinals, and maybe a stall or two just in case. And since
Tyndmyr wrote:sub-optimal efficiency isn't a problem unless far too many urinals exist, relative to toilets
that's sort of a problem.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 09, 2015 4:23 pm UTC

And neither do you have to correct all deficits now. Planning going forward and changes to the building code fix the problem for the future.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat May 09, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

Yeah.

But for looking at costs in the short term - a relatively small men's bathroom might have two stalls and three or four urinals, but then you're likely to have a women's room with similar floor space, meaning ... like three stalls instead of two.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby K-R » Sat May 09, 2015 5:30 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:And neither do you have to correct all deficits now. Planning going forward and changes to the building code fix the problem for the future.
Except this discussion started as a response to this:
KrytenKoro wrote:
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.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 09, 2015 7:23 pm UTC

Nobodies going to change anything they don't have to. But the net outcome is that if you simply opened a way between the two and made better partitions for the urinals you have changed nothing other than the doors. The load is already accounted for. So if you start with 5 stalls and four urinals you end with that number. The biggest headache is the wet wall between the two, since normally they are built back to back. There may be no way to cross any two modern bathrooms built that way. Whatever Kryten means, most bathrooms are built to the assumption of separate spaces by gender. You could do a temporary fix with a sign change, but if you don't link them so that you can move freely between the spaces internally somebody will end up getting the short end of it. The mechanics are pretty simple, men can use all ten fixtures(per Copper Bezels example) as is, women can't. Changing that isn't cheap.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Autolykos » Mon May 11, 2015 11:46 am UTC

Why hasn't anybody proposed the obvious solution yet? Have one room with urinals, labeled "Urinals". Have another room with stalls, labeled "Stalls". Since the stalls are already separate, urinals only used by one sex, and nobody minds being watched while washing their hands, further segregation becomes a non-issue. Even the queue problem is solved in a fair and efficient way.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon May 11, 2015 1:17 pm UTC

Autolykos wrote:Why hasn't anybody proposed the obvious solution yet? Have one room with urinals, labeled "Urinals". Have another room with stalls, labeled "Stalls". Since the stalls are already separate, urinals only used by one sex, and nobody minds being watched while washing their hands, further segregation becomes a non-issue. Even the queue problem is solved in a fair and efficient way.

This is already how high-flow buildings (airports, sports arenas, etc.) do it for men's bathrooms, although the rooms still have a passageway to each other past the door.

But for looking at costs in the short term - a relatively small men's bathroom might have two stalls and three or four urinals, but then you're likely to have a women's room with similar floor space, meaning ... like three stalls instead of two.

Our "women's" bathroom is three stalls. Our "men's" bathroom is two stalls and two urinals. With three as the max number of stalls, there is no room for improving on the stall/urinal ratio.

For a small office, a "bathroom with both stalls and urinals" would be identical to the existing men's bathroom. A "bathroom with only stalls" would be identical to the existing women's bathroom. All that would need to be changed is the sign on the door.

But...they don't. That was my point. They look like a bathroom with urinals, and maybe a stall or two just in case. And since...that's sort of a problem.

Only if we've stopped responding to the canard about "exorbitant costs in renovating bathrooms in existing buildings", which is what came before that.

Also:
and maybe a stall or two just in case.

I honestly did not know it was possible to have a multi-person bathroom with no. Is this common outside of America? It seems to me like it would put a fair damper on anyone needing to shit.

EDIT: no stalls. No stalls.
Last edited by KrytenKoro on Mon May 11, 2015 6:36 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 11, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

K-R wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:
Repurposing a women's bathroom might not be too complicated, but repurposing a men's would be. There's often, at least here, only one or two stalls.

Men's bathrooms already look like what a "unisex bathroom with stalls and urinals" would look like. Yes, the urinals take up potential stall space, but again, we're talking about a label on the door.

But...they don't. That was my point. They look like a bathroom with urinals, and maybe a stall or two just in case. And since
Tyndmyr wrote:sub-optimal efficiency isn't a problem unless far too many urinals exist, relative to toilets
that's sort of a problem.


That's just a design flaw. One that could just as easily be made in an all-male bathroom, so segregation doesn't remove any difficulty. Even with a segregated bathroom, the same substandard usage would exist.

You would be able to share sinks, paper towels, etc, so there may be marginal efficiencies of scale there. Probably not a big deal either way.

And yeah, shared hand-washing in airports does exist. Fairly rare overall, but it doesn't seem like a big deal. I'd honestly forgotten it was a thing until someone mentioned it.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Mon May 11, 2015 7:39 pm UTC

Yup. One would think the ideal setup efficiency-wise would be:

- One central room with shared sinks, driers, condom/tampon machine etc.
- Turn left for a smaller room full of urinals
- Turn right for a larger room full of enclosed stalls

It's just cultural expectation really. Everyone has a 'unisex' toilet in their house - as do many small workplaces. People are perfectly happy to walk around in what is effectively underwear on a beach because human sexuality is highly contextual. We've 'sexualized' bathrooms by segregating them by gender but we'd soon adjust to the new norm. The picture linked earlier of outside, on-street urinals is testament to that.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Mon May 11, 2015 7:57 pm UTC

Why do we even need urinals? The idea of getting my (non existent) dick out in front of others really weirds me out. A lot of the guys I've talked to say that they'd much prefer more stalls and less urinals.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Mon May 11, 2015 7:59 pm UTC

Fractal_Tangent wrote:Why do we even need urinals? The idea of getting my (non existent) dick out in front of others really weirds me out. A lot of the guys I've talked to say that they'd much prefer more stalls and less urinals.


Well, they are undoubtedly more efficient space-wise, as well as being more hygienic to use, easier and quicker to clean, and with simpler and cheaper plumbing.

At mass gatherings like pop concerts or football matches it'd take up a fair bit more room to serve the same number of people only with enclosed stalls.

In most other circumstances you're probably right though.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Mon May 11, 2015 8:30 pm UTC

Well if you're talking individual urinals, they're on par with cleaning toilets, pubic hair and gum make the whole thing way less helpful to clean (if you throw your gum in a urinal, there's a 100% chance I hate you). They're also not miles more space efficient. Communal urinals, well I've cleaned these bad boys. If you don't put those in on the level, you're utterly fucked because all the urine pools to one side and there's not all that much you can do about it to keep it clean other than chuck in some bleach in every now and again.
I suppose these would be easier to clean, but not more hygienic because you have more opportunity for splash back.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby speising » Mon May 11, 2015 8:34 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Fractal_Tangent wrote:Why do we even need urinals? The idea of getting my (non existent) dick out in front of others really weirds me out. A lot of the guys I've talked to say that they'd much prefer more stalls and less urinals.


Well, they are undoubtedly more efficient space-wise, as well as being more hygienic to use, easier and quicker to clean, and with simpler and cheaper plumbing.

At mass gatherings like pop concerts or football matches it'd take up a fair bit more room to serve the same number of people only with enclosed stalls.

In most other circumstances you're probably right though.

Men often still like to pee standing, which can leave a veritable mess around a toilet, especially if alcohol is in play.
OTOH, i hear that women aren't that great at aiming, either.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Mon May 11, 2015 8:38 pm UTC

speising wrote:Men often still like to pee standing, which can leave a veritable mess around a toilet, especially if alcohol is in play.
OTOH, i hear that women aren't that great at aiming, either.

I also know that men like to pee standing, but if you can push the seat up at home, you can probably do that in a stall? I'm assuming all of you don't have urinals at home?
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon May 11, 2015 8:45 pm UTC

I think that if men were standing over stools, there'd be a slightly higher risk of missing, which could make cleaning even worse. But I think the main advantage is time. A urinal with privacy screens in place is only slightly less floor space than a stall, but fussing with the door and seat and so on in a stall would roughly double the time spent. In high-volume bathrooms like some of the ones we've been talking about, that would be a design problem.

Urinals without privacy screens, whether that's the "waterfall" arrangement or whatever else, are fairly silly to me. A urinal should just be a stall reduced to essentials for urinating standing up. So the bowl is replaced with a urinal, the door is removed, the floor space is narrowed and the screens made just long enough to allow standing people to avoid eye contact with one another. It's just an efficiency thing.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Quercus » Mon May 11, 2015 9:03 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:A urinal with privacy screens in place is only slightly less floor space than a stall, but fussing with the door and seat and so on in a stall would roughly double the time spent.

Just a minor point, but lots of guys don't bother closing the door to the stall when urinating standing, as all anyone else can see is the back of a fully clothed person (although people might be less willing to adopt that approach in a unisex bathroom).

From the state of many bathrooms it appears that lots of guys don't bother to lift the seat either, but that's probably not to be encouraged.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby slinches » Mon May 11, 2015 9:47 pm UTC

The space efficiency of urinals comes primarily from the reduced depth, not width. The slightly reduced width helps place 1 or 2 more units on a wall, but the depth being <1/2 that of a standard stall means you may be able to fit an entire additional row.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 11, 2015 9:51 pm UTC

slinches wrote:The space efficiency of urinals comes primarily from the reduced depth, not width. The slightly reduced width helps place 1 or 2 more units on a wall, but the depth being <1/2 that of a standard stall means you may be able to fit an entire additional row.


That doesn't seem that common in most layouts. Though, a little extra floor space makes it better at crowded times, I suppose. Still, even fairly large bathrooms tend to just expand linearly, and rarely have different row numbers for urinals vs toilets.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 12, 2015 12:13 am UTC

Urinals are quicker because you don't drop your drawers and you don't wipe your penis. There are cost savings as well. They use less water among other things. Toilet seats don't have to be a problem since they make spring loaded seats that rise by themselves.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Tue May 12, 2015 2:53 am UTC

Seriously yo, there are zero water urinals, and American Standard lists 0.125-0.5 gpf for the regular. The commercial commode equivalents are 1.1-1.6 gpf. That's not insignificant. Also, ever see the lines at large scale commercial venues? Even at sporting events that tend to run a higher proportion of men (often considerably higeher), the lines are shorter and faster moving. Urinals have a definitive -- and if you'd like to go digging for the usage studies, I expect it's demonstrable -- impact on efficiency.

I'm all for small scale unisex single seat, single door facilities scaled in quantity as needed. But when you're looking at large scale? The presence of urinals to stalls simply moves more people faster. For places with equal ratios (Iike airports), it's the same people in less floor space, for lower cost and fewer gallons down the drain. That doesn't mean it has to be specifically gendered, but in the end, a large facility is going to end up with the same [men's urinals + stalls] + [ladies stalls] no matter how you organize it. Perhaps with fewer sinks? Although a hypothetically consolidated code is still going to say "X sinks per person", so probably not.

If you want to justify the change, at least acknowledge that the benefit is social. No one here has come close to demonstrating a sound resource or efficiency argument, and it seems to me that people here are hiding behind a flimsy argument in that direction.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Derek » Tue May 12, 2015 2:58 am UTC

All this seems to be skirting around the major issue. How do you actually convince people to use shared unisex bathrooms? It's a pretty big cultural taboo to change, and the first mover is going to get a shit load of complaints from both genders. So how do you start?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue May 12, 2015 4:14 am UTC

Shared unisex bathrooms already exist in many places. The first mover moved years ago.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue May 12, 2015 4:27 am UTC

Azrael wrote:If you want to justify the change, at least acknowledge that the benefit is social. No one here has come close to demonstrating a sound resource or efficiency argument, and it seems to me that people here are hiding behind a flimsy argument in that direction.

The efficiency argument came out of the cost arguments, which were an argument for why unisex bathrooms would be difficult to implement in existing facilities. There's no reason to imagine an efficiency cost to unisex bathrooms (in new construction), but there's unlikely to be any significant improvement, either; the best-case scenario is that it removes bottlenecks of some kind or another (that for whatever reason, the ratio of the sexes of people using the bathrooms at one given moment is wildly unequal.) The benefit is definitely a social one.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby eSOANEM » Tue May 12, 2015 8:53 am UTC

Azrael wrote:I'm all for small scale unisex single seat, single door facilities scaled in quantity as needed. But when you're looking at large scale? The presence of urinals to stalls simply moves more people faster. For places with equal ratios (Iike airports), it's the same people in less floor space, for lower cost and fewer gallons down the drain. That doesn't mean it has to be specifically gendered, but in the end, a large facility is going to end up with the same [men's urinals + stalls] + [ladies stalls] no matter how you organize it. Perhaps with fewer sinks? Although a hypothetically consolidated code is still going to say "X sinks per person", so probably not.


Why would you need to have any cubicles in the urinal room? The common room in my college has its toilets split into [urinals] (actually one of those trough things) and [cubicles]. The [urinals] room is gendered as gents (boo) and the [cubicles] are unisex.

Putting all the cubicles in one place should lower the average waiting time (this is a general result in queuing theory and why the people at mcdonalds are wrong to split the queue into separate ones for each till).
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Derek » Tue May 12, 2015 9:49 am UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Shared unisex bathrooms already exist in many places. The first mover moved years ago.

Where? I have never seen this in the US. The only unisex bathrooms here are single occupant.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Forest Goose » Tue May 12, 2015 10:13 am UTC

You get rid of laws that require seperate bathroom facilities, give incentives to early adopters and set a future date at which point it will be required, and change incentives to penalties as that date draws nigh. In the interim, new establishments are not going to opt for gendered facilities, and existing places have a strong incentive to change the signs to allow everyone in existing facilities. Businesses now have an excuse for the change, they have to.

There's no good reason to have separate facilities, and they haven't always been that way; there's something sadly puritanical about a world in which people are shocked by pissing next to someone of a different sex (and something perversely stupid about a world in which, those same people, aren't bothered by pissing in the same room as people of the same). Again, we all already go to the bathroom in rooms with other people, if that is surmountable, I hardly see why the gender matters, it's not like they're going to be watching (or any more so than happens already).
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Tue May 12, 2015 12:02 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Why would you need to have any cubicles in the urinal room?

You wouldn't. But where those toilets are located doesn't reduce the quantity needed. You aren't going to end up with fewer toilets than are required today.

I'll see if I can find real numbers, but the sizing math is approximately like so:
Men: (50% of building population) / (5* people per facility) = Total # facilities, where toilets = 40%*, urinals = 60%*.
Women: (50%) / (5* people per facility) = Total # facilities, where toilets = 100%

For 100 people, you'd end up with 14 toilets and 6 urinals. Distribute them physically however you want.


* These are not real weighting factors

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 12, 2015 12:22 pm UTC

Forest Goose wrote:There's no good reason to have separate facilities, and they haven't always been that way
The modern bathroom as you know it is a modern invention, particularly public restrooms. Driven I suppose by women moving into public life, and large numbers of men and women working in the same space. Custom and habit is why they still exist. That is hard to change. Those who want them are still a small minority, however time will change that. You will probably see three types of bathrooms, rather than two for the foreseeable future. And some men may be more resistant then women. Some men suffer from bladder lock when using public restrooms, particularly at urinals. I can't imagine it being easy for them to accept mixed bathrooms. And to this point, at least on the state level, nobody wants to fight this battle politically.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue May 12, 2015 1:37 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
TaintedDeity wrote:Shared unisex bathrooms already exist in many places. The first mover moved years ago.

Where? I have never seen this in the US. The only unisex bathrooms here are single occupant.

Hell, I remember them being common enough that Ally McBeal portrayed them without comment.

Some men suffer from bladder lock when using public restrooms, particularly at urinals.

There's plenty of technologies being developed, at one level of silliness or another, to create more privacy for stall-users. White noise, less gappy stallwalls, larger urinal partitions, etc.
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Chen » Tue May 12, 2015 2:02 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Hell, I remember them being common enough that Ally McBeal portrayed them without comment.


Really? I seem to recall that unisex washroom on that show at the time was pretty unique and talked about, at least in most of the media right when the show started airing.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Tue May 12, 2015 2:44 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Hell, I remember them being common enough that Ally McBeal portrayed them without comment.

Well, if we're going to play a round of Let's Rely On Shitty Anecdotes, who here has seen a multi-stall unisex bathroom?

I never have. Single occupancy? All the time. Ever wonder why? US code often prohibits it.

The presence of a running gag on one TV show isn't evidence of reality, never mind commonality.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby leady » Tue May 12, 2015 2:55 pm UTC

We have some that are in a unisex bathroom then separated into male and female stalls (which look functionally identical, having used both sets) - which is a little weird.

But I dispute its a minority that want to maintain the segregation

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby elasto » Tue May 12, 2015 3:08 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Well, if we're going to play a round of Let's Rely On Shitty Anecdotes, who here has seen a multi-stall unisex bathroom?

I never have. Single occupancy? All the time. Ever wonder why? US code often prohibits it.


Wow. How very, very odd. Why aren't both parties demanding the repeal of such archaic laws? The left on the grounds of reducing discrimination to transsexuals, and the right on the grounds of bureaucratic red-tape needlessly costing businesses money?

In my university in the UK, not only were the dorm toilets unisex, the showers were too... No, no, it wasn't quite Starship Troopers style, it was individual cubicles, but it was a room full of them.

You go in to your individual cubicle, remove your clothes, have a shower, dry off, re-clothe and exit.

Why would there be a need for the individual cubicle to be inside another room that's gender-segregated also? It's inefficiency for no good purpose...

Heck, couples would go inside and shower together and noone batted an eyelid.

Some people just need to grow up I guess. Maybe it's not so far from Orthodox Jews being scared to sit next to someone of the opposite gender after all...

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Chen » Tue May 12, 2015 3:21 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Wow. How very, very odd. Why aren't both parties demanding the repeal of such archaic laws? The left on the grounds of reducing discrimination to transsexuals, and the right on the grounds of bureaucratic red-tape needlessly costing businesses money?


Because there are people on both sides who also want to stick with the status quo. Probably a lot of them, particularly the older people who tend to be the higher voting block. You know the minute one party suggests doing it for whichever good reason, they'll get slammed by the opposite party who will exploit the fact that some people from the opposite side will oppose this change. It's a huge risk politically for almost no political gain.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Tue May 12, 2015 3:35 pm UTC

elasto wrote:...and the right on the grounds of bureaucratic red-tape needlessly costing businesses money?

Again, I doubt there is as much money savings as you'd think. You still need the same number of toilets per person, they're just arranged differently. Heck, in the US it would undoubtedly cost more for the type of layout you suggest. The standard metal dividers used here are super cheap. Individual rooms are expensive.

Plus, there's already an easy way to accommodate non-binary genders in the large-scale bathroom segment -- just include a single-occupancy unisex. It's both right for being right, but also right for being entirely pragmatic.

Changing people's minds is an odd Catch-22 where you need to do it in practice, which means removing regulatory hurdles, which you may not be able to do until you change minds. There are easy ways to make it better (perhaps not perfect) with minimal effort.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Angua » Tue May 12, 2015 3:39 pm UTC

The newer parts of my university and hospital basically have a corridor with individual unisex toilets.
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Azrael
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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby Azrael » Tue May 12, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

Angua wrote:The newer parts of my university and hospital basically have a corridor with individual unisex toilets.

I think it's a great idea. But it's also expensive, both in the floor plan and build out costs.

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby speising » Tue May 12, 2015 4:24 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Angua wrote:The newer parts of my university and hospital basically have a corridor with individual unisex toilets.

I think it's a great idea. But it's also expensive, both in the floor plan and build out costs.

How is that more expensive than individual single sex toilets?
Or do you really have bathrooms like in Full Metal Jacket?

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Re: Segregated Bathrooms [Thread Split]

Postby ivnja » Tue May 12, 2015 4:25 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Well, if we're going to play a round of Let's Rely On Shitty Anecdotes, who here has seen a multi-stall unisex bathroom?

I lived in a dorm with three bathrooms on each floor - one designated women's, one designated men's, one designated unisex (it was a roughly triangle-shaped dorm, so each spoke got one). Each of the three was identical, with a number of individual toilet stalls (no urinals), a lesser number of individual shower stalls, and a row of sinks. I happened to be right across from one of the entrances to the unisex one, so that was what I generally used. Since it's shitty anecdote time, I'll note that the girls next door always went down the hall to the women's room. But some girls did use the unisex one. For what it's worth, it seemed that the women were much more willing to use the shower stalls than the toilets...maybe it was a soundproofing issue. There were times that I went down the hall to the men's room for that reason. Given the choice, it was less awkward to have gas or whatnot overheard by a bunch of other guys than a mixed "audience." With the shower stalls, you go in clothed, all anyone hears is water, and then you emerged clothed (or at least covered) - not much to be awkward about. As the year went on, though, I did feel that everybody became more comfortable with the whole situation, and the M/F ratio in the unisex bathroom - as well as the overall proportion of people using each of the three bathrooms - did seem to get more even.
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