On Gender Neutral Bathrooms


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I suppose it’s too much to hope that this will be the last time we need to talk about flippin gender neutral bathrooms, FFS. Somebody on Fourth Wave Now said Swarthmore has them, in the dorms. The students vote on whether or not to do that and the boys vote no and keep males only bathrooms. The women vote yes and open their own space up to invasion. Holy macaroni! This all came to my attention because at the University of Toronto women showering in the flippin gender neutral bathrooms were photographed by someone with a cell phone camera. But hey it’s not like anyone could’ve anticipated that. πŸ˜–

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8 thoughts on “On Gender Neutral Bathrooms

  1. You know what? I am okay with gender neutral bathrooms. I don’t care whether women who use the same shower as me perform femininity.

    However, I am not okay with mixed-sex-bathrooms … which this apparently is.

    The confusion of sex and gender annoys me, especially as my mothertongue does not have a word for “gender”, and we have to use “gender” when talking about it. Using “gender” for “sex” is voluntarily giving up an advantage of English language.

    But I guess the University of Toronto doesn’t care if feminists are able to talk about oppression. Or even considers it a plus if feminists cannot point out inequalitites anymore, because the genders are now equal (= men who wear dresses and lipstick and insist on female pronouns are equal to men who don’t. Progress!)

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  2. I CANNOT STAND when people say gender but mean sex!!! TV journalist do this constantly. I strongly suspect that anyone who does that actually thinks the word “sex” is somehow dirty and “gender” is the more polite, refined word to use. Blech! which also raises the question of why is the news trying to be refined?

    Anyway your point that the English language has an advantage in this area and were giving it up is an excellent one. SMH. What is your mothertongue by the way? I love language stuff.

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    • My mothertongue is German. We more or less stole the word “gender” for feminist discourse, so it is annoying to see how it is misused in English. (Okay, we also stole “sex” to mean “sexual intercourse”, because it is so much shorter. We only have “Geschlecht” which means sex AND gender, and “Geschlechtsverkehr” means sexual intercourse, and if we had not stolen “sex” we would have no choice but to use that word (or a less polite one) all the time. English journalists shouldn’t be so oversensitive.)

      Evolution of language is natural, but it is not always a good thing. Sometimes it is just symptomatic of society (as with words for “woman” becoming more and more insulting until “lady” is the only acceptable term and you have to use yet another word for a noblewoman), but the confusion of sex and gender also makes language less clear. Which I find annoying.

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  3. That is so interesting! That long G-word is the German word for having sex? Good gravy! German has the longest words. That is your fame. πŸ˜‰ So German feminists picked up gender for sex roles is what you’re saying? We did that in English too. And it has come back to bite us on the butt. 😣 Gender in a non-grammar context was coined to by that horrorshow John Money only in the 1960s. This blows my mind constantly.

    You’re absolutely right that while language is always evolving it isn’t always good.

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  4. Yes, “Geschlechtsverkehr”= sexual intercourse. That’s why we steal English words, our own are too damn long to use in casual conversation. πŸ˜‰

    “So German feminists picked up gender for sex roles is what you’re saying? ”

    Yeah, for the artificial role the patriarchy forces on women. (Or at least I think it was feminists, as that’s where I first read the word) The whole “women are better at changing diapers” and most importantly “women have to wear dresses and use makeup” Or so I thought. Apparently it is now also used similarly like in English.

    And then there is “gender mainstreaming”, which apparently means using the female form of words alongside with the male (German suffers from gendered job descriptions, sort of like hunter/huntress, but with every damn job), although I was never quite sure what that has to do with mainstreaming.
    There, gender seems indeed to mean grammar.

    It is all very confusing, especially with the trans movement. I recently read a blog post by a transman (i.e. biological female) who said he was afraid to talk about the abortion he had, because it might be perceived as an “what about the menz” … so sad. 😦 I use his choosen pronouns because I think he feels safer when talked about as man. That is, not like a potential rape victim.

    I fear in a couple of years, people will have completely forgotten what feminism actually was about.

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  5. I think in a few years what the transgender movement is really about will be mainstream knowledge. That it’s autogynephile fetishists trying to manipulate us all. And a few more years after that it will just have returned to its pre-1990s subcultural status. 😊

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    • I wish I could be that optimistic. People in Germany are being so stupid at the moment that I have little hope that common sense could prevail. (Transgender movement is not really a thing here … yet. But political stupidity in terms of hating immigrants and attempting to take away women’s reproductive rights, is very much a thing.)
      I do not have much trust in the common sense of other people at the moment.

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