Toilet Wars

Species Neutral Restroom Sign

A female friend posted this on Facebook a few days ago:

Facebook post bemoaning male trashing of gender-neutral restroom

The ensuing comments provided a preview of the nuclear equivalent of the War of the Sexes, with each side accusing the other of being less sanitary or courteous when it comes to the state of public restrooms. Scholarly studies were quoted; personal anecdotes were shared; TMI lines were violated; nothing was resolved. But the "discussion" was lively and bracing.

I've been in only one "gender-neutral" (hereafter referred to as "GN" to save my typing fingers) restroom, and it was completely intimidating. It was located in a restaurant that specialized in what I call "foo foo food," and the clientele is typically female, by a significant margin. So, the restaurant has two restrooms off the main dining area, one female-only and the other GN.

Given the likelihood that the next person in the restroom after me would be a woman, I went far and above the normal bathroom behavior in an attempt to make it seem like I was never there, or that I simply went in for a moment of meditation before dessert. Toilet seat down*? Check. Sink fixtures wiped dry? Check. Mirror streaks (they weren't mine!) obliterated? Check. I did draw the line at opening the door and yelling something like "I NEED TIDY BOWL...STAT!" into the dining room, but I might have used some if it had already been present.

Ladies, please don't judge us guys too harshly when we find ourselves in the unfamiliar surroundings of a GN restroom. Keep in mind that we're probably accustomed to service station bathrooms where the decor is a foldout of the March, 1968 Playmate of the Month taped over the urinal, the floor seems to be alive, and the permeating odor is Clorox losing a battle with more truck stop burritos than you can imagine.

In other words, we're battling both nature and nurture, and pretty much losing on both accounts.

*I have been well-trained by you-know-who in Seat Upsmanship. I have many faults, but that ain't one of 'em.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric published on August 24, 2017 9:41 PM.

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