Gender neutral toilets – are they a good idea or entirely unnecessary?
One of the biggest debates in our day and age at present is whether or not we should do away with separate toilets for men and women and introduce gender neutral loos instead. For the most part I believe that gender neutral toilets are an unnecessary idea that people are toying with in an ever growing strive for total equality and synchronicity between men and women – and yet in the same breath I do appreciate that there are certain societal benefits that can come from the transition but not nearly enough to actually justify introducing the change.
Let’s not forget that in western culture (particularly Britain) there is an apparent underlying embarrassment that seems to have been drilled into us from a very young age regarding the bathroom. There are many who refuse to ‘go for a number two’ anywhere else but their own homes; often because they are too embarrassed and sometimes it’s simply down to hygiene related reasons.
Now imagine a teenage boy who is already shy enough as it is about going to the toilet in public places without having to walk into a gender neutral toilet where he may be faced with bumping into young women – sounds like an awkward nightmare right? – Especially if both boy and girl walk into a cubicle at the same time; there is only so much loo roll you can layer into a toilet to break the fall and silence the splash without risking an even more embarrassing blockage.
And then on the flip side of that we are faced with the safety of our children – no parent would like the idea of their young daughters having to share a public toilet with random strangers; particularly men. Granted, I appreciate that this is a very pessimistic and narrow stance to take on the subject though it is something that will always be apparent and the introduction of gender neutral toilets will potentially put more young women at unnecessary risk. While for the most part we are all decent people – you cannot rely on every stranger to share the same values – like it or not there are a small percentage of people out there who will try to abuse gender neutral toilets.
Furthermore I believe that most men would indeed feel uncomfortable in such a situation, not knowing which way to look for fear of having judgmental accusations thrown their way. It seems to me as though a gender neutral toilet would be an absolute minefield! Particularly in pubs and nightclubs! Most people are silly and inappropriate enough as it is when they are drunk without throwing men and women into public toilets together; an absolute recipe for disaster.
Then of course we have the main reason why the gender neutral toilet debate has really begun and this is down to the modern familiarity and acceptance of people who identify themselves as being transgender – for many this is still a rather touchy subject due to societal ignorance and fear. To suggest that we introduce separate transgender toilets all together is intolerable and yet we are still faced with the argument from those who are simply uncomfortable with someone that was born a man being allowed access to a female only bathroom.
Clearly at this stage there are simply far too many complications that make gender neutral toilets a bad idea – Though it is a shame as the bathroom is merely a place for us to carry out the most basic of bodily functions. Again, the majority of people would not see this as an issue as they are merely going about their business; though there will always be those who will not see it quite in the same light. My stance is that there is simply no need for us to introduce gender neutral toilets. The current set up works and it has done for years.