Friday, 29 April 2016

Shooting the Shit - Let Us Get Rid of Transgender Bathroom Bigotry

The conclusion one comes to after five and a half years of running an intellectual toilet blog is that it is persistently topical. Bathrooms figure frequently in the news at the moment, due to the irrational and bigoted efforts by various US legislators to enforce bathroom bills that discriminate against transgender people.

This fabulous picture came our way via Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend. Image from lgbt.gaybies.

We have ranted a fair bit about how we are opposed to unisex toilets if they force one to share a sink with a barrage of bearded hipster dudes (and also if they force one to share a sink with a barrage of polyester-suited businessmen), due to a concern for women's safety.

However, the bigoted bathroom laws in the US have highlighted the fact that transgender people, as well as cis women, are at risk of suffering violence at the hands of men. For this reason we feel it is important to clarify our stance on gender-neutral bathrooms.

We are mentally cheering this bearded hipster dude on, waving balloons and blowing those festive rolled-up paper things that go "toot". Image from Transadvocate.

We are not the only ones to have pointed out that the biggest threat to women and children is not transgender people. Neither is it sharks, nor bears, nor deranged psycho killers armed with sharp implements. The biggest threat to women and children - and also to transgender people - is cis men. That is, normal dudes.

Transgender people are vulnerable to hate crimes and violence, and need to be protected from the bigotry of the uneducated. Let us, therefore, collectively embrace unisex toilets!

Unisex toilets, however, like any other toilets, need to be done right. There needs to be privacy and sturdy doors (instigators of flimsy cubicles will be put on our black list and branded as enemies of the people), and one needs the option to wash one's hands in seclusion. If bearded hipster dudes want to wash their hands together that's up to them, but we would rather not wash ours while being stared at by said bearded hipster dudes.

Here are some unisex toilets so cleverly designed that one doesn't even reflect upon the fact that they are unisex!

First up are the toilets in the shopping centre in Burlöv, outside Malmö. We don't spend a lot of time in shopping centres, whether in Burlöv or anywhere else, due to them being vile. However, we actually needed to buy something once, and consequently trekked to Burlöv. The staff were nice, and we suffered no unreasonable trauma. Moreover, the toilets were really cool!

The toilet sign! Quite friendly, isn't it? It has a binary gender approach which one could criticise if one were so inclined, but on the other hand it is enriched with Braille, and thus disability-friendly.
(To be honest, we have no idea how helpful this sign is, if at all, to a partially sighted person. Sometimes it is the thought that counts!)

How swish is this! Unfortunately we don't seem to have photographed the inside of these toilets,
but look how fancy the outside is!

Next, let us look at the toilets in the Orkanen building at Malmö University.

Here is a similar set-up to the one above - many doors, all with the binary toilet sign, and a disability toilet at the end.

We enjoyed this set-up hugely: a good mixer tap, plenty of soap, and paper towels.

Not one but TWO sturdy coat hooks!
At this point in the photography proceedings, we died a little from happiness.

The student union's toilet-based newsletter is called Skitviktigt.

The English-language version is called The Toilet Paper.

We have been to Malmö University many times, and have never even reflected on the fact that these toilets are unisex. Malmö University is rather prone to be crawling with bearded hipster dudes, but we have never felt threatened or uncomfortable here, and the toilets have always been clean and well maintained. Well done, Malmö University!

Let us finish with a festive video, to celebrate the arrival of the weekend! We went to see the Dixie Chicks the other day, and they were just as fabulous as you would expect. Let's have their supremely festive video about how to combat domestic violence. We are rather inclined to agree with the Dixie Chicks' statement that they "do not advocate premeditated murder, but love getting even".

An article we liked in Slate:
Breitbart Proves What We Already Knew: Trans Women Are Not Bathroom Predators

An article we liked in the Huffington Post:

Some of our best friends are bearded hipster dudes.

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