GenderF*ck causes bathroom confusion

"Gender neutral bathroom" signs at Catskeller.

"Gender neutral bathroom" signs at Catskeller.

On Friday, March 13, the University of Cincinnati hosted the quarterly GenderF*ck Drag Show at Catskeller, a sports-bar-type eatery on campus. The cast was composed of members of GenderBloc, a radical queer group on campus, and Big Gay Motherfuckin Al and JAC McFaggin from the Black Mondays.

At these events the bathrooms are always made gender neutral. The bathrooms are exactly the same on the inside – 2 stalls, 2 sinks, 2 mirrors and no urinals. But simply covering up the male and female signs caused some severe confusion and outrage. At every show people rip down the signs repeatedly to see what bathroom they should be using. At every show I hear passersby’s comments: “Why would someone ever want to do that (make the bathrooms gender neutral)?” or “Well, which one am I supposed to go in?” or “That’s not right.” 

My question is why does it matter? Who really cares? There are stalls in the bathrooms. What is the terrible thing that is going to happen because the bathrooms are not gendered? 

I understand that people have been socialized to use a certain bathroom, but why are such extremes taken? At an event called GenderF*ck, why are people tearing down the “gender neutral bathroom” signs just to see where they are supposed to pee? It’s only for one night for a few hours where anyone of any gender can go into any bathroom: Why can’t people survive that?

Personally, I have always used the men’s faculty bathroom because it was the only one on the floor in a school building. (Some older buildings only have one bathroom on each floor because only one sex attended the school when it was built; consequently, every other floor has a female bathroom.) It never bothered me, and I never recieved an appalled reaction from a man. There were stalls in the bathroom, so what did it matter? But I think if a man went into a women’s bathroom it would be a different story.

Anyway, maybe we have made some progress with the bathroom issues: The “gender neutral bathroom” signs lasted all night at the last GenderF*ck.

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10 thoughts on “GenderF*ck causes bathroom confusion

  1. FUCK YEAH! all bathrooms should be gender neutral. really, we’re all in there to do the same thing. people with ulterior motives will do (insert bad thing) to you anywhere they can – the pants or skirt on the door doesn’t stop them.

  2. Pingback: Happy 1st blogoversary to SQPNTK! « Stuff Queer People Need To Know

  3. Pingback: UC adopts gender-neutral restrooms « Stuff Queer People Need To Know

  4. Ideas that have been ingrained into society for a long time can be hard to change. If men and women have always used the toilets separately, it’ll take years, and probably even decades, for them to get used to a unisex toilet. Mainly, they think of it as a private space of their own, where they can do what they perceive as ‘what x gender does not do in front of x gender’ or use the toilet in a way that ‘x gender might not approve of or find uncomfortable with’. That’s why when queer or transgender people walk into these toilets, they can either get stared at or have higher chances of being abused. People expect people to look like the gender labelled on the front door ad have the right genitals. But hey, not all women wear dresses anymore and not all people were born with the right genitals, so its’ pretty inaccurate.

    On the other hand, although I wouldn’t mind if all toilets were unisex, people shouldn’t feel forced to use a unisex toilet if they’re not comfortable with it, just like how queer or transgender people shouldn’t be forced to use gendered toilets or toilets for the disabled if they don’t fit neatly into what cis gendered members of society think those labels mean. Even if the concept of unisex toilets is hard to digest for society, building a unisex toilet alongside these gendered toilets is the first step to having people acknowledge the existence and needs of queer people. Not to mention, if any person who are cis gendered does decide to open their mind and walk into a unisex toilet someday toilets, they will be exposed to a diverse range of people who identify with different genders and sexuality.

    While I don’t think gendered toilets should be abolished, I do think unisex toilets should be built alongside these toilets.

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