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.