Toilets, male and female: God made every one

Sometimes, it makes sense to turn an issue around and look at it from a fresh perspective. That is definitely the case with the fuss currently being made around toilets (or “restrooms” as our potty-obsessed American cousins appear to prefer to call them).

The toilet issue

Let’s start with the fuss. Many will have read the horrific tale of Chrissy Lee Polis, beaten viciously for daring to use gender appropriate loos in McDonalds in Rosedale. Then, hot on the heels of THAT story comes Stephanie, “banned for life” from the Cosmo hotel in Las Vegas for .. . using the loo. I spot a pattern!

The cis fuss

The response is instructive. A few women saying they don’t like the idea of a man using the women’s facilities. Loads of men repeating the same boring catchphrase: “if a man in a dress went into the women’s facilities whilst my wife was using it…he’d better watch out” or words to that effect. Implied? Why, these big hunky masculine men would resolve a difficult situation by beating the crap out of someone. Good for you! Sure that proves something.

(Actually, what it mostly proves is that most blokes haven’t the first idea what women wear: I don’t know about the US, but over here, for much of the year, women wear jeans, leggings, trousers, all manner of stuff but NOT dresses. Sure, I love the fact that summer is coming and my skirts are coming out of the wardrobe. But not for winter. I bet these guys also think I wear red and black stin bras and have six inch heels on my boots. As if!)

Interestingly, few of them ever seem to respond to the observation that their atttitude over here in the UK and many parts of Europe would see THEM kicked out of facilities and/or arrested and in jail. Still, I guess it’s a principle thing. If Nelson Mandela can spend years in jail for human rights, strong men can spend a while in prison for the right to beat up trannies.

Then there’s the interesting attempt to get technical. One poster – David, bless him! – began the debate by saying that only those legally female should be allowed in the women’s facilities, then sort of morphed to saying only biologically female persons should. Make up your mind, David!.

Perhaps he dozed off – or maybe his head began to hurt – when I pointed out that here in the UK I have a right to use these facilities on the basis of my identity. That I can be legally female pre-op: and that there are many post-op trans women who are, in his terms, biologically female, but not legally so. Difficult, huh?

I love the appeal to biological femaleness. It’s a debate that the experts have been having for years and can’t exactly make their minds up about. So how us lay folks are meant to, I don’t know. He muttered something about chromosomes. I also get the sense that most of these nlokes are hyung up on penises. A penis, in their world, is what defines a man.

I mean, I know some guys can be real pricks…but isn’t this taking things a bit far?

Latin rules: God made the loos

Anyway, let’s talk about changing perspective. The presumption here is that men’s and women’s facilities are absolutes. Think Latin, in which everyday objects like tables had gender, and anyone trying to enter the temple of the vestal virgins got put to death.

Actually, these aren’t absolutes. They are conventions. The rise of family and unisex facilities in Europe shows exactly that. There’s no big thing about sharing changing facilities or loos. Personally, I’m against total unisexing, cause there are things that are different and that I prefer about the Ladies’. But that’s another debate.

The gender binary when it comes to toilets is not absolute – and gender re-assignment when it comes to such facilities is far easier and has a near 100% success rate (just involves surgically removing one sign on the door and replacing it with another.

Convention, convention, convention, backed up in the US by some sort of weird moralistic, prudish hang-up about toilets. For some reason Americans seem to associate loos with sex. Maybe cause they think sex is dirty and they need to wash their hands after?

Convention and, as some seem to be aware, safety. That’s a reason for single-sex facilities. Only in this case, its bollocks. Single-sexness has never stopped men dressing as plumbers, cleaners or whatever and entering the facilities. Or drilling holes or inserting webcams or just walking in and raping. That little sign on the door? Its not a magical shield.

Are there any reported incidents of men dressing as women and using that as a means to molest? Oh, there may be the odd one – especially as the religious right is now promoting that as a sure fire way to “get away with it”. Stupid, really, since a guy in heels is so much more noticeable, so much less able to escape.

But we all know the sad stats. Its trans folk – trans women espesh – who get attacked and beaten. Even more so when they try to use male facilities.

So bottom line. This is not a debate about who is “really” a woman. It’s a debate about how we manage and evolve our conventions. And the argument from safety alone is enough: it says trans women aren’t a threat to cis women. But forcing them to go elsewhere is a real threat to their safety.

End of.



About janefae

On my way from here to there
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3 Responses to Toilets, male and female: God made every one

  1. Lucy Melford says:

    Perhaps one reason why trans girls (are they ever, or at least commonly, mature trans women of 50 plus?) get picked on is because they are slender and weak and vulnerable – like most ‘real’ girls in fact. They can’t put up a hard fight. They can only be hurt, and put in their place – again, much like ‘real’ girls. I suspect that the kind of men who hit a trans girl, or lets it happen, would routinely hit their wives or girlfriends if they showed signs of spirit. And that the biblical justifications are in fact way over their heads: they simply know there’s some sanction available in Holy Writ if they get a red mist in their eyes.

    On this basis, a big hulking muscular caveman/cavewoman in a red dress, high heels and mean mood can probably pee where he/she likes, because the local rednecks can see that they’ll come off worse if they start anything, especially if there are two cavepersons out for a night together. Putting it another way, if a member of a transgender Hells Angels chapter wants to use the Ladies, is anyone going to intervene? No; but an unthreatening girly person with no backup on hand is an entirely suitable target.


  2. Robyn Tuesday says:

    As A Transsexual M2F.I find there thinking (if the did think) Sick Twisted and Misinformed on What’s it’s Like to be carrying Open Minded. And go by A Book Written by some God (Fake God) Thank You for Writing.

  3. What’s interesting is when you put a spin on this. Suppose you have a female to male that needs to pee and they are forced to use the woman’s room. Every woman in the restroom will scream out when they see a man, complete with male pattern baldness, chest hair, and muscle mass going in the woman’s room. I’m MTF and I’ve been kicked out of plenty of places myself.

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