My First 'All-User' Powder Room...
There was an open urinal and a stall with a door.
Hmmmm. My impression was that this was a multi-use restroom because the stall had a door. Why would it have a door if it was single use? But some say it was single use. In any case, the following piece raises the issue about why it is important for women and girls to have their own restrooms.
Here’s a news flash.
I recently went to a small under-financed modern art museum in the Southwest, about an hour from the Mexican border, when I felt the “call of nature.” There were two restroom options and both were labeled “all-user.” Presumably, one was the former men’s room and the other the women’s room.
I opened the door and saw a tiny, narrow space. First, there was a sink, then an open porcelain urinal, and then a stall with a door.
An older American female, I headed for the stall.
I was discomforted by the possibility of being in the stall when a man came into this shared facility, pulled out his phallus, and began doing his business.
But obviously my comfort level was not considered in this configuration. This arrangement was intended to accommodate a man who identifies as a woman, whether or not he has undergone gender reassignment surgery. The almost 99% of the population that isn’t a trans was expected to accommodate this minority.
But we are not all called upon to make the same level of sacrifice. Males will have less of a problem with an “all user” restroom than females.
Flashers, Exhibitionists, Etc.
Almost every woman I know has experienced sexual harassment of one sort or another.
When I was in my 20s, I visited the Egyptian wing of the Boston Museum of Art and turned a corner when I encountered my first “flasher,” otherwise known as a man who exposes his private parts to women for shock value. I was alone amid the mummies, coffins and mosaics of Ancient Egypt. I walked briskly in the opposite direction and rejoined my friends, feeling shaken for the rest of the day.
Women and girls (and even boys) are more vulnerable than men are to exhibitionists and sexual predators. This is not a figment of my imagination.
Transgender people may not be more of a threat to women and girls than anyone else but the same cannot be said of men generally.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates 91% of rape and sexual assault victims are female and 9% are male. A whopping 99% of perpetrators are male.
The “all access” restroom poses a risk to women, girls and young boys that is unacceptable.
I’m a grown woman.
Imagine being a little girl or boy in this situation? Surely even transgender women can see the problem. It just isn’t safe.
And that’s modern art.