This country has an unhealthy obsession with where people go to the loo 

Gender neutral toilets inside the Queer Wellness Centre (QWC) in Johannesburg, featuring inclusive male, female and transgender symbols

For those who don’t conform to gender binary, single-sex spaces can come with intrusive questions and challenges – which isn’t fair, right or just (Picture: Michele Spatari/ AFP/ Getty Images)

As a cis woman, I’m here to tell you – plain and simple – that I feel safe in gender-neutral toilets.

Why wouldn’t I?

If a cisgender man wanted to hurt me, nothing would stop him, or get in his way.

Certainly not a symbol with a skirt on displayed on a door. Not a room meant only for women.

If a man wanted to cause me harm (because, let’s face it – it’d most likely be a man), it wouldn’t matter if I was in a mixed or single-sex loo. 

Which is why I can’t quite fathom this country’s embarrassing, unhealthy obsession with who belongs in which bathroom.

All apparently for the ‘greater good’ of keeping women safe and dignified – with the very real outcome of demonising the trans and non-binary community, instead.

Under new laws proposed by the (for now, Tory) government, single-sex toilets are set to become a legal requirement for all new non-residential spaces. That means bars, restaurants, offices, hospitals, shopping centres, and the like.

After it was first proposed (and criticised) back in 2021, the government hopes to present this legislation to Parliament in the coming weeks, with the aim of implementing it later this year.

According to these regulations, where space permits, ‘universal’ toilets will be built alongside single-sex spaces in non-residential buildings. Or instead of them, where there’s a space issue – which is a small silver lining, at least.

But it doesn’t detract from the fact that obsessively pushing for single-sex toilets is absolutely absurd – and harmful.

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said the regulations will end the ‘rise of so-called gender-neutral mixed sex toilet spaces, which deny privacy and dignity to both men and women’. 

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I’ve never felt like my privacy has been infringed, or felt less dignified, in a gender-neutral loo. If anything, I’ve just been pissed off when the lazy bloke before me has left the seat up and I have to put it down.

It’s a toilet cubicle, and the only shared area is where the sinks are – there’s really no big deal. 

Also, don’t lads have the choice of standing alongside each other at a urinal with their dicks out in a men’s-only loo, anyway? 

So, how is introducing cubicles for anyone and everyone infringing privacy or dignity when little existed in the first place, then?

It’s laughable, truly.

The government also claims that gender-neutral toilets apparently increase waiting times through shared queues, too.

If the government really wants to discuss waiting times, let’s address the real, screamingly obvious issue: Today’s queues for women-only loos are ridiculously long simply because they’re fundamentally poorly designed as a result of gender bias in architecture. 

Gender neutral toilets already exist at many …read more

Source:: Metro


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