Exprexxo Thoughts

There are no S's in Exprexxo!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bathroom Segregation is the Real Issue

So there is a lot of press about who can use what bathroom.   And some really stupid lawmakers have decided to pass segregationists laws.  Many of these lawmakers live in the southeast US. You would think that we all would have learned about putting up signs about who goes where.

The real issue is that in public for decades ( centuries? )  architects and builders have decided to save money by reducing privacy protection in bathrooms.   Removing walls removing doors, shoot in some men's bathrooms just having a long trough.  These same people would split the rooms by male and female because of some false assumption on privacy being less important with people of the same sex. Think about how wrong that was in light of locker room harm we have just started being honest about as a society.

Skimping on public rest rooms is wrong. We were all raised in universal bathrooms at home.  Even the outhouse I had to endure in, ah, out of my home in Missouri had a single stall.   Oh yea there were some people who
had two holers but I think they were the Ozark's version of costsavers.   Forget who wants to be what sex and who dresses like what, the key here is we evolved a sense of privacy when we have to go. Probably selected by shortcricuiting some biohazard transport.  We need to address the causal issue to few correctly provided toilets.

To make the point more poignant, how many arena events have you been to where the line in one bathroom is longer than the other?  I know, mostly women's bathrooms end up with lines because the men are all putting up with troughs but that is the same wrong.  Arenas, theaters,  and bars  have all been allowed to but up too few toilets for the actual demand they end up with.  Everyone knows this and we all put up with it.

How to fix this is obvious, full privacy universal stalls with some system for safety.  Ally Mcbeal highlighted it for humor but ended up really making a statement about errors in assumptions we all have.   One World Observitory has universal stalls and now the Starbucks Roastery in Seattle http://roastery.starbucks.com/ has common sinks and private stalls.   But to keep vandalism down and misuse these bathrooms tend to have attendants which gets to another issue that needs to be addressed: tolerance for crime in private spaces.   Why do we put up with damaged bathrooms?  Why do we put up with long lines? why do we put up with troughs? Because we have to go to the bathroom, and at that moment we are willing to compromise.    Don't be intolerant to people, be intolerant to bad bathrooms!

So no more segregation!  Tell lawmakers that instead of laws against "people who have to go to the bathroom", we want laws against "people who provide insufficient bathrooms and  bad bathrooms".  We want laws against "people who damage bathrooms". With these laws there will be incentive to innovate public bathrooms: self healing paint, walls that alarm when being damaged, pull cords for help.  Issues like this should not be about what a few want on either side of this issue. Seriously, we should address issues like this that help us all.  We all want equal access to privacy when it matters most, when you have to go.