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One Small Voice: Perils of finding a place to eliminate waste

When I read the article this week in Townbroadcast that the Wayland City Council was going to leave the city park restrooms gender neutral, I didn’t give it a moment’s thought. Neutral. Non-issue.

Was I wrong!

I saw the same article later on posted on Facebook, and the responses were multitudinous!  They covered every possible permutation and combination of gender assignments, family responsibilities, and possible imbalance of preparedness for events likely to attract more of one sex over another. I was astounded.

I was a librarian for a lot of years in Wayland (29), and, when the book was popular all the way back in the ’80s, I purchased “EVERYONE POOPS” by Taro Gomi for the children’s collection. I expected at least one expression of concern from a parent, one mention of the subject matter being questionable. But there were none. Probably because parents of little kids deal with elimination every day. Aside from seeing that kids are fed, parents are continually monitoring pee and poop. They, above all others, understand that the primary function of a rest room is human elimination.

So as I mulled this over, I just couldn’t get past the basic concept that a neutral bathroom, where anyone or any gender could just walk in, do the deed, and be on his or her way, was not good enough. In gender neutral, everyone would  get an equal shot at the facilities.

Now, if the rest room is more than a one-holer, I can see, maybe, an issue arising over gender or gender assignment. But even that, to my simple way of thinking, can be reduced to simple terms. The basic difference between the sexes, in terms of human waste elimination, is a penis. Either you have one, or you don’t. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even when a person transitions from one sex to another, there is a point where there either is, or isn’t, a penis.

So if gender neutral cannot solve the problem, and designations for MEN and WOMEN can’t politically accommodate the situation, let’s simply label the rest rooms “with a penis” or “without a penis.” What could be simpler?

I’ve said enough.

1 Comment

  • I like your thoughtful idea for signs, but I don’t know if our culture is quite ready yet. Maybe in Ireland. When we’ve traveled there, I couldn’t help but notice that oval white enamel signs, with black lettering, for TOILET, sometimes MEN’S TOILET or WOMEN’S TOILET. We are far too refined for that, and designate waste elimination stations as RESTROOMS or BATHROOMS, or sometimes LOUNGES, even though we know one doesn’t visit them for rest, or bathing, or lounging. I wanted to acquire one of those little toilet signs for our home. Maybe on our next trip to that dry and dusty isle.

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