Sunday, October 30, 2011

Potty Talk

Hello wonderful readers!

I know, I know. Didn't I talk about pee enough last week? Sorry, but this week the theme is potty talk (okay, actually it's just "bathrooms," but I think the word "potty" sounds funny and it makes me giggle)...hehehe.

I have dreams about bathrooms almost every night. Usually I'm wandering around looking for a bathroom with a toilet and can never seem to find one that is open or functioning. Most of the time I think it's because in my dream I really need to pee...but for some reason I'm never successful (but, I should never say "never" because there was that one time in my dream when I peed in a microwave, or that other time when I peed in several cups that I found in someone's kitchen...). Wow. I'm weird. At least I have a good excuse--I can't control what my unconscious comes up with as entertainment for sleepy times.

Anyway, last night I had a dream about...well, it was actually about catching some bad guys or something, but on the way I really needed a bathroom--several times. During each of these little tangents, oh by the way, my little brother was my accomplice/partner/sidekick--unless I was HIS sidekick..... Anyway, during the tangents on our bad-guy-catching adventure my brother and I usually had to use the bathroom at the same time, but every time we found bathrooms I always chose the men's. He was so uncomfortable with this that he would wait outside until I had finished so he could use the bathroom (but of course I never actually "finished" so I don't think he ever got to use it...). I don't know why I kept using the men's. It's not like there wasn't a women's side available. And I did it with some sort of unconscious awareness because I recognized how it bothered my brother and I had a sort of sense that I was changing the world.

So, I went camping this weekend. Stayed in a campground where there were pit toilets. At each pit toilet station there were two separate pits. One was labeled "women" and the other "men." There is absolutely NO difference between this pit in the ground full of shit and urine, and this other pit in the ground also full of shit and urine.

It got me to thinking about the idea of unisex bathrooms. I know that we have these around in a lot of small places, but even in gas stations when the restrooms are only a single toilet and a sink in a closet they're often separated into men's and women's. They're meant for one person at a time! Usually the women's restroom is occupied when I'm in a gas station and in need of a potty break. I have no qualms with using the "men's" restroom. But, I wonder why we feel the need to separate them. Why can't they just be unisex bathrooms? I know that in a lot of men's restrooms there are urinals..., but is it going to kill a woman to see a urinal? Or is it really that hard for men to pee into a toilet? They do it all the time, right?

Here's the thing: I've heard a few horror stories about girls-who-look-like-"boys" or transgender persons who get attacked or bullied in restrooms because they're not in the "right" place. Would it freak me out to see a guy walking into a public restroom where I was washing my hands? Hell YES. But why is that? It seems to just be a cultural thing, right? Because we have been taught to separate things, like bathrooms, according to gender. hmmm.

The easy solution, in my opinion, is to just allow for bathrooms to be unisex if they're already of the single-person occupancy persuasion. As for others with lots of stalls and such, I'm not sure. Are those kinds easier to put in? probably, huh? I can see that there might be problems with men taking advantage of women or something...but really, I think if it weren't already this social problem for people to be in the same bathroom...The thing is there are stalls. I know that men's restrooms don't really have stalls for urinals, but that doesn't mean they couldn't. Or, maybe they just don't need urinals? Seems like they'd be more expensive anyway... the money spent on urinals could instead be used to buy a few of those really awesome hand blowers (very environmentally friendly, especially as opposed to paper towels).

I don't know what I'm saying anymore. Let's not separate over stupid things. People are just people; they shouldn't make you nervous.

~live your own truth~


  1. It really might be "that hard" for men to pee in the toilet. Even as an experienced practitioner, I sometimes miss. TMI? :)

    Still, I don't mind the idea of unisex bathrooms at all.

  2. Craig, having been in A LOT of women's restrooms, I can tell you that men aren't the only ones who miss (Unless there have been men peeing on the toilets in the women's restrooms...).

    And just so you know, there's almost no such thing as TMI on this blog.

  3. I wouldn't mind unisex bathrooms -- after all, that's what they are in people's houses, right? I just would rather there be stalls for everyone if that was the case. I don't particularly want to see men using a urinal. Maybe they could always use regular toilets, or they could use urinals but the urinals would be separated by a half wall or something for those who don't want to see? I just like privacy for everyone =)

  4. Yeah... I'm pretty sure they are separated for safety, for women from men. Also, men are usually much more messy--at least, my anecdotal evidence can counter your anecdotal evidence.

    Unisex for one-person bathrooms is a good idea, though, unless that's all that's available, then I would imagine that they're separate to better handle the disparity in cleanliness.

  5. Comment from JZN2: We had a unisex bathroom in Iraq. there were 4 urinals to the right of the door 4 sinks to the left and about 12 closet like stalls on the opposite side. Four of the stalls at the end with the sinks were female only and the rest were unisex.

    Realy it only took a little getting used to but it was generally empty.

    The French are not nearly as hung up about separate restrooms as, say, the Americans. So, don't be surprised by unisex bathrooms, or men's and women's rooms with a common lobby.