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Transgenders and bathrooms -- is there a solution?

#41 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 08:36

View Postmike777, on 2017-March-01, 01:09, said:

Vamp...this is your response to the fact that perhaps tens of thousands of rapists of young, very 1400 young children are not in jail in 2017 in the UK,,,,..not that 1400 are the only children today


Not that the response is any better in the rest of Europe or Asia or the USA at this moment.


see the response to the bathroom issue compared to this issue


I do not see the connection.
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#42 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 10:04

View PostElianna, on 2017-February-28, 15:41, said:

I can't imagine what would be the problem of going to the restroom and using a stall next to someone else who is also using the stall as long as I can close the door for privacy

You're a woman, you don't have to deal with urinals.

In some restrooms there's a tiny barrier between them that provides a little bit of privacy, but in many we're totally exposed while we're urinating. Only social pressure keeps us from looking at each other's junk.

#43 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 11:51

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-01, 10:04, said:

You're a woman, you don't have to deal with urinals.

In some restrooms there's a tiny barrier between them that provides a little bit of privacy, but in many we're totally exposed while we're urinating. Only social pressure keeps us from looking at each other's junk.

Right. So the problem is that some perveted androphilic drag-kings might sneek into the bathroom, pretending to be men, and enjoy the sight of the private parts of poor innocent cis-men who are too much in a hurry to go into the wc cabine to protect their own privacy?

Do you really believe that anyone with 1/2+ of a brain consider this a serious issue?

Isn't it a much bigger problem that if the rules prescribe that boys under the age of (say) five can go with their mum to the ladies' room, someone who was born exactly five years and one hour ago in New York could sneek into a restroom in Hawaii, pretending to be only 4 years, 364 days and 20 hours?
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#44 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 16:54

I've written and killed a number of comments to this over the past couple of days.

There is no solution to the original topic title, because there is no problem.

The fact that there are people who go to great lengths to reiterate that there is a problem, and go down a number of "but what if..." rabbitholes to manufacture one - which, were they actually happening instead of being theoretical boogeymen, might be fine - is the problem.

I don't know what to do about the culture of fear, especially as it is so lucrative for those who propagate it.

My own personal solution to the culture of fear is the driving test. Do *I* do anything out of the ordinary to avoid dying in a traffic accident? No. There's a bunch of habits, sure; it costs me $X a year to keep my car in good enough order that it won't be the cause; I drive safely in order to reduce my risk; and I guess I pay for engineers and police officers and ... to ensure that the roads are as safe as possible. How many do more?

If the chance of X is lower than the chance of me dying in traffic, then I'm not willing to spend any more effort or money on reducing it. If it's 10 times less likely, I'm not willing to spend *any* effort on reducing it, and will grumble about any money I have to spend. If it's 100 times less likely, you're trying to scare me for reasons of your own, not because I should be scared. If it's 1000 times less likely,...

I also realize that the driving test fails in many more cases than it would were I not white, male, (mostly-)straight, (mostly-)Christian, (mostly-)abled, and know that I can pay for both my house, my meals, and my doctor today and next month.
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#45 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 17:07

I think ill cruise into all of the ladies restrooms at work next week. I expect the responses will range from:

1. Helpful (...clearly hes lost).
2. Horrified (...WTF)
3. Curious (unlikely)

I do not expect any response will be ambivalent.

Ill let you know how many 'bigoted' people work here.
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#46 User is offline   Elianna 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 17:20

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-01, 10:04, said:

You're a woman, you don't have to deal with urinals.

In some restrooms there's a tiny barrier between them that provides a little bit of privacy, but in many we're totally exposed while we're urinating. Only social pressure keeps us from looking at each other's junk.


And that's why I said stall instead of urinal.

But anyway, I don't understand the point you're making.

Are you trying to claim that mixed gender urinals wouldn't work because people would then be looking? Granted, I would never use one even if I had one of those tools that allows women to pee standing up while camping, but are you trying to claim that women who do use those would take advantage and look at men's parts? Or that men would then start looking at what's around them? I think that both of these suppositions are silly, so I'm not really sure what your point is.

Anyway, anyone who is afraid of someone looking at their parts should be able to use a stall (with a closed door) and if the room with stalls were open to anyone, I imagine that after some time (perhaps a day or so) no one cares what genitals are in the stall next to you.

My ideal set up of restrooms is basically what Trinidad said before: A room with stalls labelled as such, and perhaps a side room (can just be set up behind a privacy barrier if a separate room is not needed) with urinals. There should be at least one bigger stall for people with mobility devices, and a changing table available that's not in a stall. (Side note: I always thought that it was a terrible idea to put the changing table in the big stall, plus why is the changing table only ever in the woman's restroom? Don't fathers ever take babies out in public, and then have to change them?)

And everyone washes their hands at the sinks when they leave.
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#47 User is offline   Elianna 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 17:24

View PostPhil, on 2017-March-01, 17:07, said:

I think ill cruise into all of the ladies restrooms at work next week. I expect the responses will range from:

1. Helpful (...clearly hes lost).
2. Horrified (...WTF)
3. Curious (unlikely)

I do not expect any response will be ambivalent.

Ill let you know how many 'bigoted' people work here.


But what if your work institutes a policy that both restrooms are for anyone, and takes down the signs? Or better yet, labels them as clearly for everyone (at my place we had a male/female symbol on the doors). It's not that people are bigoted, it's that they're used to things the way they're used to, and they don't like change.

An even more likely thing to happen: What if your work has two restrooms, a male and a female one, and one becomes broken? I would bet that if that happened, you would not get these reactions, everyone would be accepting of the fact that they had to share "their" restrooms.
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#48 User is offline   jeffford76 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 18:36

View PostElianna, on 2017-March-01, 17:20, said:

[W]hy is the changing table only ever in the woman's restroom? Don't fathers ever take babies out in public, and then have to change them?


FWIW, changing tables have been in men's restrooms for many years now.
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#49 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 19:26

I go to plenty of places with one self-contained restroom that is open to everyone, but in general I would prefer to have separate ladies' and men's rooms, and certainly would not like to use a room that also had urinals in it. Simply because, especially in pubs and the like, men's rooms are pretty gross.

What Phil above does not understand is that transsexuals will usually look or at least dress like their mental gender, so you would tend not to have "obvious" people of the opposite birth sex entering a restroom.
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#50 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 19:40

View PostElianna, on 2017-March-01, 17:24, said:

But what if your work institutes a policy that both restrooms are for anyone, and takes down the signs? Or better yet, labels them as clearly for everyone (at my place we had a male/female symbol on the doors). It's not that people are bigoted, it's that they're used to things the way they're used to, and they don't like change.

An even more likely thing to happen: What if your work has two restrooms, a male and a female one, and one becomes broken? I would bet that if that happened, you would not get these reactions, everyone would be accepting of the fact that they had to share "their" restrooms.


I think for a very long time that the boys will go to the left and the girls would go to the right like they do now and the norms would not change a whole lot. You wouldnt get the indignation for going in the 'other' RR, but youd still get some funny looks.

Mind you, our restrooms are pretty close to each other but isn't that how 95% of commercial buildings are designed?
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#51 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 20:07

View PostElianna, on 2017-March-01, 17:20, said:

Are you trying to claim that mixed gender urinals wouldn't work because people would then be looking?

People don't actually look, it's a cultural taboo to do so. But people are uncomfortable with the idea that someone of the opposite gender could look.

It's not rational, but it's why we have separate restrooms, locker rooms, and showers in the first place. We have all sorts of silly rituals like this -- if a woman needs to change her clothing in a room with a man she's not intimate with, he'll be expected to turn around to avoid glimpsing her private parts. Breastfeeding used to be unacceptable in public; now it's considered OK, but the woman still has to cover up the breast area so we don't all get traumatized by seeing a nipple.

If people think about it, they realize that there's no real danger from sexual predators in restrooms, at least no more so than in any other venue (people get raped on the street, but there's no call for segregating which side of the street men and women walk on). But they don't think about it. These are considered sacred places, with long-standing cultural rules about them, and it's hard for them to give up on these notions. Even harder than things like gay marriage, because that's unlikely to directly impact one's own children (unless they turn out to be gay, then the parents will most likely change their attitudes).

It's really easy to say in the forum that none of this is important. It's much harder to actually change widespread attitudes. It's not impossible, we've become accustomed to many other things that used to be taboo: inter-racial couples, interfaith marriages, homosexuals, etc. But these were all gradual, you can't just make a proclamation and expect everyone to go along easily. And when it applies to one of our most private experiences, as well as fear (however unwarranted) for the safety of our children, it's likely to be that much harder.

#52 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 00:59

I'm beginning to understand why in Mycroft's (not our Mycroft, a different one) reply to Manny's query about why he never talked to the other people who worked on him he said "wanna talk to not-stupids!"
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#53 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 02:40

View PostPhil, on 2017-March-01, 17:07, said:

I think ill cruise into all of the ladies restrooms at work next week.

I assume you are male (unambiguously). So what's the relevance to the OP of that experiment?
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#54 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 05:07

Don't get me wrong. I agree with your opinion. But it is an opinion and not more than that.

If you want to present it as a conclusion from logical reasoning, then you have to reason logically.

View Postmikeh, on 2017-February-28, 13:37, said:

If one has any doubt, consider that toilets, in terms of flushing facilities, etc, are a very recent invention in terms of human history, let alone pre-history. Do dogs and cats worry about this? No.

We are therefore dealing with fear and bigotry.

So, from the fact that we didn't do something in the past and the fact that cats and dogs don't do something it automatically follows ("therefore") that it is fear and bigotry?

We started playing bridge on BBO long after the development of segregated toilets. Before that we never did that. Neither cats nor dogs worry about whether to finesse or play for the drop.

According to you, we are, therefore, dealing with fear and bigotry. ?!? :o :( :unsure:

It doesn't help your case when you try to present your opinion as a consequence of logical reasoning when the logic in the reasoning simply isn't there.

View Postmikeh, on 2017-February-28, 13:37, said:

QED.

I would leave the QED's to the mathematicians, since your flawed reasoning doesn't "D" much.

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#55 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 09:02

Dogs also sniff each other's butts. Is it just "fear and bigotry" that keeps us from doing this?

#56 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 13:12

Does the "playing for the finesse or the drop" decision lead to one third of the affected class not eating in public(*) to minimize the chance they might have to play BBO?
Does "should IMP pairs or MP pairs be the default" lead to 40% of the MP lovers attempting suicide?

No?

Similarly, is there an issue with the IMP people being damaged by MP being available - that actually happens more often than lightning strike?

No?

Then, false equivalency.

I know that Stonekettle states that we must recognize and deal with the fear. I realize I'm belittling the fear rather than dealing with it in a successful way, and doing exactly what Jim says won't work. My problem is that there is a fear machine that makes very good money finding new ways to keep stoking the current fears, and replacing the ones that no longer work with new ones on demand, and I am only an egg.

I'm also not American, but I do live in Republican North, where our new Catholic Bishop of Calgary is almost, but not quite, as "these kinds of sinners are damned anyway, so it would be wrong to change anything that could possibly make people believe that *we* don't think they're damned" as the last one. Pfui.

(*) Note that this does not mean "not eating or drinking where others can see them"; it means "self-imposed fast, including water, any time that may lead to requiring a public bathroom." It means dawn-to-door fasting, every day (even Ramadan only lasts a month!) It means not going to bars or restaurants because if you don't drink or eat, you have to face *that* uncomfortable question. It means no sports of any sort, either because of the changing issues or the dehydration issues. As the quote in my first missive here implies, it means taking away from them "a normal life" as defined by self-defined "normal" people. "But it's just a tiny thing." A very carefully crafted, lovingly (hateingly?) cultured, no-step-off-message (or the consequences could be seen by even the permanently enfeared), tiny thing.
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#57 User is offline   olegru 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 14:30

View PostTrinidad, on 2017-March-02, 05:07, said:

Neither cats nor dogs worry about whether to finesse or play for the drop.

My dog always plays for the drop during my dinner. His success rate is much higher compare to mine.

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-March-02, 00:59, said:

I'm beginning to understand why in Mycroft's (not our Mycroft, a different one) reply to Manny's query about why he never talked to the other people who worked on him he said "wanna talk to not-stupids!"

I actually asked once if I can talk to someone who is not an idiot.
The reply was "No, I am the only one here today."
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#58 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 14:45

Please note, Ed: I'm almost certain that that Mycroft is the one I'm named after, not the one *he* was named after.

I could be wrong - Manny could be Asimovian rather than Heinleinian, I guess - but knowing you as poorly as I do, I'm not betting against it.
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#59 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 14:59

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-02, 09:02, said:

Dogs also sniff each other's butts. Is it just "fear and bigotry" that keeps us from doing this?

Exactly my point. MikeH reasons that because dogs and cats don't have a problem with unisex bathrooms, we are driven by fear and bigotry when we do have a problem with unisex bathrooms. It's a nonsensical reasoning.

The exact same reasoning that he is using to frame "problems with unisex bathrooms" is used by real bigots who have a problem with homosexuality: "We weren't homosexual in the past, cats and dogs don't do it, therefore it is wrong to be homosexual."
MikeH wrote: "In prehistoric times we didn't have a problem in unisex toilets, cats and dogs don't have a problem with unisex toilets, therefore, it is wrong to have a problem with unisex toilets."

And then he finishes this nonsense with "QED".

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I agree with Mike's opinion, but that is another matter altogether. He tried to "prove" his opinion and took his eye of the ball.

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#60 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 15:35

View PostTrinidad, on 2017-March-02, 14:59, said:

Exactly my point. MikeH reasons that because dogs and cats don't have a problem with unisex bathrooms, we are driven by fear and bigotry when we do have a problem with unisex bathrooms. It's a nonsensical reasoning.

The exact same reasoning that he is using to frame "problems with unisex bathrooms" is used by real bigots who have a problem with homosexuality: "We weren't homosexual in the past, cats and dogs don't do it, therefore it is wrong to be homosexual."
MikeH wrote: "In prehistoric times we didn't have a problem in unisex toilets, cats and dogs don't have a problem with unisex toilets, therefore, it is wrong to have a problem with unisex toilets."

And then he finishes this nonsense with "QED".

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I agree with Mike's opinion, but that is another matter altogether. He tried to "prove" his opinion and took his eye of the ball.

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Ok, I left out the middle bits of my reasoning, such as it was, assuming that anyone sufficiently interested to read that far would be able to figure it out.

Historically, men and women did not have separate toilet facilities, if only because, until relatively recently (in terms of the species) we didn't have toilets! Before we had toilets, we, I assume, didn't have the hangups and privacy concerns that are, these days, so strongly attached to toilets, including privacy issues.

Concepts of privacy appear pretty clearly to be cultural. We have developed taboos, which are fear based.

We become uncomfortable when our particular taboos are violated: this is a fear-based reaction. That, at least, is my understanding and operating assumption.If I am in error, and taboos are not based on fear...and fear doesn't play a role in our reactions to seeing taboos violated, then my arguments fail.

The argument most often advanced against trans use of bathrooms aligned with their subjective gender is that trans women are actually men, and that women ought not to have to share bathroom/toilet space with 'men'.

That suggests to me that, at least on one level, the antipathy towards trans access to bathrooms of their choosing is based on concerns that a taboo is being broken. In particular the taboo against male and females sharing the same facilities.

Since taboos are fear-based, this argument, being taboo-based, is thus also fear-based.

You may disagree with one or more of the underlying assumptions, but I suggest otherwise the logic flows reasonably well.

Another argument, and maybe the 'real' or 'predominant' argument is prejudice against trans people. It is increasingly unpopular to actually express hatred and fear towards trans people in general, so (in my view) many of those who are impelled by such hatred and fear hide their motives by resort to the argument described above....most clearly expressed in the argument that men might dress as women in order to be able to molest women in bathrooms.

There is really no historical or pre-historical element to this part of the argument. I am not saying that trans people didn't exist in earlier days. It seems pretty clear that they did, and indeed trans people have been well-known in a number of cultures, such as Thailand and, I gather, at least some First Nations populations in NA.

However, in the NA context, trans people were basically forced into the closet or lumped with gays, who were also historically the subject of fear and hatred.

Again, this appears to be culturally driven since there are examples from history and from other cultures wherein homosexuality appears to have been at the very least tolerated: Sparta was one such, if my vague memories of ancient history are correct.

In addition, zoology teaches us that homosexual behaviour occurs naturally in many animal populations, without (again, as I understand it) any repercussions by the 'straight' animals against the 'gay' or 'bi' animals.

Fear and hatred based on perceived differences that do not actually impact on the safety, well-being, or economic prospects of the one harbouring the fear and hatred seem to me to amount to bigotry. Why hate or fear someone whose way of life or appearance do no harm to oneself or one's family? Why imagine dangers for which there is no basis in reality, and then punish the subject of one's fear and hate?

To me, that amounts to bigotry.

Your assumptions as to what words mean...what, for example, is meant by 'bigotry'..may differ from mine. Your understanding of behaviours or underlying arguments, voiced by those who want to discriminate, may differ from mine.

If so, then you can legitimately argue that my reasoning is wrong, not because it is illogical, but because the argument is based on mistaken premises.

Otherwise, I believe, I do think that my assertion that the discrimination is driven by fear and/or bigotry is valid. I confess that perhaps I ought to have framed it as 'and/or' originally, but I point out that in my view bigotry is itself usually a product, at least in part, of fear.

I apologize if I sidetracked your following my argument by what was, at the time, a throw-away line about dogs and cats. That line was intended to stand in for a far longer argument that taboos are cultural constructs, and that one way of seeing that as true is to consider the animal kingdom, including animals with whom many of us are familiar. Cats and dogs don't have taboos about genders urinating or defecating in close proximity to each other. Neither, as far as I know, do other mammals, including primates. We do...at least the vast majority us of do. However, the precise taboos are different society to society, and thus, I argue, they are cultural constructs.

Cultural constructs, especially taboos, are, in my view, largely driven, in terms of observance and reaction to non-observance, by fear...but I repeat myself :D

I hope that makes the QED part of my earlier post a little easier to accept.

When I read your criticisms, I flashed back to an exam I wrote when I was studying chemical engineering. I got the answer right, and had used the correct reasoning, but when writing it out, I had skipped a few steps, since the steps seemed trivial and I could do them in my head. The professor deducted marks for my failure to pedantically set out all of the intermediate steps. 45 years later I am still annoyed :D
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