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StellaM

Single sex spaces and segregation - what do you think ? Needed or not ?

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I'm curious what the general feeling is here re provisions for single sex spaces. Do you think they are still needed ? Or do you think they were needed in the past, but are no longer relevant? Or...

 

Some of the physical spaces I have in mind - toilets, changing rooms, swimming showers/changing rooms, prisons, refuges, hospital wards...

 

But also thinking of things like women's clubs, fitness centres, spas etc..so more commercial spaces. Also schools? Don't know much about single sex provisions in religious life, other than convents! but interested to hear what people think in that arena also.

Edited by Sadie

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I don't have issues with all spaces being gender neutral.....but with the caveat that any where there will be any form of nudity, there needs to be full length, high doors so people can't peep under or over. 

 

I think people should be able to segregate based on gender if they want to in private spaces, but public spaces need to be accessible to all regardless of gender or sexuality. 

 

ETA: one major limiter for this ideal is space.  After swimming lessons in our club there are 30 kids getting out at one time.  Those two groups can all change at the same time in boys/girls bathrooms.  If each stall was neutral, then there would either be long lines or twice the space needed. 

Edited by Tap
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I do want sex segrated changing rooms, prisons, etc. I can see women wanting to go to an only woman allowed gym too because if you aren't looking for men, some gyms can be intimidating.  My church has both women only, men only and both Bible studies or other classes.  I don't really like the sex segregation there mainly because I would rather be studying Systemic Theology rather than fill in the blank Bible studies.

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ETA: one major limiter for this ideal is space.  After swimming lessons in our club there are 30 kids getting out at one time.  Those two groups can all change at the same time in boys/girls bathrooms.  If each stall was neutral, then there would either be long lines or twice the space needed. 

 

You are right.  The single stalls take up a mot more space and waiting while you are soaking wet is not fun.

 

Also, many older buildings are built with segregated facilities.  Rebuilding is expensive but new facilities can be built differently.

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I think they are hugely helpful. It's nice to have that kind of space now and again. I don't always choose to just be around women, but sometimes it is nice. 

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Yes, they’re still needed. I’m not sure what has changed that would make them not needed. I don’t want to see naked men, I do not want to be seen by men when I am changing (so that covers locker rooms and hospitals) I do not want to be alone in a room (often somewhat isolated) with a man I don’t know (bathrooms), I am going to assume mixed gender prisons will result in more penetrative rape for the women and also contraceptive issues for consensual sex.... what goes into the pro column?

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I think it is reasonable to keep sex segregated spaces, while it is also a good ideal to offer alternatives such as "gender neutral" or "family" spaces in some situations (i.e., locker rooms), and for pete's sake, not put people in one of these spaces where they do not belong there and when doing so puts them in danger (I think in particular of transgender women in men's prisons). 

 

I could entirely see most anything other than prisons being made gender neutral, with private and/or family stalls for situations that involve nudity (toilets, changing rooms, etc.) Such spaces can be designed to prevent risk of one being alone with a member of the opposite sex in them--for instance, a gym locker room could have the lockers open to the gym floor, and individual changing stalls designed for one person. Restrooms can have private single-person stalls, either with the sinks in an open area/hallway outside them, or as single-person restrooms with sinks in there with each toilet. I have been to plenty of outdoor events where there were porta-potties and this was effectively the result. There is no point in putting a gender designation on a single-person restroom.

 

I could see it even for open bay type military barracks, with changing spaces connected to shower stalls. Such spaces usually have many people coming and going in them.

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Regarding religious spaces, most masjids have women's only areas. A little bit of googling tells me some synagogues also have women's only areas.

 

So, not just convents.  

Edited by Dust
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I don't know if they need to be mandated - like if a business should be required to have segregated bathrooms or changing rooms or whatever.

 

But I certainly believe they should be allowed, and I think women are a lot more likely to go to a gym or take their kids to a pool where there are segregated bathrooms.

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I think it is reasonable to keep sex segregated spaces, while it is also a good ideal to offer alternatives such as "gender neutral" or "family" spaces in some situations (i.e., locker rooms), and for pete's sake, not put people in one of these spaces where they do not belong there and when doing so puts them in danger (I think in particular of transgender women in men's prisons). 

 

I could entirely see most anything other than prisons being made gender neutral, with private and/or family stalls for situations that involve nudity (toilets, changing rooms, etc.) Such spaces can be designed to prevent risk of one being alone with a member of the opposite sex in them--for instance, a gym locker room could have the lockers open to the gym floor, and individual changing stalls designed for one person. Restrooms can have private single-person stalls, either with the sinks in an open area/hallway outside them, or as single-person restrooms with sinks in there with each toilet. I have been to plenty of outdoor events where there were porta-potties and this was effectively the result. There is no point in putting a gender designation on a single-person restroom.

 

I could see it even for open bay type military barracks, with changing spaces connected to shower stalls. Such spaces usually have many people coming and going in them.

Ravin, can you see a third option for pre-op transgender women in prison working, given that female women in prison are also a vulnerable population, and we separate the female bodied from the male bodied for some fairly significant reasons? For example, a separate wing, or a wing for vulnerable prisoners, but still in the male estate?

 

Wording not trying to be goady, just trying to be clear.

Edited by StellaM
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Regarding religious spaces, most masjids have women's only areas. A little bit of googling tells me some synagogues also have women's only areas.

 

So, not just convents.

I know some women aren't fans of enforced segregation in places of religion, but I'm sure some women feel differently.

 

Do you feel those places will or should maintain sex segregation?

 

If we see increasingly gender neutral facilities in the secular world, do you think it will impact on women from religions where sex segregation is required in various forms?

 

For example, my local area has a high Muslim population, and lots of women swim at the local pool in burkinis. If changing rooms are not strictly single sex, do you think that might impact on their ability to use the pools?

Edited by StellaM

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Yeah, I think they are fine, and in some cases necessary.

 

In cases like changing rooms, I think it is ok to have societies that have different ideas about privacy and publicly appropriate non-sexual nudity.  So, if it's not an issue, it's not an issue.  But by the same token, I think it's ok if they do and separate areas are necessary to accommodate that.

 

I will say, in terms of changing spaces, I actually think that same-sex non-sexual nudity is kind of a good thing.  Not all the time obviously, but in some settings.  I think it tends to lead to a healthier approach to the body.  So I am actually not a huge fan of the trend toward individual stalls for all.

 

As far as toilets, around here I don't know that it's hugely an issue, but you do get some people who want some privacy in them, and I think that's ok.  But I am aware that in many places, worm and girls feel unsafe in mixed bathrooms and advocate to have them separate, and that used to be the case here too.  So I don't feel that safety in that sense is something that we can take for granted because we want to affirm mixed spaces.

 

Prisons - yeah, they should be separate.  Which is too bad in a way because there is a sense where maybe that's not a healthy atmosphere, but I think the things that might change that a bit are outside the scope of this conversation.

 

I think single sex social spaces are ok myself.  If men or women want to socialize together, I think that is pretty normal.  Are there any societies on Earth where there are not ties between members of the same sex that are different or exclusive?  If there are they can't be many.  Certainly for young people I think they can be really important.

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With the me too movement I think it has shown that segregation probably still needs to happen. I am thinking changing rooms, locker rooms and definitely prisons. Other places I am less concerned about. I certainly am not concerned about our transgender population but of course concerned for them being taken advantage of. I am more concerned about straight males taking advantage of a situation. Obviously not all men would have that issue but we would definitely see horrific things in a prison situation.

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I think for me there are two issues. Are they needed ? And are they desired ?

 

Need seems to relate to specific circumstances of vulnerability - when naked, changing, dealing with bodily functions, including menstruation, unwell, imprisoned or in crisis/recovery from abuse. I think it's true that you can ensure protection in ways other than same sex spaces by having individual spaces, at least for some of these, but certainly not all.

And that, as Bluegoat and Tap point out, there can be costs both financial, timewise and socially.

 

Desired? Like ktgrok, I like same sex spaces being available to me. I'm not sure where my thinking is with that atm, other than that private businesses and organisations should be free to offer such spaces if the market or demand is there.

 

Probably my biggest concern is hospitals, especially psych wards. They are terrible places already, I don't know what I would do if wards became mixed. I know many newer places have individual rooms, lockable by patients (able to be locked by staff), but the hospital dd was in last was older and had wards instead, mens and womens, for sleeping and personal care. Ugh at the thought of them being mixed sex.

 

I know that in public hospitals here, general medical wards can be mixed. On the one hand, I can see that it's just more efficient - on the other hand, being in a single sex ward feels safer. I don't really want to share sleeping spaces with unknown males.

Edited by StellaM
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With the me too movement I think it has shown that segregation probably still needs to happen. I am thinking changing rooms, locker rooms and definitely prisons. Other places I am less concerned about. I certainly am not concerned about our transgender population but of course concerned for them being taken advantage of. I am more concerned about straight males taking advantage of a situation. Obviously not all men would have that issue but we would definitely see horrific things in a prison situation.

 

Yeah, it's interesting to me that there seem to be two very different impulses in pop culture thinking now on this topic.  I'd not be at all surprised to see a tendency develop for very different social normed for social touching for same-sex and mixed sex interactions, for example.  But at the same time the push seem to be for even private activity spaces to become mixed.

 

I'm actually pretty curious to see if this will resolve itself into something coherent in the next 20 years, and what that will look like.

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I think that laws requiring public toilets for women were hard fought for by early feminists, because a lack of them was used to justify excluding women from public life. I think that forgetting why we have them is an insult.

 

Practically, I'm against self-id laws. I think they're naive to the point of obtuse.

 

Also, regarding prisons, we have to really look at the numbers and the infrastructure before expecting women to just absorb problems from male prisons. I would be fine with a post op transwoman, who wasn't incarcerated for a violent crime, in a woman's prison provided that there are enough resources to not lower care standards for female prisoners.

 

Other than that, I think it's case by case, if everyone is respectful then it should rarely be an issue. I support women keeping their boundaries, especially if someone is not respectful.

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I think there is a lot to be said (and research supporting) single sex education. While I homeschool, I would definitely consider single-sex education for my daughters as the research shows benefits for young women academically, particularly in middle and high school.

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For changing rooms, toilets, etc., I think same-sex spaces are desired by many people and are often cheaper, but as the parent of a transgender teen, I think neutral spaces should also be available. For my kid, there was a long time when he didn't feel like he fit anywhere and was still coming to terms with things, and I appreciated places that didn't turn every outing into an identity crisis if he had to use the bathroom.

 

Others can also benefit from neutral spaces, like family members caring for those of another gender who need assistance due to age or disability.

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For changing rooms, toilets, etc., I think same-sex spaces are desired by many people and are often cheaper, but as the parent of a transgender teen, I think neutral spaces should also be available. For my kid, there was a long time when he didn't feel like he fit anywhere and was still coming to terms with things, and I appreciated places that didn't turn every outing into an identity crisis if he had to use the bathroom.

 

Others can also benefit from neutral spaces, like family members caring for those of another gender who need assistance due to age or disability.

So your sense would be that single sex spaces are not really required any more, and that more should be converted to gender neutral, or just that you appreciated where there were gender neutral spaces?

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So your sense would be that single sex spaces are not really required any more, and that more should be converted to gender neutral, or just that you appreciated where there were gender neutral spaces?

I would prefer energy go to creating gender-neutral options.

 

I see no need to remove same-sex bathrooms, changing rooms, etc., when many people find them useful and they are often more efficient uses of space.

 

I think same-sex spaces and gender-neutral options work well together to meet the needs of all people.

 

ETA: Because of the direction this thread has gone, I want to clarify that I did not understand the narrow definition the OP was using for same-sex. It would not occur to me to ban a transgender woman from using the women's space, should she want to use it.

Edited by Melinda in VT
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I read a Colleen McCullough novel a while ago and I have no idea how historically accurate it was but in it there were mixed prisons back in the transportation of convict days in England. There were a lot of surprise pregnancies and babies didn't survive due to the appalling conditions. This was a time period of not enough prison space available for the many convicts though.

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When I took the train at St James, Sydney downtown decades ago, it was nice to have the first cabin as a female priority cabin. Molestation risks on the trains were talked about. I think there is still a need for females only cabins on trains which has a high record and frequency of molestation cases.

 

As for restrooms in large department stores or malls like Queen Victoria Building, it would be nice to have more gender neutral restrooms the size of disabled/ambulances toilets.

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I read a Colleen McCullough novel a while ago and I have no idea how historically accurate it was but in it there were mixed prisons back in the transportation of convict days in England. There were a lot of surprise pregnancies and babies didn't survive due to the appalling conditions. This was a time period of not enough prison space available for the many convicts though.

Interesting.

 

I am pretty sure the safety and dignity of female convicts wasn't a priority back in the day!

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I have a lot to say about this, but I will say 100% gender specific prisons are a must. I promise. My dh would quit his job. He refuses to work in a female prison for several reasons.

Edited by Elizabeth86
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When I took the train at St James, Sydney downtown decades ago, it was nice to have the first cabin as a female priority cabin. Molestation risks on the trains were talked about. I think there is still a need for females only cabins on trains which has a high record and frequency of molestation cases.

 

As for restrooms in large department stores or malls like Queen Victoria Building, it would be nice to have more gender neutral restrooms the size of disabled/ambulances toilets.

Was this is Sydney Australia ? I've never heard of female priority carriages before.

 

Re restrooms in department stores etc, yes, one complaint I've heard is that the disabled loos get used as unisex loos by those who don't need them by virtue of a disability. Having a decent sized unisex room, in addition to parenting room, disabled loos and single sex loos surely couldn't be all that difficult?

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I have a lot to say about this, but I will say 100% gender specific prisons are a must. I promise. My dh would quit his job. He refuses to work in a female prison for several reasons.

Gender specific or single sex? I am guessing you mean single sex.

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Was this is Sydney Australia ? I've never heard of female priority carriages before.

Yes. In 2000, I was there for Oracle ERP training at my former employer’s North Ryde office but stayed in a downtown hotel near St James Station. There is a big “sticker†on the carriage nearest the driver cabin that says that priority is for females and to knock on the driver door if anyone harass us. Should have taken a photo as a souvenir but my phone was the dumb quadband GSM phone.

 

This news article is on Victoria, Australia. I’m not familiar with the news source

“Sexual assaults in psych wards show urgent need for reform

May 17, 2013 12.30am EDT

 

Women admitted to psychiatry wards experience high levels of violence and sexual assaults, according to a report released this week by the Victorian Mental Illness Alliance Council.

 

Across the nine different psychiatry hospital wards surveyed in Victoria, 85% of female inpatients felt unsafe during hospitalisation, 67% reported experiencing sexual or other forms of harassment and 45% of respondents had experienced sexual assault during an in-patient admission.

 

The report further described that when the women patients reported the incidents, 82% found the nurses to be “not at all helpfulâ€.†http://theconversation.com/sexual-assaults-in-psych-wards-show-urgent-need-for-reform-14265

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We have a very new pool area at our college. There's a women's locker room and a men's locker room, but there's also a family changing room off of the pool. The showers are gang showers since they are used all at once when classes and teams hit them. When there are visiting teams in the pool, the other locker room is taken over. Very simple. Our newish rec center has a men's and women's, but also 6 family changing/shower rooms. They don't host the all-at-once mass exodus events like the college does. The huge new natatorium that we have Regionals at went with the non-gang showers and it's horrible. There are two family rooms, but when 200+ girls all hit the showers at once, it's a mess. It would have been SO much better to have done gang showers with a few curtained off ones. The varsity teams have their own, but we're not allowed to use them. I fought hard for the gang showers here--it takes over an hour to get the team out of the other university. If you're not swimming the 400 relay, you better get in that shower!

 

I wouldn't want separate stalls with communal sinks. What do you do with a 5yo that you don't have room for in the stall? I'd feel much safer to have a girl waiting in the WOMEN'S sink area, not with random guys. 

 

I have a chuckle from years ago--we were still having the CHEC convention at a hotel, and they simply weren't up to the numbers. The women finally revolted and took over one of the men's restrooms and posted a sign! I much prefer the Merchandise Mart--many more restrooms. 

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Totally understandable.

:lol: and from an inmates perspective, as a woman, I would be terrified to be in a man's prison. A bathroom is a bathroom and you spend a couple minutes in there and leave, but you don't have choices with prison kwim? Not to mention, if you had males and females in a prison I'm sure there would be tons and tons of babies conceived and that would not be good, not to mention more fighting I'm sure. Nothing good could come from this. Nothing.

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I think energy and money from this point on should go more towards gender neutral areas.

 

I do have a transgender child who is heading off to college this fall but all students we have spoken with on tours have expressed a desire to be in the residence halls that now have pods. Ds will either live in a dorm with pods or have a suite style room with a connecting bathroom. I haven't met any college student yet who wants the community style bathrooms - even sex segregated- more than the pods or semi privates. 

 

When we're out, ds always chooses the family bathroom if it's available. He uses the men's if none are available or if dh is with us and needs to go as well. I know I prefer the family/single use rooms over women's bathrooms. I also never used the women's locker rooms at gyms to shower or dress because I was never comfortable with the community feel of it. I want privacy (from everyone - I don't care if it's all women) while using the bathroom, showering, and/or dressing in places outside of my home. 

 

 

So, I don't think single sex spaces are truly needed if our focus would now shift to gender neutral spaces that allow privacy for all. Prisons are definitely an issue for the transgender community. I don't think my son should be in a cell with a woman but I also don't think he would be safe in a cell with a man. I think the only safe place for him, as a transgender male, would be by himself. I feel the same about transgender women in a prison situation. 

 

 

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I think energy and money from this point on should go more towards gender neutral areas.

 

I do have a transgender child who is heading off to college this fall but all students we have spoken with on tours have expressed a desire to be in the residence halls that now have pods. Ds will either live in a dorm with pods or have a suite style room with a connecting bathroom. I haven't met any college student yet who wants the community style bathrooms - even sex segregated- more than the pods or semi privates. 

 

When we're out, ds always chooses the family bathroom if it's available. He uses the men's if none are available or if dh is with us and needs to go as well. I know I prefer the family/single use rooms over women's bathrooms. I also never used the women's locker rooms at gyms to shower or dress because I was never comfortable with the community feel of it. I want privacy (from everyone - I don't care if it's all women) while using the bathroom, showering, and/or dressing in places outside of my home. 

 

 

So, I don't think single sex spaces are truly needed if our focus would now shift to gender neutral spaces that allow privacy for all. Prisons are definitely an issue for the transgender community. I don't think my son should be in a cell with a woman but I also don't think he would be safe in a cell with a man. I think the only safe place for him, as a transgender male, would be by himself. I feel the same about transgender women in a prison situation.

Are pods single bathrooms with enclosed hand basin etc ?

 

What about single sex refuges/hospital wards ? Interested to know why you think they are not truly needed anymore.

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Interesting.

 

I am pretty sure the safety and dignity of female convicts wasn't a priority back in the day!

No! Not at all. Although at various stages there seems to have been quite a parade of preventing anything from going on...

 

I just found it interesting that it wasn't a purely modern phenomena although historically driven by practicality not ideology.

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I guess I can see the use in single-stall bathrooms or whatever, but it's got to be an empirical fact that 10 single stall rooms costs more to create and maintain than 2 sets of 5-stall bathrooms, right?  

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Women (and girls) don't need to be able to dress in front of other women, but they need to be able to dress out of the view of men.

 

If that can be done in a gender-neutral way, then fine.  I am cool with fully private unisex toilet / shower stalls etc.

 

The club thing, I don't know.  I've been on women-only boards and on mixed boards.  On mixed boards, there is a tendency for men to try to take charge and for women to be cowed by this.  Of course, we women have our own ways of making our points, but the point is that the dynamic is different.  An all-women board tends to feel more egalitarian and just more comfortable.  If women want to have their own organizations, I am fine with that, and I am fine with men doing that too.

 

Full disclosure:   I live in an all-woman household and am a partner in an all-woman business.  We work effectively on large teams with both men and women, though occasionally a guy is an obnoxious team member.  However, whenever we go into a business venture with a male equal partner, the guy tries to take over or has ego problems with being advised by a woman.  It never ends well.  I'd rather just avoid the whole thing.  There are enough other businesses where the guys can enjoy being the boss without any pesky women thinking they have a say-so.

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I for one are opposed to the unisex toilets BECAUSE they have ripped out all the public toilets in the closest big town to me and installed unisex ones. they are all individual cubicles, they have no urinals for the men and because then there would be piddle all over the toilet seats they had specially designed toilets that DO NOT HAVE A SEAT AT ALL. so if you can imagine a stainless steel toilet with NO SEAT  that is what there is. it is just about impossible to go to the toilet as a female and completely impossible to take a child in there. 

 

BUt Hey they aren't discriminating anyone anymore right. Who cares if the toilets are useable or not

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I for one are opposed to the unisex toilets BECAUSE they have ripped out all the public toilets in the closest big town to me and installed unisex ones. they are all individual cubicles, they have no urinals for the men and because then there would be piddle all over the toilet seats they had specially designed toilets that DO NOT HAVE A SEAT AT ALL. so if you can imagine a stainless steel toilet with NO SEAT  that is what there is. it is just about impossible to go to the toilet as a female and completely impossible to take a child in there. 

 

BUt Hey they aren't discriminating anyone anymore right. Who cares if the toilets are useable or not

The ones without a seat are awful. Very uncomfortable to use if you can't stand. Lots of the local council loos (in parks etc) are like that now. Obviously, I avoid them when I can, but not so easy for mums with littlies.

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I'd prefer a segregated changing area.  I don't care about rest rooms (what I really love ultimately are those rooms that aren't shared, but that is not always practical or possible).

 

The rest, whatever.  I have no problem with it for a private organization (private schools, clubs, etc.). 

 

I once went to a gym that was for women only.  I liked it.  I don't mind working out where there are men, not at all, but there is something nice about not having men in a workout area.  It's less intimidating to me.  That said, it just happened to be a gym that was in walking distance when I didn't have transportation.  I wouldn't go out of my way for it at this point.

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I do want sex segrated changing rooms, prisons, etc. I can see women wanting to go to an only woman allowed gym too because if you aren't looking for men, some gyms can be intimidating.  My church has both women only, men only and both Bible studies or other classes.  I don't really like the sex segregation there mainly because I would rather be studying Systemic Theology rather than fill in the blank Bible studies.

 

This.

 

Especially the bolded.

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We have a very new pool area at our college. There's a women's locker room and a men's locker room, but there's also a family changing room off of the pool. The showers are gang showers since they are used all at once when classes and teams hit them. When there are visiting teams in the pool, the other locker room is taken over. Very simple. Our newish rec center has a men's and women's, but also 6 family changing/shower rooms. They don't host the all-at-once mass exodus events like the college does. The huge new natatorium that we have Regionals at went with the non-gang showers and it's horrible. There are two family rooms, but when 200+ girls all hit the showers at once, it's a mess. It would have been SO much better to have done gang showers with a few curtained off ones. The varsity teams have their own, but we're not allowed to use them. I fought hard for the gang showers here--it takes over an hour to get the team out of the other university. If you're not swimming the 400 relay, you better get in that shower!

 

I wouldn't want separate stalls with communal sinks. What do you do with a 5yo that you don't have room for in the stall? I'd feel much safer to have a girl waiting in the WOMEN'S sink area, not with random guys. 

 

I have a chuckle from years ago--we were still having the CHEC convention at a hotel, and they simply weren't up to the numbers. The women finally revolted and took over one of the men's restrooms and posted a sign! I much prefer the Merchandise Mart--many more restrooms. 

 

 

Yeah, that's interesting about the showers.  Back when I was in the army, all the showers were gang showers, and it did mean quick to use, and quick to clean, too. In women's showers I'm told they've switched to individual stalls.  Which I think must be far more labour intensive to keep clean.  They actually gross me out a bit when I've used them at the pool, I feel like I have to avoid touching the walls, but they aren't what you'd call roomy.  And a curtain is even worse - harder yet to clean and they tend to want to move over and stick to you.

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I for one are opposed to the unisex toilets BECAUSE they have ripped out all the public toilets in the closest big town to me and installed unisex ones. they are all individual cubicles, they have no urinals for the men and because then there would be piddle all over the toilet seats they had specially designed toilets that DO NOT HAVE A SEAT AT ALL. so if you can imagine a stainless steel toilet with NO SEAT  that is what there is. it is just about impossible to go to the toilet as a female and completely impossible to take a child in there. 

 

BUt Hey they aren't discriminating anyone anymore right. Who cares if the toilets are useable or not

 

No seat?!  What in holy hell.  How does that work?

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Ravin, can you see a third option for pre-op transgender women in prison working, given that female women in prison are also a vulnerable population, and we separate the female bodied from the male bodied for some fairly significant reasons? For example, a separate wing, or a wing for vulnerable prisoners, but still in the male estate?

 

Wording not trying to be goady, just trying to be clear.

 

People get hung up on pre-op vs. post-op. But realistically, a trans woman who has been on female hormones for more than a few months is not going to pose an exceptional danger to others. Now, if she's in there for a crime of sexual aggression in the first place, then yes, she should be segregated, but otherwise? She's not going to be any more of a danger to the cisgender women than the other cisgender women, some of whom will be there for violent crimes, some of whom will be physically larger than average.

 

I could see in a system with a large enough population to support special units to offer one for those who might be vulnerable in general population because of their identity, but such a unit should not isolate inmates or subject them to more restrictions than warranted by their security level based on their offense and conduct.

 

Currenly, the practice is often to put transgender people in to prisons based on their genitals, and if necessary isolate them for their safety or that of the other inmates. A choice between the extraordinary psychological toll of isolation vs. elevated risk of sexual assault should not be part of the calculus for appropriate punishment of crime.

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I for one are opposed to the unisex toilets BECAUSE they have ripped out all the public toilets in the closest big town to me and installed unisex ones. they are all individual cubicles, they have no urinals for the men and because then there would be piddle all over the toilet seats they had specially designed toilets that DO NOT HAVE A SEAT AT ALL. so if you can imagine a stainless steel toilet with NO SEAT  that is what there is. it is just about impossible to go to the toilet as a female and completely impossible to take a child in there. 

 

BUt Hey they aren't discriminating anyone anymore right. Who cares if the toilets are useable or not

 

I have seen these in (still gender segregated) park restrooms and rest areas and the like. Since I generally lift the seat and hover-squat to pee in public restrooms, I can't say I care personally. My kids have never had problem using such toilets, either.

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I was thinking about a semi-related article I read yesterday-  I think it appeared on google news in one of those sidebars where they push their social agenda.  

 

Looked it up again, here it is: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-male-gynos-20180307-htmlstory.html

 

Basically, it's an analysis of why there are fewer male ob-gyns and whether that's a bad thing or an unfair thing (yes to both, concludes the article, more or less).  It reminded me a bit of a thread we had here a long time ago about a lady who was in the hospital (or a relative was in the hospital and this happened to the relative, not sure) and called for a nurse to assist her to the bathroom and it was a male nurse and she requested a female one and either was denied or was scorned or something.

 

And a fair number of people here basically said, she has to suck it up and take the male nurse, you can't just discriminate on the basis of sex.

 

And both in the ob-gyn article and in that thread and here I tend to read some level of "women don't want male doctors or to share male spaces because of the either legitimate or not legitimate fear of assault" and the debate becomes whether the fear of assault is legitimate.

 

But for me, I don't want a female ob-gyn because I'm afraid my male ob-gyn will assault me, and I don't want a female nurse when exposing my nakedness because I'm afraid a male nurse will assault me and I don't want single-sex changing rooms (when changing rooms are shared, logistically) because I'm afraid of being assaulted by men.

 

I just don't want to engage with men in those ways if I have a choice.  If I don't have a choice, or it is an emergency, it's not the end of the world to have a male doctor deliver my baby or whatever - they do a fine job and I don't feel particularly violated.  But I don't want to lose the right to discriminate on the basis of sex as a consumer (or as a customer who prefers the gym with the gender-segregated bathrooms, for instance) in instances where there is a natural inclination to prefer women for some roles.

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Yeah, that's interesting about the showers.  Back when I was in the army, all the showers were gang showers, and it did mean quick to use, and quick to clean, too. In women's showers I'm told they've switched to individual stalls.  Which I think must be far more labour intensive to keep clean.  They actually gross me out a bit when I've used them at the pool, I feel like I have to avoid touching the walls, but they aren't what you'd call roomy.  And a curtain is even worse - harder yet to clean and they tend to want to move over and stick to you.

When I was in the Navy, the only time we had gang showers was in boot camp every other station and command I was at, whether shore or ship, we had at a minimum individual stalls with curtains. Curtains are easy enough to clean--you take them down and throw them in a washing machine!

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One thing with the gender neutral one-person bathroom/changing rooms is that they take up a great deal of floor space.  Having them is fine and sometimes it doesn't take up any more space because of required handicapped access.   I'm thinking of a few places which had two one-person bathrooms.  So, the gender neutral change is to just change the signs from Men and Women to Bathroom.   But I also think of the city swimming pool/rec center.   They had several family changing rooms, but with the number of people going through, there is no way to have enough gender neutral places to eliminate the same sex locker/shower rooms.  I also worry that a gender-neutral movement will go too far to group gender-neutral spaces.  I do not want my 7-year-old daughter in an enclosed space alone with a random male.  

 

The article on male ob-gyn's, I wonder if it was written before the Larry Nassar news?    Me, I prefer female ob-gyns because as a teen I had bad cramps.  I prayed for death once.  My mother took me to several male ob-gyns who obviously still believed that cramps were 'all in my head'.   Then the female ob-gyn believed me, proscribed prescription strength Motrin back when that was the only way to get it, and BC pills to make them not so bad to begin with.  

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... My church has both women only, men only and both Bible studies or other classes.  I don't really like the sex segregation there mainly because I would rather be studying Systemic Theology rather than fill in the blank Bible studies.

 

This does not bother me, but I am rarely drawn to women-only church things since they tend to discuss / do things I am not interested in.  One thing that kind of bugs me is that they seem to assume women don't work.  It's kinda funny because they have the women bible studies / prayer groups at our church/school during school hours, when a fair % of the women members are teachers at that school.  It should be kind of obvious they are leaving people out.  The men's stuff is always outside of work hours, of course, because men work!  Also the women's "fun stuff" usually involves sewing and cooking, while the men's involves sports and beer.  :P  Seems kinda strange in this day.

 

On the other hand, I can't go to the ones outside of business hours either, because kids.  :P

 

So I just attend whatever mixed group is offered when my kids are in Sunday School.

 

I would definitely not want them to take away the mixed ones.

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I think on the question of bathrooms and such, legislation & public policy ought to seek to understand the needs of those that most benefit from gender-neutral spaces. Most places around me still have men's rooms and women's rooms, with very few having a "family" bathroom or disabled bathroom (and if available, it's often only one in the whole place, and at the back of the store, away from the regular/multi-stall bathrooms. I'd like to see that change, where all public spaces have gender-neutral spaces available (and ideally, more than one), but I understand the cost would be prohibitive, especially in retro-fitting existing buildings. 

 

But, as a cisgender woman, I can only speak on what I'm comfortable with. Personally, I don't have a problem sharing my spaces with a transgender woman, my perception/understanding being that unless I'm being exceptionally nosy & socially inappropriate, I wouldn't really know whether the person in the next stall or under the adjoining shower spigot has the same genitals as me, and whether they were there at birth or not. 

 

As for mixing cisgender male & female, I wouldn't want to shower in front of a straight male in a gang style shower, but I could see having sort of a joint locker room in the middle and then to one side, female showers/changing stalls, and to the other side male showers/changing stalls, as long as it was clearly identified as such going in so you aren't taken by surprise. Although, with the #metoo type situations, it would certainly be for the safety of both men & women to keep things separated; so women aren't at risk of being abused, and men aren't at risk of being falsely accused. 

 

As for prisons, hospitals, etc, and what the transgender community needs.....I think we simply must listen to what they are telling us. If the transgender community says they (we) need safe, gender-neutral spaces in public buildings....then that's what we need. If they are saying they need to be protected/given the right to use the bathroom with the label they ID as, that's what we need. I am not transgender, so I cannot adequately determine what is best for that population. 

 

I will say I'm appalled to live in a suburb of a city that's passing/attempting to pass "bathroom bills" prohibiting transgender women from using bathrooms labeled for women, on the premise that us cisgender women are at great risk from it. But beyond that, I don't know if "make all bathrooms unisex/mixed gender" or "create gender-neutral, single-stall bathrooms in all spaces" or some combination of the two is the best way to meet the need that's out there. Not just for transgender people, but for families with small children, caregivers of folks with disabilities, etc. as well. 

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This does not bother me, but I am rarely drawn to women-only church things since they tend to discuss / do things I am not interested in.  One thing that kind of bugs me is that they seem to assume women don't work.  It's kinda funny because they have the women bible studies / prayer groups at our church/school during school hours, when a fair % of the women members are teachers at that school.  It should be kind of obvious they are leaving people out.  The men's stuff is always outside of work hours, of course, because men work!  Also the women's "fun stuff" usually involves sewing and cooking, while the men's involves sports and beer.  :p  Seems kinda strange in this day.

 

On the other hand, I can't go to the ones outside of business hours either, because kids.  :p

 

So I just attend whatever mixed group is offered when my kids are in Sunday School.

 

I would definitely not want them to take away the mixed ones.

 

Oh, yes, forgot to address this part of it. 

 

our church segregates a LOT of things by gender, and it annoys me to no end. We have mixed-gender Bible Study in the Sunday School hour, but that's it. During the week, there's women's Bible Study (at least offered both day and night, so working women can attend....), men's Bible study (with more times offered for them than for the women), and Youth Group, but Youth Group is split into age/gender small groups, so junior high boys, junior high girls, high school boys, and high school girls. Only once a month on "small group night" do they co-mingle and have fun activities vs. just Bible study.  Their Sunday School class is segregated, too, boys & girls. (I think; we rarely attend Sunday School, so I could be wrong on that one...). 

 

I find it absurd; they don't segregate the little kids, but when you hit junior high -- no longer allowed in the same study. None of the camps they go to, either, are mixed. Girl's retreat, guy's retreat, Disciple Now (joint sessions, but they stay in single-gender groupings for the sleeping). Their summer mission trip is mixed, but that's the only thing. So odd.

 

I'd like to see that go away, but at least ours does offer times for everyone, and the fun stuff is not only crafts. We had a ladies self defense class, and finally they had a ladies skeet shooting day, like the men have every year. (mostly our fun stuff is crafts, though....). 

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