In Emily Bazelon’s article “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating,’” she argues that the segregation in the interior design and setup of bathrooms are unfair and not accommodating to transgender people because of the way people have marked bathrooms either as men or woman. Bazelon also claims that due to the separation of genders in bathrooms becoming the standard it has caused awkwardness and discomfort in the event that a female accidently enters a male bathroom or if a male enters a female bathroom accidently. Today in society, the lines for the two commonly known genders are blurred. Because of this event, the transgender community finds the norm for bathrooms uncomfortable, especially for transgender women. A transgender woman who identifies herself as a woman would prefer to enter the women’s bathroom, “but some other women can only see them as men, and so they don’t want to make room” (Bazelon). Today, the definition of the male and female gender cannot just be defined by the physical make up of their body. Because of the new community standards and developments in science an individual can decide for themselves which gender they wish to be and how they wish to be defined by society. Bazelon claims that because of this new trend light needs to be shed on providing better accommodations for gender-specific bathrooms.
Bazelon explains to her audience that in order to be accommodating, one must “adapt, to bring into agreement or harmony, to furnish with something desired or needed, to favor or oblige” (Bazelon). Bazelon tells the readers that a few accommodations have been made already in order to accept various types of diversity and those with disabilities. Bazelon suggests that in order for society to completely accept transgender people in the same way that other people are accepted, many alterations will have to be constructed. Once major changes are made, the transgender group can begin to feel accommodated and included in all spaces such as bathrooms.
Bazelon believes that by removing all gender segregation from bathrooms would be the preliminary way to start accommodating transgender people. In order to remove all gender segregation from bathrooms Bazelon suggests that society should implement “all-gender” bathrooms (Bazelon). Nevertheless, Bazelon’s idea seems to not be accepted by some people. For example, Bazelon refers to an event in which the people of Houston, Texas placed the phrase “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” on t-shirts. Those people in society who appear to be struggling with the changes that relate to transgender bathroom issues seem to be denying transgender people basic rights that all United States’ citizens are entitled to have. This issue of denying minorities basic rights in relation to bathrooms has occurred once before in United States history when white women expressed their unwillingness to share a bathroom with black women. Today, the segregation of women’s bathrooms is no longer a problem therefor, removing specific women and men bathrooms may have the capability of being changed into “all-gender” bathrooms in later years in order to accommodate everybody.
Also, bathrooms that are segregated by gender also impact those who are not a part of the transgender group. For instance, male bathrooms hardly ever have long lines reaching out the door, in comparison to women’s bathrooms which are known to have long lines because women use the bathroom for more purposes than men need to use the bathroom. In addition, urinals that are placed in men’s bathroom accommodate the male body for more efficiency, but many people oversee that advantage men are given (Bazelon). In comparison to women who are just able to utilize the toilet because there is no specific way to accommodate the female body for the most effective use. In conclusion, Bazelon strongly emphasizes the necessity of accommodating all genders especially the transgender people in order to create a more inclusive and friendly society.
Aiken, Paul. “A Sign for an All-Gender Bathroom Is Displayed at the Naropa University Nalanda Campus in Boulder, Colo.” Chicago Tribune , Jan. 2016.
Bazelon, Emily. “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating.’” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/magazine/making-bathrooms-more-accommodating.html?_r= 0.
“Why Houston’s Gay Rights Ordinance Failed: Fear of Men in Women’s Bathrooms .” The Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2015.