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Gender Neutral Toilets Are Beneficial For Women And Trans People

We have to understand, gender-neutral toilets are beneficial for women and trans people, our interests in having a safe space are mutual!

We have to understand, gender-neutral toilets are beneficial for women and trans people, our interests in having a safe space are mutual!

‘The bathroom was gender-neutral. It depicted a variety of people with these words underneath. WE DON’T CARE JUST PEE NEATLY’ -Carlos Hernandez

Is gender neutrality a new, emerging concept? People tend to blame it on the gen-z population and the internet for spoiling the minds of the people by bringing up new terminology. What comes to your mind when you think of gender neutrality?

It is supposed to mean that there’s no binary, it is not being guided by feminine or male terms, leaving the average understanding aside, and seeing things from the lens of no gender.

People having trouble gaining familiarity with the ‘concept of gender-neutral’ saying it is a concept. This is kind of funny if you think from an ordinary p.o.v of a person, that every house has a gender-neutral bathroom.

Almost every household in India has gender-neutral toilets!

Almost, every family in this country uses a gender-neutral toilet; which is in their home. Is that supposed to be considered progressive on the aspects of all Indian families?

No, because it’s something you have been accustomed to since childhood.

These bathrooms won’t be restricted based on someone’s birth-assigned sex but just be furtherance for creating a safe space for the use of all people in general, having closed toilet stalls is also beneficial for people in terms of privacy concerns.

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Lack of access to toilets can cause irreparable damage!

Statistics have shown that women living in slums in Bombay are accustomed to the unsanitary conditions of public restrooms. They have an extreme lack of choices due to their houses not having private expenses. It is also because private toilets are really expensive.

They often hold their pee to avoid use due to the necessities of bad water supply, access to no clean stalls, the dustbins containing menstrual pads are not emptied out and leading to contamination and rotten smell.

Lack of accessible hygienic washrooms, and holding their pee might lead to Uterine Tract Infections (UTIs) and further deterioration in their health. We usually notice huge lines in front of female toilets, but male toilets men just use and leave.

Women spend more time in the toilet for a reason!

Men don’t spend time looking for toilets clean enough for their use, while the time spent by women is much higher than them. This demonstrates that women are being subjected to various difficulties for a simple thing like a safe space for peeing, which sounds wrong and unreasonable.

Safe space also includes providing a comfortable environment for people that are non-confirming to the binary stereotypes. Them having to choose between toilets leads to facing body dysmorphia and causing feelings of discomfort.

This stems from the cis-stereotype of knowing what’s in your pants, bathrooms are meant to be private spaces, and it’s not necessary to make a statement by going into some specific door saying you belong to one of the ‘only’ two genders that are in existence according to some people.

Non-binary and transgender people need a safe space to relieve themselves!

When talking about non-binary people, trans people cannot be excluded from the conversation. They have been subjected to abuse and sexual harassment in the restrooms since ongoing times.

Ever since childhood, trans people have been forced to make choices when they had to use public washrooms by picking stick-figure images slapped on the bathroom door that society hammered into us as representative of FEMALE and MALE!

What if a child is still figuring out what they wish to assign themselves? But now they are supposed to make a decision on a regular and quick basis, which would further lead to a detrimental effect on the minds of young trans kids.

Gender-based toilets can cause trauma in queer children

Gender-based toilets are responsible for a huge amount of trauma and bullying that queer children in particular have to face in school. Not all trans people cross-dress, and deciding which bathroom to go to based on clothes is shallow.

There have been debates ongoing about gender-neutral toilets for quite a few years. No specific actions have been taken from the Indian viewpoint, while other countries are implementing the idea of gender-neutral washrooms.

Several data have shown that women find it more comfortable to go to gender-neutral washrooms instead of gender-specific ones. They associate it with safety and familiarity and want to work in places that have them. Though our country still has a much further road ahead, we can always try to work towards the implementation of them.

Recently, the University of NALSAR with its progressive views that had led to the making of gender-neutral washrooms in their campus was applauded by queer people all over the country.

Time to shed the binary lenses!

The platform regarding this topic is open; it depends on the origin of the arguments. If the arguments are coming from stating stereotypical arguments that are transphobic. If one of these is— not recognizing people with the gender they wish to assign themselves and citing this as a valid reason for their disqualification from using the toilet.

Then, this argument is not welcome, as it is very unreasonable and confined to the spaces of binaries. Instead of focusing on the so-called ‘biological sex’ of a person, more importance should be given to maintaining proper hygiene. This would make the washrooms easily accessible for everyone to use.

We should look into things from the lens of being a person. Public places and society, in general, could be improved if we just get out of the ‘binary lens’ that has been imposed on us since birth.

Image Source: iStock photos, edited on CanvaPro

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