All public bathrooms must be banned to ensure true gender neutrality

Dearest Reader Humour
Photo by Skylar MacKinley

Dearest Reader,

Were I more devotedly involved in the other areas of this publication’s assemblage and copy editing, I would doubtless warrant that the preceding pages are awash in progressive wisdom, such that little more on the subjects of gender and sexuality may be offered by one such as myself. Indeed, behind the comforting pen’s length at which I keep you, I am tragically white as the paper I am printed on, straight as a type-set line, and male as a system of oppression. What need then has this edition of my voice? In response, I may claim the vaunted title of “Ally”, and pray that my sins of privilege be washed away by my hefting a corner of the banner of intersectional feminism. My qualifications for this ranking are many. From the baker’s dozen of friends I’ve acquired at UVic, 12 fall somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and of these at least half would describe me as “generally inoffensive”. In the grand tradition of unasked-for sidekicks on high-minded crusades, I am therefore prepared to offer my assistance on the campaign of progressive gender-theory, secure in the certainty of its relevance. 

In my intimate observation of progressive inclusivity efforts on campus, I have deduced that the battle for gender-neutral bathrooms has found pride of place in a roster of partial successes. It strikes me, however, that while bathrooms for those of all identities are now offered in key locations, the lion’s share of washroom space continues to be commanded by the imperialist fist of the gender binary. To this, some have suggested that all washrooms be made equally inclusive. Conversely, I feel that it is only patriotic of me as an initiative of our movement to advocate a stronger solution. In the interest of true and total equality, I hereby formally advocate the elimination of all public restrooms, such that nobody of any orientation or identity will again feel unsafe while relieving themselves. 

I believe that I need waste little space in convincing my peers of the repugnance of the very concept of public toilets to begin with, save in reminding us all what we know by instinct. Each of us has already waited in line in a public washroom for the use of a stall, building in ourselves a Zen-like state of empty-mindedness so as to forget the ghastly happenings which have preceded our occupancy. Only by scrubbing our consciousness (since we are unable to scrub the putrid stalls themselves) in the normalization of shared restroom spaces have we avoided the trauma that would otherwise arise. Thus, it seems to me counterintuitive that we should advocate the equal accessibility of what can never be a pleasant experience to begin with. I would see us all unburdened, be we men, women, or those unable to locate their gender on public forms. 

The disgusting and heteropatriarchal institution of the public bathroom having been eliminated, some will observe the need for extended travel times on class breaks to allow for transit to and from private bathrooms throughout the day. To any complaint, I remind the reader that BC Transit has long lacked the impetus to increase daily bus capacity, and so this will be just the push they need. By ending one oppressive system, we shall drive forward a cascade of change on campus! Alternately, we could embrace modern learning dynamics; it is well documented that students of all kinds tend toward better information retention on a full bladder, so this measure may otherwise prove a boon to our collective education.

The better part of the quest for true gender equality, as well as true comprehension of the doctrine surrounding its tenants, I leave to better minds – those untainted and uncorrupted by my shameful ingrained white maleness. My only wish, born oppressor that I am, is to shed some small portion of my guilt through such good works as I may offer, and to atone for some of the sins of my ancestors in the same way. This I do not for myself, but that the beacon of my virtue may stand as an example to all who share in my innate crimes. It may begin with bathrooms, but I shall continue to heft my small portion of the burden until all are equally inconvenienced.