You are here: Home>Collections

Care to share this restroom?

OPINION

July 04, 2012|By Niki Fritz, For RedEye

I finally did it. I went on the proverbial mid-20-something's adventure to New York City.

I went expecting to bask in culture and sophistication, engross myself in the energy of 8.2 million people and absorb copious amounts of creative inspiration that seeps from the subway walls. Instead I came back with a dozen "I heart NY" T-shirts and one burning universal truth: Unisex bathrooms are awesome.

I know, I know. I can hear your outrage already. But let me plead my case.

First I want to address the most obvious cry of protest: What about the lack of urinals? Girls don't want to see guys' urinal-adjacent junk and guys don't want girls to see their mid-stream dream team. But, as numerous male friends have explained to me, guys also don't want to see other guys' penises when they are attempting the delicate balance of public urination and decency.

Men seem to go so far as to create the mandatory one-urinal spacing rule, effectively making urinals less efficient than stalls and apparently making peeing more complicated than an Emily Post tea party. Doing away with urinals seems to be a blessing for everyone.

And of course I can hear the ladies: "I just need my girl time." This is something I will never understand. Some ladies feel the need to take a significant amount of "girl time" in the bathroom to, you know, talk about "girl" stuff that is too sensitive or high-pitched or something for men to hear.

But this is a rude habit that needs to be flushed. Just as guys don't want to see another guy's junk, girls don't want to hear another girl's social junk. We have "The Real World" for that. Any conversation too sensitive for men's ears also is too sensitive for the bathroom. If you need "girl time," form a "book club" as an excuse to drink too much wine and talk about boys. And if you need your girl time in the bar, cry in the corner like a normal polite person.

Good. Now that we are over that, let's get into why unisex bathrooms rock.

No. 1: They are efficient. One line means faster access to stalls based on speed over gender.

No. 2: They are fair. Everyone gets the same amenities. Guys can stop complaining about the couch in the women's restroom. Now everyone gets a useless piece of furniture uncomfortably taking up space.

And No. 3: They make both boys and girls behave better. You know if women are using the same restroom, men are going to be cleaner. And if women know there is a man sharing their space, they are going to cut out that annoying sink-hogging behavior. The fact is boys and girls want to impress each other, even with our bathroom habits. Co-urination makes everyone's bathroom experience better, and in general just makes us better people.

Like any good, overly idealistic liberal, I can't say my appreciation for unisex bathrooms is totally without a feminist agenda. It would make my bra-burning heart grow three times its size to get rid of our current two-bathroom system and move beyond an archaic pink and blue segregation we now live in. It is a step in the right and trendy direction.

Although I'm sure that statement would make Gloria Steinem proud, my real reason for my unisex bathroom request is I'm just really sick of waiting in line to go. It's time for the unisex bathroom revolution!

NIKI FRITZ IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR.

RedEye Chicago Articles
|
|
|