Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gendered bathrooms

I'm reading and, of course, there's an entry about public bathrooms. That's the ultimate reference in anything gender-related. I don't recall which book it was that described the difference between men's rooms and women's rooms as this:

- men's rooms are for bragging about macho conquests, whether it be giant turds or the busty waitress, and are cruising sites for gay men.

- women's rooms are social havens for primping, sharing menstrual products for the underprepared, and for entire hordes of women to stampede into.

I worked at Noodles & Company for two years and, whenever I closed, I cleaned the bathrooms. After a couple weeks, I actually learned to volunteer to do it . . . so I could just text in there under the guise of cleaning really well. Since each bathroom was a single-stall with a lock, the majority of people just went into whichever one was open and/or cleanest. Occasionally, customers would give us odd looks for checking to see if the women's bathroom was in use (which it always was) and then heading into the men's. One well-meaning lady pointed out the difference to me once but then understood when she saw that both were single-stall. Of course, the most macho employees would only use the men's room, I'd just laugh at them.

No matter how far I go with my gender in life, I will probably prefer the women's bathroom 75% of the time just because it's almost always CLEANER!!!! I don't know what the hell men do in the bathroom, but there is no reason to smear shit on the walls and leave a ring of pubes in the sink!!!! Most of the "unisex" bathrooms I see are also "family" bathrooms; I don't want to use those because someone with a handful of screaming kids needs it far more than I do and you never know when they'll appear. Although I get a double-take every once in a while in the women's bathroom, nobody's ever said anything and I do feel safe in there.

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