Tag Archives: Gender

Potty Talk


So, a long time ago I was working as a busboy at a hotel on campus at the University of Minnesota.  Out of the blue, one of the waitresses says to me, “You are the strangest person I know.”


For a long time I’ve been thinking about what the ramifications might be if when we legalize gay marriage.  When we finally move from the old places to the new places.  What will that mean practically.

What will the changing definitions and norms of the sexes mean in today’s culture.  And I keep coming back to bathrooms and locker rooms.

Consider, for example, why we have different rest rooms for different sexes?  Why is that?  What is the reason for the segregation?  I have no historical basis to go on, so I can only assume that it’s because women don’t want men seeing them in their most vulnerable and likewise don’t want men dropping trau in their presence.

Makes perfect sense.

Until you think it through.  Stalls all around.  And, being a long time man, I’ve never barged in on another guy in his “private time” to see, accidentally or not, anything that would make a nun blush.


Yet the norm remains.  Men in men’s rooms and women in ladies rooms.  Why?

So, if we are now having fair and open discussion surrounding the fact that some people are straight and others are gay, and more importantly that that is okay, is there ever going to be a discussion surrounding potty etiquette?   I’ve thought about it but never thought that I would start it.

Bring on Arizona via Moe:

Kavanagh’s [new amendment] prohibits a person from entering a “public restroom, bathroom, shower, bath, dressing room, or locker room” if the sex designation of that facility does not match the individual’s birth certificate.

So, I never went there, but it’s close.

If there is a case for separate restrooms based on sex, is there an equally strong argument for separate restrooms based on sexual preference.  Now take it further, the YMCA or any other gym.  If we decide to build and maintain separate showers for men and women, for what I think are obvious reasons, isn’t there at least as compelling reason to build separate facilities for gay and straight people?  After all, if a woman doesn’t feel comfortable showering in front of a man who might be sexually attracted to her, don’t I have the same reasonable right to the same expectation?

Now, before anyone goes all crazy on me for being some looney wacko, understand that I’ve experienced this to a degree.  I used to live in Seattle and have vacationed in the parks of Orcus Island.  And one of those camps had a jacuzzi and sauna, co-ed, with an expectation of nudity.  For the first 10-15 minutes it was out-of-this-world-strange.  However, after that initial period of weirdness, things kinda gelled into normal and it was like nothing was odd at all.

So,now that I’m not the guy that started it I can wonder out loud in print.