Re: Musing on bathrooms

1

It seems like a fine all-purpose response would be: "No, this is from cancer! I'm biologically female! And regardless fuck you, you're not the bathroom police!"


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:24 PM
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2

How about, "My mother taught me not to talk to strangers in bathrooms. Oops, I peed on you."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:27 PM
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3

Like, you'd recommend that to a transgendered woman, too?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:28 PM
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Or "Do you work here? That's not a good way to get a tip."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:28 PM
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"I just plugged the one in the men's. Taco Bell. No choice."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:33 PM
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"Don't stand, don't stand so, don't stand so close to me."


Posted by: The Bathroom Police | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:38 PM
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"Excuse me!? Are you the person checking everyone's genitals before they use the bathroom!? Because I thought you'd want to take a look at my dick!

"Why are you making that face? Isn't this what you wanted!?"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 2:58 PM
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8

Didjya all see that "shit-in action that's planned for the Kansas state capitol? We could use more of that sort of thing. Like Dan Savage's santorum campaign -- make anti-trans legislation synonymous with big piles of loose, stinky human shit.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:16 PM
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9

In solidarity, I've started just peeing wherever I happen to be.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:17 PM
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10

1, 3: "You're not the bathroom police" first, then second, "and if you were, you'd be pretty bad at it, because this is from cancer." You could argue that's still an assertion of privilege but I think if you reframe it as a demonstration of how the interlocutor isn't qualified to judge it's less objectionable. And a person who identifies as female (whether cis or trans) and is told that she can't be perceived as female because of her appearance does suffer a legitimate injury that seems reasonable to object to.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:23 PM
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Actually, jokes aside, I'm hoping that this bullshit might finally be the thing that forces the County Health Dept, which is in charge of public bathrooms, to stop their stupid, antiquated gender-specific bathroom requirements for single-occupant bathrooms. It's entirely down to a vague sense that "boys pee here, girls pee there" rather than militant reaction*, but the practical effects are all bad: 1. it's better for small businesses to have no public bathrooms, because if they have one, they have to have two; 2. there's a lot of added expense for small urban businesses, because they need to have 2 handicapped toilet rooms, not one old (small) toilet room and one new handicapped one; 3. the currently-notorious impact on LGBTQI; 4. the practical effects on women (usually) have to wait longer to use the bathroom while the men's room is empty or is seeing rapid turnover.

I should reach out to activist types I know about using this as a push. The county as a whole isn't liberal, but the city has become explicitly so on LGBTQI stuff, and the County Exec is closely allied with the Mayor; I'd think that this would be a salient opportunity for a relatively bureaucratic change (that is, we're not looking for a new, high-profile ordinance on who can use what toilets, we're looking for a change to an interpretation of the International Plumbing Code).

*that is, it's the sort of false gallantry that says it's better to keep women from the grossness of men's rooms than to allow them the choice of where to evacuate, rather than some insane backlash against queer people


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:26 PM
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12

10 seems about right to me. Plus, privilege exists; using it (thoughtfully) as a lever for good that benefits the less-privileged is the least the privileged can do.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:28 PM
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13

Looking up details on 8 I learned that this revolting law also includes a $2500 reward for anyone catching someone using the wrong bathroom. But, alas, in the form of statutory damages paid by the institution, not a bounty paid by the state. Otherwise all sorts of interesting options would present themselves.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:32 PM
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Kansas is too broke to pay a bounty on illegal voiding, but not broke enough to undo tax cuts for out of state businesses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:41 PM
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11: If you can, go straight to your building official. They're normally the ones who draft the code adoptions that the council approves. Your points 1 and 2 would receive favor almost everywhere I've worked or experienced--heck, you might even get your city manager to sign off on the amendment as removing a disincentive to develop.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 3:52 PM
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9: Hah. I was doing that before it was cool, and I have the citations to prove it.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 4:02 PM
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AIPMHBOAPO, I once accidentally used the woman's room in a bar. A door was opened, blocking the "wo" part of the sign. This did not cost me $2,500, but people did make fun of me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 4:11 PM
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16: That can get you on the sex offender list in some states (maybe not in provinces). Apparently, sometimes it gets charged as indecent exposure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 4:12 PM
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15: ACHD is so much more labyrinthine than that. It took 5 years and a court case to get them to accept waterless urinals... in the 21st century.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 4:26 PM
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20

This did not cost me $2,500, but people did make fun of me.

So it was even worse.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 4:26 PM
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21

The only thing that can stop a bad biologically male man in the women's restroom is a good biologically male man in the women's restroom.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 5:03 PM
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22

If someone questioned my gender presentation in the women's bathroom, I would start shrieking stranger danger/harassment and make a big deal of getting out my phone to call the cops. If they're going to be paranoid uptight normative pigs, then they can get a taste of their own medicine.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 5:06 PM
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23

Even better, maybe just shout, WHY DO YOU WANT TO SEE MY GENITALS YOUR PERVERT!!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 5:11 PM
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24

I obliviously walked into the ladies restroom at a Safeway in Gallup, NM. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn't realize there was a woman with her kids in the stall next to me. I was washing my hands when they emerged. I said hello, and her funny look finally tipped me off. That was awkward.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 5:38 PM
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25

Once I was washing my hands in an airport men's room when a woman emerged from the stall behind me and berated me for being in the women's room. I calmly corrected her and said that, no, she was the one in the wrong restroom. She angrily contradicted me. Then I pointed over her shoulder at the urinals behind her. She stormed out without apologizing.


Posted by: Salty Hamhocks | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:07 PM
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26

My three year old was quite mad that I wouldn't let her use the urinal at Costco.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:11 PM
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I explained to her that you can only use Costco urinals if you generate at least a gallon.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:12 PM
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28

All women's restrooms don't have urinals? I always wondered about that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:21 PM
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29

We put house plants in them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:33 PM
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30

Cheap knockoffs of bidets?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:35 PM
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31

Again with the house plants. I don't even see the point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:36 PM
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32

That's how we feel about urinals.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:49 PM
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33

Ugh, this causes me so much conflicted feelings.

1. I don't identify as a woman, but I'm not on testosterone and don't pass as a man, mostly. So what am I supposed to do? Morally, I suppose, I could say "well, I don't identify as a woman so I don't belong in the women's bathroom" but that would leave me with a lot of bad alternatives.

2. I am a little weirded out by the whole "men in the same bathroom as women - ipso facto dangerous!!!" narrative, here, possibly because back in the swinging nineties mixed-gender bathrooms were the sort of Antioch/Reed/the progressivest-dorm-on-campus thing. Also because "men in the same bathroom as women equals danger" suggests to me that I ought to feel that I am a danger to women.

3. At the same time, creepy men in bathrooms with women are definitely bad, and lately I feel like non-creepy men are way rarer than I had assumed when I was young and optimistic.

4. And now I'm also worried that some dude is going to pretend to be "worried" in order to hassle me. I have too much chest to pass unless I'm seen from quite a distance or wearing heavy outerwear, so I'm not actually worried about looking man-like enough to have problems with the cops. But I'm sure worried about being harassed or grabbed.

5. My sorta-plan had been that maybe someday I could at least get top surgery even if I couldn't really transition, but in gender-panic America that is probably not a good idea.

6. Maybe this whole thing will convince trans-excluding radical feminists (TERFs!!!) that there is no such thing as feminist gender-policing, and that the only reason you'll ever get mainstream support for hassling trans women is as part of a much larger campaign to force all women into retrograde gender performance. "Look like a really feminine woman or have the cops called on you" - yeah, that's a huge step forward for feminism.

6. I am just so fucking tired of this whole thing. Getting gender-policed all the time has been wearing me down so much lately that only the memory of how much I had grown to hate wearing dresses and being feminine (and how horribly frumpy and aged I look in women's clothes) is keeping me from going back. I often wonder if I'm going to end up one of those defeated queer people you read about, who start out bravely out and visible and finish up their lives back in the closet because the harassment broke 'em.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:53 PM
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34

Troughs?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:54 PM
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35

34 to 32.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 6:56 PM
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36

There was exactly one time I saw a urinal installed in a residential bathroom, in a condo we were looking at. It was part of a cohousing development. The thing I don't understand is that in most workplace bathrooms, they don't save any space- in our bathrooms, if you look at the floor plans, the men's room might be one handicapped stall, one regular stall, two urinals. The identically sized women's room is one handicapped and three standard stalls. Since men can always use a stall and sometimes need to, why not just all stalls since it's the same capacity? People don't like to hear the splashing sound which is avoided with urinals?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:08 PM
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37

Less water used, easier to clean, missed pee goes on the floor instead of a toilet seat somebody is supposed to sit on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:11 PM
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38

I knew your background in urinal sales would come in handy some day.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:16 PM
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39

Moby could sell a urinal to Marcel Duchamp.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:36 PM
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40

Honestly, a well placed floor drain does all that even better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:36 PM
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41

Especially the art.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:37 PM
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42

I'm sorry, Frowner. You've sounded really deflated recently, which is extra sad because it also sounds like you know what you want. The world is extra cruel right now.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:37 PM
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13: It sounds like someone could still have an interesting day switching the labels on the bathrooms at various state buildings and collecting bounties on legislators, lobbyists, and so on.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 7:48 PM
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44

Would it help if we can start a mass movement of cis men volunteering for a junk check "because I wouldn't want to break any laws here. So here's my birth certificate and where do I send the dick pic or do need to manually inspect my equipment." Flood your state legislators with dick pics.

Seriously this is enraging.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 8:33 PM
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45

+ you


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 8:34 PM
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46

What Thorn said, Frowner. Good thoughts to you.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 8:39 PM
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47

Sympathies and solidarity Frowner.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 8:42 PM
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48

Cosigning 42 and adding sympathy for that special experience of being shit on while everyone talks about how much better things are than ever.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 8:49 PM
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49

42 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 9:07 PM
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50

Hugs, Frowner. That sounds exhausting. People suck.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 10:27 PM
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51

Yes that blows


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 11:16 PM
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43: or just head in there with a large cooperating group and start racking up the bounty. "Oh my god, a woman in the men's room!" (cash register noise) "And another!" (cash register noise) "And another!" (cash register noise) until eventually you've made enough to fund your college or clinic or whatever for the rest of the year, and then everyone gets back on the bus and leaves.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-16 11:51 PM
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53

Yes, what Thorn said. My sympathies.


Posted by: X.Trapnel | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 3:42 AM
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54

I have sympathy for your situation Frowner. I hope you can keep your spirits up. Don't let the bastards grind you down.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 3:59 AM
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33: That sucks. What everyone else said - don't let the bastards get you down.

On 33.2, I'd forgotten about the whole mixed gender bathrooms thing back in the 90s. They did it at my college as well (some, not all). There was surprisingly little drama around it at the time. Maybe because social media didn't exist yet?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:02 AM
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52: I'd check first to be sure that there wasn't such a thing as "accessory before the fact to illegal voiding."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:04 AM
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55.2: mine too. I was slightly startled at first but, basically, all it meant was that you washed your hands in the same room as a member of the opposite sex washing their hands. Which is hardly a massive infringement of anyone's privacy.

"accessory before the fact to illegal voiding."

Not at all. Illegal voiding is positively encouraged by all sorts of people. "Void where prohibited by law" they say.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:11 AM
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58

If it's anything like the "wet paint" signs, it turns out they mean something else.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:12 AM
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28: At my undergrad institution in the basement of the oldest building there were urinals I strongly suspect were intended to be unisex. There was a brief attempt in the early 20th century to make women's urinals which could be used by dropping panties, hiking up one's skirt, and sort of waddling forward to pee in a spout sort of like the 4th picture here. The urinals in question have a much shorter spout but would be just as functional, and the building was built at about the right time by flaming egalitarian Unitarians, so it might be that they are intended to be unisex. They are only in the men's bathroom but I suspect that's because they were ripped out of the women's bathroom because they are dumber than a Donald Trump policy position.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:20 AM
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60

Unitarians and watersports. A combination for the ages.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:28 AM
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55.2: There absolutely were ones in the dorms when I was in college too, at the end of and shortly after the '90s. I never heard of any problems with them. I assume someone must have complained about them to the school at some point, just because it was something new for eighteen year old people. But it never seemed to make a difference. I think they were mostly in the older dorms rather than the newer* ones, and dated back to when the dorms had all been gender segregated so that three bathrooms (two large and one small) didn't create as much of a problem.

*Which means, like, '70s so not newer newer. The college recently built a couple ones and I have no idea what the situation is there.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 5:34 AM
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We had those, suites of about 5-7 rooms with one bathroom of 3 sinks 2 stalls 2 showers. One morning I did stagger in and open a stall door that the occupant had forgotten to lock, she was quite unhappy. I think she was a rather observant Muslim too. My mumbled apology after quickly closing the door was, "Sorry, you should lock that."
General etiquette was leave door open if you're the last out, if the door is closed knock and wait for permission to enter. I took advantage of this protocol when my girlfriend was visiting to visit her shower from mine when no one else was in the bathroom, anyone knocking would give me time to return to my shower. Happily no one did.


Posted by: JFK | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:27 AM
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63

Echoing all of the Frowner support. I suppose it exposes my naivety and privilege (plus my innate optimism), but I've been truly shocked by how quickly and how viciously this whole thing has escalated. It's so discouraging to know how many people are out there, just desperate to be hateful assholes. And kind of baffling that, 40 years after it became utterly normal for women to wear pants and (basically) gender-neutral shirts, so many people can seriously freak out over someone in pants and a gender-neutral shirt entering a women's room. I mean, I get gender presentation and that most women, even dressed that way, readily present as feminine, but Christ.

Anyway, I hope you feel enough support in your daily life to get through this moment.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:33 AM
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64

37 is very efficient to 36, but also urinals actually do require less floor space than a stall: the width is the same (although you gain an inch if you skip the divider wall, as they do in stadiums), but a toilet stall needs to be 61" deep, while the urinal itself is less than a foot deep. It can make a dramatic difference when accommodating wheelchair turning radii.

Also urinals have a somewhat faster turnover (?) time, which doesn't matter in offices, but can matter in crowded venues, even restaurants.

My college dorm was coed by wing, but had been built (in the '50s) as all-male, so the bathrooms in the women's wings had urinals. When feeling festive, the women would float rose petals in them.

Also, I still remember the first time I ever entered a women's room, in HS (I don't recall why, but I'd assume it was playful horseplay; I wasn't being bullied. Anyway, it was IIRC after hours, and empty). The seemingly endless row of stalls, without the normal-to-me alcove for urinals seemed so strange.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:34 AM
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65

(basically) gender-neutral shirts

If you only we had sensible legislation requiring the purchaser to show her birth certificate to get a shirt with buttons on the left, then we wouldn't need to card women before they used the restroom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:51 AM
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66

-you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:51 AM
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67

65 makes a sound point.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:57 AM
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68

Actually, as always, the solution is for everyone to wear identical*, gender-neutral uniforms. In this, as in all things, Mao was correct.

*well, you know, assorted sizes


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 6:58 AM
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69

The man knew about the need for pockets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 7:00 AM
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70

a stall door that the occupant had forgotten to lock, she was quite unhappy. I think she was a rather observant Muslim

Sounds rather unobservant to me.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 7:02 AM
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71

Unitarians and watersports. A combination for the ages.

Urinitarians, unite!


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 7:21 AM
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72

You have nothing to lose but your peers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 7:24 AM
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37: A big driver, here, for urinals is water consumption. The Governor's EO mandates 0.125 gpf urinals in all new construction, while toilets are rarely work well under 1.28 gpf. [gpf = gallons per flush, as I suspect most of you got without an explanation]

Waterless urinals are unpopular here because maintenance staffs require specific training--if you dump the bucket of mop water in a waterless urinal like normal, you'll damage it or cut its lifespan.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 7:41 AM
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74

if you dump the bucket of mop water in a waterless urinal like normal

What do you people drink there?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 7:42 AM
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75

74: It's a drought Moby. We tell each other sad stories, just to have tears to drink!


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:01 AM
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76

63: Maybe this is common understanding already, but isn't it presumable that all the LGBT hate is now being focused to T now that we have SSM and traditional homophobia is past the tipping point of social unacceptability? (With the "religious freedom" bit being the abortive last gasp, as it was with segregation.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:21 AM
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77

While we're musing on bathrooms, what would cause a toilet to begin to flush very, very weakly (so weakly that using it for #2 is strictly off limits)? It used to have a powerful flush but it's somehow now barely a trickle. Everything I read on google suggested that it was almost certainly an object (small toy? Toothbrush?) that got inadvertently flushed and was now stuck at the closet flange, and that I needed to pull the toilet and remove whatever was stuck. But I pulled the toilet and found nothing. The drain pipe itself doesn't seem to be clogged, based on dumping water down it. Any other ideas?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:28 AM
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78

Assuming the tank is filling and emptying properly, it's probably a blockage in plumbing vent. Do you get bubbles when you flush?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:34 AM
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79

Oh, it's the damn vent again, isn't it?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:35 AM
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80

Probably. Is there a bird up there?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:36 AM
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81

I should test whether the toilet flushes better when the dryer is running.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:36 AM
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82

76: As someone who is usually read as a butch woman, I can tell you that this is not the case.

The GLBTQ people who are largely tolerated even in this liberal city are straight-passing and gender-conforming and don't hold hands in public.

Consider the GLBTQ characters we get on television - there's a lot of them, right? And the vast majority are sorta-queerish women who are played in such a way as to give straight men pants-feelings, not in such a way as to look or act like actual queer women.

The negative treatment and gender-policing I get every fucking day is not about my being read as trans; it's about my being read as a queer woman who is not feminine, thin, hot or young and thus is bad, bad, bad. The determining factors for how GLBTQ people get treated are still "are they just like straight people in externals", "if men, do they make straight men anxious" and "if women, are they still fuckable by straight male standards".

That's not to say that trans people don't come in for more aggressive hatred, but it is still built on a solid bedrock of hatred for anyone that straight men don't like.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:37 AM
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83

Your plumbing is vented out the same place as the dryer?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:37 AM
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84

82: That makes sense, thanks.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:40 AM
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76, 82: yeah, the trans thing is just a hook for homophobic gender policing, with a kicker of patriarchal/misogynistic femininity policing.

As I commented to Kotsko at the other place, I can't tell if the bathroom thing is just an election year freakout that will fizzle soon enough, or is set to be an ongoing battleground in the inevitable misogynistic shitstorm backlash that will follow an HRC election.

Congratulations, women and genderqueer: the next 4-8 years are about to be as awesome for you as the last 8 have been for African-Americans!

Meanwhile, I'm worried about what lesson my poor son is getting from never having lived under a President who looks like him.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:44 AM
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86

Expanding a bit on 85.2: when it was just anti-trans, the bathroom thing looked exactly like a base-churning, election-year manufactured freakout. But once I started seeing stories about harassment of women whose only nonconformity was inadequate femininity, it looked like the sort of thing that the forces of reaction will keep harping on until rejection of their position is absolutely overwhelming.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:48 AM
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Meanwhile, I'm worried about what lesson my poor son is getting from never having lived under a President who looks like him.

Seriously, how will the Trumparians live under a woman President? Maybe they'll decide they have no choice but to abandon society and go live out in the woods where they can still be real men and they'll starve to death.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:48 AM
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88

86: The focus has all been on the anti-trans bathroom part, but all these laws have removed legal protections for all gays too, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:52 AM
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I'm worried about what lesson my poor son is getting from never having lived under a President who looks like him

Obama is considerably taller, for one thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:52 AM
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90

88: I know the one in North Carolina did, but I'm not sure about the one in Kansas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 8:54 AM
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90: I guess the Kansas bills were just about bathrooms -- but those bills didn't go anywhere anyway.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:00 AM
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Honestly, transphobia (or trans-ignorance at least) is the reason that we're all so surprised by the bathroom panic stuff. We did not take "trans women are women" seriously enough, even those of us who said it.

Trans women are women. An attack on trans women is an attack on all women. An attack on trans women is not going to be confined to trans women; it's going to be a starting point for an attack on any woman who does not conform to patriarchal norms.

If there is one thing that I think we have habitually misunderstood about the right, it is the fact that they really are gunning to establish a Handmaid's Tale-like society. They're not just against abortion; they're against birth control. They're not just against an expanded definition of rape, they're against the whole idea that women can be raped at all (except maybe if it's white women being raped by men of color who are total strangers to them and use violence - that might be rape, maybe, if the woman is pure enough rather than a slut). They're not just against trans women, they're against anyone who is not a manly straight cis man or a feminine straight cis woman. They're not just against women having historically "male" jobs; they are against women having economic autonomy at all.

What we've all done is throw people under the bus - we've said "well, I guess it's reasonable for women to feel uncomfortable in the bathroom if a trans woman who does not look cis is there" and "well, after all, abortion really does kill babies and it should be legal but very, very, very rare and you're kind of careless if you get pregnant unintentionally" and "think about the poor men who are just socially awkward and that's why they grab and harass women, they just want a date, poor dears".

First they came for the trans ladies and the teenagers who wanted abortions, but I did not speak up, etc etc.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:06 AM
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76: Yeah, definitely no. I'm the tolerable, socially acceptable kind of queer and my life is pretty easy because of it, but I still have a lot of trepidation in a lot of contexts and I know at a clear and visceral level that there's plenty of opposition out there. I'm just one of the "good ones" and I pass enough.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:07 AM
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I'm the tolerable, socially acceptable kind of queer

I feel like that's an unusually self esteemful comment from Thorn.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:27 AM
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Sympathies for Frowner, and thanks for your comments in this thread. I remain optimistic that this sort of bullshit will improve in the medium term, but it's really depressing hearing about how bad it is now.

Obligatory QuestionableContent link.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:32 AM
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If there is one thing that I think we have habitually misunderstood about the right, it is the fact that they really are gunning to establish a Handmaid's Tale-like society.

I think this is where the internet and social media have made a big change, on both sides about making this fact more apparent: it's raised the profile of those who do understand this, and can attest, and it's also made more vocal/explicit those who favor this, making it hard to deny.

That is, The Handmaid's Tale came out ages ago, and it seemed like A. an allegory, and B. an exaggeration. But now that women (and queers etc) can speak for themselves in non-allegorical ways, it's clear that it was neither; it's just an extrapolation. And from the other side, you've got a vocal bunch of fuck-yeah-handmaids assholes who make the say-the-quiet-parts-quiet people look disingenuous.

I don't know that it's a net gain on its own (because so far, at least, it seems to be empowering the assholes as much as the victims), but it at least makes the stakes clear.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:33 AM
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I didn't think the Handmaid's Tale was that allegorical. Or not solely allegorical. I thought the point (back in the 90s) was "we know historically people are perfectly capable of creating this kind of society and here's how it could look if our current society deteriorated in that direction" with a big dollop of dystopia, but not allegory.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:37 AM
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My honest opinion about the bathroom thing is that this is what progress looks like - transpeople are now being taken seriously as people deserving of rights, and the proof of this is the laws being passed. DOMA didn't exist in the 80s, these bathroom laws weren't on the radar five years ago.

It's super shitty and I am sorry that Frowner and others must absorb the brunt of this. But I also think this is a backlash that actually reflects real underlying progress.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 9:41 AM
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97: Agree!

98: Also agree, but that it's a backlash, shouldn't make us complacent. Anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1920s was also a backlash.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:06 AM
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I'm super sick and super bored. I'm too trembly and twitchy to sleep or walk. My eyes are too hard to focus to read for very long, and my attention span/short term memory is too inconsistent to watch tv. What should I do, besides hang out here?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:07 AM
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I agree with all parts of 98. For example, NC law is horrible (and for non-trans gay people as well) but it's also the first time I've seen a trans issue be accepted as a mainstream civil rights issue. There is a backlash but it's a backlash starting from efforts to change a situation where even today and even in ostensibly "progressive" areas trans people de facto lack the most basic civil rights like not being openly discriminated against and not being murdered with impunity.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:07 AM
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That needed a pause/play but I'm apparently too sick for that too.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:08 AM
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100: slither.io


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:10 AM
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Podcasts, Messily. Or, like, internet radio from strange lands if you want something live. Hope you feel better.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:11 AM
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...also I am deaf.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:12 AM
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Oh shit. Forgot that. Crochet?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:13 AM
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Maybe start a fight with RT? That can be distracting.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:14 AM
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100: For a short attention span, I'm not sure you can do much better than Unfogged. That's pretty much its raison d'etre.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:15 AM
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but that reminded me to listen to music. (I am too deaf to understand words but I can hear sounds if they're real loud


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:17 AM
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I would have thought someone would have linked or mentioned this by now: Anti-LGBT Activists 'Testing' Target By Sending Men Into Women's Rooms

Great philosophy, guys: Be the change creepy predator you wish to see in the world women's restroom.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:17 AM
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97: I don't know if "allegorical" is the right word, and I agree that Atwood herself wouldn't have described it that way. But my point is that, to mainstream readers, it did not read as a literal extrapolation of current trends.

Put it this way: A Canticle for Leibowitz and Mad Max are both post-apocalyptic stories, but only one is intended as a sober attempt to describe such a world in literal terms. I think many readers read AHT as being more like the latter, but it's actually the former. And that's what has become so obvious.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:19 AM
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Night Vale is available transcribed, if you like that sort of thing.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:21 AM
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but only one is intended as a sober attempt to describe such a world in literal terms.

Which one?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:21 AM
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I'm gonna listen to Alexander Hamilton and lie down. (Amazon Music has available to scroll along with the song.) Talk to you later!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:25 AM
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111: Now you've got me thinking of a Handmaid's Tale/Road Warrior mashup. I suppose maybe that's what Mad Max: Fury Road was supposed to be...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 10:31 AM
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94 is right. I'll try to do better and not be a grumpy self-hater. I do think I'm a decent person, I swear!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 11:13 AM
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You do you, Thorn. We'll like you whether you do or not.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 11:28 AM
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Whoopsies, the feds don't like you Pat. State's rights! State's rights!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 2:01 PM
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Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's nullification.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-16 2:07 PM
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