Friday, April 15, 2016

Bathrooms

Someone asked me to comment on the transgender bathroom laws in North Carolina and Washington. I think I'll decline this opportunity, because I don't want to stir up that huge hornet's nest.

I will say that I don't think people can agree on bathroom rules and etiquette, in general. For example, "flush the toilet after using it". That is one of the most basic bathroom rules in existence. But whenever I use public restrooms, I find that people break that rule constantly. They also break the rule about washing your hands after going to the bathroom. People are disgusting, sometimes.

Another thing people disagree on is the minimum age limit. How old must a child be, before they can use the bathroom by themselves? I personally think if a child is completely potty trained, it's reasonable to expect them to use a one-person bathroom alone. Other people disagree. This situation comes up in the first Baby-Sitters Club Super Special. The author takes it for granted that a six-year-old girl is way too young to use the bathroom by herself, so the baby-sitter has to be inside the bathroom when the girl uses the toilet. I found that to be strange, awkward and totally unnecessary, because six-year-olds are old enough to understand how bathrooms work.

(To make the situation even more awkward, the bathroom trip happens on an airplane.)

So if people can't come to consensus on whether or not six-year-olds can use the bathroom, I don't think they'll be able to agree on any transgender bathroom laws, especially not if the laws are super broad ones that treat all people and all bathrooms the same.

3 comments:

Justice said...

I'm not going to stir up the hornet's nest either, but I want to put in that yes, a six-year old is *definitely* old enough to use the bathroom by themselves (barring any physical or mental handicap). In fact, most would protest your coming in with them. I'm on staff in my church's childcare department, so I've had quite a bit of firsthand experience with this.

Anonymous said...

maybe in all new establishments they should make a law to have one additional bathroom that is unisex, that men, women and transgenders are all free to use. It doesnt have to be big, just one stall.

Luna said...

This past weekend, I used a public restroom while traveling. As I was washing my hands and about to leave, a woman entered with her son, who must have been six or seven years old. He was sort of crouched on the floor and spinning around, which is disgusting for both hygienic reasons and the fact that he could probably have seen inside the stalls very easily. He was definitely too old to be in a restroom meant for women, and his mother didn't even seem to care that he was flailing around and possibly looking into the stalls. I was extremely glad I was on my way out anyway.