All-Schnarr All Star

By Steven Schnarr

Last spring break I decided to visit my friend Amanda at her college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She lived in co-ed dorms, so I was relieved that I could stay in her room rather than with a stranger. What I didn’t expect was that they had co-ed bathrooms, too.

That somewhat weirded me out.

The first morning I woke up, I slung my towel over my shoulder and walked into the bathroom to find a girl brushing her teeth. I kindly introduced myself and, trying to fit in, stripped off my clothes in plain view and hastily hopped in the shower. The shower only had curtains dividing the stalls, and a little plaque hung on the wall reading “Save water; Shower together.”

After spending a week in the dorms, I got more used to it. It turned out to be not such a big deal. But then I asked myself, why aren’t more bathrooms unisex? At Columbia, the only unisex bathrooms we have are private, one-stall bathrooms, according to the administration.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not thrilled about the idea of dropping a double deuce next to some hottie from my Politics and Civil Rights class. It kind of grosses me out, but what’s the point? I don’t think it should.

When I was a child, I joked that girls didn’t poop.  The environment I was raised in made it such a weird issue.  I mean, I read Everybody Poops, and I knew they did, but I kind of wished they didn’t. After getting over the trauma of hearing a past girlfriend say she had to go drop the Cosbys off at the kiddy pool, I realized it would have been easier if I was raised without the subject being taboo.

These days, with LGBTQ lifestyles becoming more accepted, it is unnecessary, if not insulting, to have gender-specific bathrooms.

There’s no reason we should divide ourselves into these unnecessary categorizations. Other than in bed, it doesn’t make a huge difference that I have a penis, and you may have a vagina. I mean, we’re all just people. In my mind, gender is not concrete. To be categorized by gener just make stereotyping more prevalent. It also restricts many people from being themselves, as they might feel obligated to fit some of the supposed cultural behaviors associated with a gender.

We shouldn’t be confined to these ideas. Let’s just be ourselves.

And so, it’s time that more schools and businesses take these ideas into consideration. Maybe that’s the way it’s always been, maybe that’s what everyone else is doing, but neither of those are any reason to shut out the idea of unisex bathrooms. Maybe people are turned off from the idea of attending a gender-blind institution, but that’s the sacrifice that needs to be made.

It would benefit everyone and be a good example of a progressive and accepting stance on the issue of gender: We shouldn’t stand for archaic, unnecessary confinements. Let’s go pee together.