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How Did Public Bathrooms Get to Be Separated By Sex in the First Place? / Portside

Society & Culture  (tags: public bathrooms, sex segregation, women working, transgender rights, 'weaker sex', women's spaces )

- 1106 days ago -
laws in the U.S. did not even address the issue of separating public restrooms by sex until the end of the 19th century, when Massachusetts became the first state to enact such a statute. By 1920, over 40 states had adopted similar legislation requiring


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Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday July 5, 2016, 10:29 pm
It is therefore surprising that this now discredited notion has been resurrected in the current debate over who can use which public restrooms.

Opponents of transgender rights have employed the slogan “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms,” which evokes visions of weak women being subject to attack by men if transgender women are allowed to “invade” the public bathroom.

In fact, the only solid evidence of any such attacks in public restrooms are those directed at transgendered individuals, a significant percentage of whom report verbal and physical assault in such spaces.

In the midst of the current maelstrom over public restrooms, it is important to keep in mind that our current laws mandating that public restrooms be separated by sex evolved from the now-discredited separate spheres ideology.

Whether or not multi-occupancy, unisex restrooms are the best solution, our lawmakers and the public need to begin envisioning new configurations of public restroom spaces, ones far more friendly to all people who move through public spaces.


Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday July 6, 2016, 12:31 am
Very interesting article.

We're such vain, ego-sensitive creatures, when it comes to our sexual organs and having to get rid of waste material from the body.

A friend of mine, related to me years ago, how he'd gone to Nepal. When one wanted to "go to the bathroom" one created a hole in the ground, had a pee or sh$t, and then covered the hole up again.

One should remember that excrement can act as very useful fertilizer for farming, and at least one actress, Sarah Miles, was advised to drink her own urine for health purposes.

Animae C (508)
Wednesday July 6, 2016, 12:57 am
Without reading the article i'd say the church!!!

What very many don't realize is that they've been p*ssing & sh*tting with transgender individuals since the dawn of time! The only difference now is that we're being open about it!!!

Thanx BM

Marcus B (57)
Wednesday July 6, 2016, 1:48 am
An interesting read, thank you for sharing.

Jonathan Harper (0)
Wednesday July 6, 2016, 2:47 am

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 6, 2016, 3:19 am
Washrooms should be unisex period. And finally we're seeing more+more of just that. thx BM

Danuta W (1251)
Thursday July 7, 2016, 4:01 am
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