The Negative Response To Gender Neutral Bathrooms

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The performance of gender is done in the everyday life of the individual and it is a constant action done and viewed. Gender expression is how people convey their gender to society and to themselves. Society and individuals then receive these gendered cues and act accordingly. Genders that do not fall into the social binary categories of ‘man’ or ‘woman’ are discriminated against, excluded, and erased from the public sphere. Public bathrooms are gendered, with a men’s room for masculine people, and a women’s room for feminine people. Yet when a person falls outside of those binary designations, the men’s room or the women’s room can turn into a place of hostility and exclusion. Gender is constantly constructed and performed. West & Zimmerman…show more content…
150 college campuses have at least one gender neutral bathroom, but that is less than three percent of all colleges in the United states, and less than thirty­five percent of Americans receive a college degree. The negative response to gender neutral bathrooms is depicted in a Tucson Progressive article written by Pamela Hannley. The article, entitled “Bathroom Politics: Preserving the Sanctity of the ‘Ladies’ Room’”, asks of the readers “[if] the school districts want to allow transgender boys to use these facilities with the girls?”8 Later in the article she again refers to trans women as men. The article embodies a deep fear of trans women and gender nonconforming people as a whole. For example, darkness is an actual and metaphorical fear; we fear what we cannot see, understand, predict, control. The darkness that surrounds trans and non­binary people is what is feared by the agent of society: cisgender people. This positioning of power gives cisgender people privilege in a world the defines their identity as normal, correct, and default. Any change to the current culture and therefore power structures is a threat to their social superiority, including changes to how bathrooms are used and by whom. In Hannley’s article, trans women are treated with the fear that they may do something to cisgender women with whom they share a bathroom. This does not happen, yet cisgender men and women do attack trans women for using the women’s room. Trans and non binary people are not dangerous to individuals, we are dangerous to

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