When I was younger, the issue du jour (for a brief time, at least) was “potty parity.” This was the idea that there should be enough bathrooms to satisfy everyone who wanted to use one, without causing undue hardship to one gender or another. This issue arose out of the fact that there was (and still is) frequently a long line for the women’s bathroom, while at the same time there is often none for the men’s, even at events where you would think there would be more men then women present, like football games. “Potty Parity” would have taken this fact into account when designing new venues, and planned for more women’s restrooms from the very beginning to balance the wait times out.
Although the idea of Potty Parity was heavily supported by women, the push for it, ironically, was started by men: specifically, men who felt uncomfortable after “their” bathroom had been invaded by women who had decided they weren’t going to wait in those long lines any more.
Flash forward twenty or so years. There’s still longer lines for the women’s room, but now the “issue du jour” is no longer women using the men’s room, but rather men using the women’s: specifically, transgendered men. (Although almost no one seems to have a problem with transgendered women using the men’s room, which is nice, I guess.)
Overlooking the fact that 1) why do you care who is in the stall next to you, as long as they will be a pal and pass you some toilet paper when you are out, and 2) if you are looking at the person’s junk standing next to you at the urinal, doesn’t that make you the pervert? there is still a much bigger issue that we are all missing in this battle of the bathrooms. One that has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not you have the “right” equipment or even how long it takes you to get that equipment out and use it. No, this is an issue that goes much deeper than such superficialities as that. This issue is: how do we pass a law requiring there to be two sets of bathrooms in the world, one for teenagers, and one for humans? Or if that’s not feasible, then how do we pass a law keeping teenagers out of bathrooms, period.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather face a veritable army of “men in dresses” (the supposed bugaboo of the new bathroom law proponents) than one single teenage girl reapplying her makeup and fixing her hair. (Not that you would ever see one single teenage girl in a bathroom. Or for that matter, anywhere.) The fumes from the hairspray alone are enough to cause hallucinations. And as for teenage boys—well, let’s just say that fumes are the problem in that scenario as well. (I think scientists should look into the deadly effects of combing Axe body spray and Taco Bell-inspired flatulence. I think it might be comparable to what happens when you mix ammonia and bleach.)
Of course, the real problem here isn’t the public bathrooms—it’s the private ones. Because as annoying as a gaggle of teenagers might be out in the wild, they are five times more annoying when held in captivity—i.e., your house. At least in public bathrooms there is no danger of electrocution because of all of the appliances plugged in and balanced around an overflowing sink. After all, make-up and Axe Body Spray have never actually killed anyone. I think. Which is why, when it comes to sharing a bathroom, I’d much rather have it look like the set of Rocky Horror than Final Destination.
To be honest, if there was a public bathroom within a quick trot of my house, I’d probably use it, regardless of what the little pictogram looked like on the door. As long as that pictogram wasn’t carrying a curling iron, a can of Axe, or a bag of Taco Bell.