Public Bathrooms:  “Separate and Unequal” (December 26, 2016)

. . .

K          “Someone who was one of the three or perhaps four heterosexual intellectuals in American to support gay marriage during the dark ages – in the early summer of 2011 – finds himself troubled by this new unbounded license to choose bathroom policy.”

J          “That makes you all kinds of very bad things, you know.  A reactionary, a red neck, a misanthrope, a misogynist, a mugwump and a sexist.  For openers.”

. . .

K          “Decades ago, I argued that notions of equal protection required more physical bathroom facilities for women than for men.  That turned some folks apoplectic.  Look at the lines outside the women’s bathrooms that form even today.  The average time per visit for women is much longer than for men.  I contended that the only way to achieve equality was and is to implement inequality.  That did not sit well in some quarters.”

. . .

K          “Clean available public bathrooms are key to public health.  Think about it.  When you turn on the television, they say that you invite into your living room deplorable characters that you would not allow to tread anywhere on your property.  Public bathrooms are part of the social contract we make with fellow citizens allowing all of us to enter and share the most private chamber in one’s castle for a short and awkward period of time.”

J          “When I stand next to an imperfect stranger at the wall urinal, I recognize that I am waiving my privacy in an uneasy truce with the other chaps for a minute or two.”

K          “Exactly.  We all agree to a ‘modus vivendi’ that entails a temporary suspension of our privacy.”   

. . .

K          “Thus, there must be an unequal number of stalls for women than men.  And the stalls should be kept separate based on decisions made by Nature.  In all other ways, treat everyone equally.”

. . .

J          “The likely response and compromise will be more single ‘family’ bathroom units in the future.”

K          “Building design will change.  The total number of square feet per person dedicated to public restrooms will increase.”

. . . 

K          “I wonder if being way ahead of the curve in the past is likely to lead one to be way ahead of the curve in the future.  Few see it.”

J          “You are still a filthy troglodyte.”

K          “I resemble that remark.”

. . .  

[See the “e-commentary” at “Brown: 5 – Plessy: 4 (June 29, 2015)”, “The Tsunami Hits Shore (March 24, 2014)” and “The Sea Change Is Now A Tsunami (March 11, 2013)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Public Bathrooms:  “Separate and Unequal”

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