Hi friends! Sorry for the kinda-long absence. My ADD-addled brain has been preoccupied with a number of things the past few weeks, including but not limited to:
1. Finishing a profile for one of my jobs;
2. Propagating succulents;
3. Doing a big around-the-house project with my DGF;
4. Taking a bunch of photographs for a website for one of my other jobs;
5. Undergoing massive amounts of career-related identity crisis.
Anyway, I'm back now (yay! I missed you!) and was wondering what you all thought about the following topic: When, if at all, is separation based on sex ideal/necessary?
First, a few caveats. Let's acknowledge that this question is inherently problematic: cissexist, falsely essentialist, and denies the experience of intersex people. It assumes that sex is a dichotomy, which it is not. (Also, note that I'm talking about sex, not gender.)
So, I'm curious: What do you think about separation based on sex in the following scenarios? And why?
When do you think that sex (or gender) separation is necessary and/or ideal? Would you be happier in a world with no sex separation?
7/30/2012 05:58:42 am
I'd love to see a fully intergrated world where cisgender or transgender, gay or straight, and all the rest, didn't matter, and where we could all live in dorms and do our business without the need to interfere with each other, but that world is just not here yet. And so long as even a minority of cisgender males continue to have the potential for the kind of d**kheadery that they do now, it never will happen. Sorry, but I think females ( of all varieties ) are more ready to look at integration on the whole than males. Rape is still a cisgender male crime. The most extreme violence is still a cisgender male-dominated crime. And placing people at risk from these kind of crimes *without a choice* is not the way to achieve an integrated and tolerant world. I don't mean to sound mercenary or callous, but let people have the choice to take the risk at first, and then build from there.
7/30/2012 06:37:48 am
I agree 100%. I think there should be a choice for most situations. However, I have to personally say that I do NOT favor mixed-sex public bathrooms. It has been my experience using the men's room that it is often dirty, and disgusting in cleanliness. Not to mention, far too many cisgendered men often take advantage of women in public restrooms (i.e. video cameras, peeping). I don't think we're there yet. As for dorms, I agree that it should be entirely one's choice, and housing for mixed, and separate should be available.
7/30/2012 09:17:55 am
I agree that people should be able to choose when and where they want to mix. If someone wants to take their chances rooming with a male/female roommate in college or perhaps they're more comfortable rooming with someone of the opposite or the same sex then they should be given the option too. Being a college student myself I know I'm a lot more comfortable room with other females, however, I think I should be given the option to room with men should I find that option more appealing. However, for safety reasons, I don't think mixed public restrooms should be offered, however, gender-neutral restrooms should be offered so people don't feel pressured to conform and choose a gender specific restroom.
Unisex restrooms don't have to be a big change. Here in DC, we have a code that says single-stall restrooms MUST be unisex. I sincerely doubt that anyone who hasn't had to think about which restroom to use even notices the difference, but for those of us who do worry it's a lifesaver (when businesses follow the code, anyway...). There are even advantages for cis, gender-conforming people: you don't have a 15-person line in front of the single-stall women's room while the single-stall men's room stands empty. (Yes, this is something I've seen.) Win-win.
7/30/2012 08:34:10 am
I do not think we should have prisons.
7/30/2012 10:27:14 am
What would we do with serial killers? Or people who kidnap and rape little kids? (I'm not being sarcastic, I'm really asking, I don't like prisons either but whats the alternative??)
7/30/2012 02:55:23 pm
Spaces separated based on sex are one of my biggest challenges. As a transmasculine person who is legally male but opting out of any kind of lower surgery, I feel unsafe in any situation where I have to spend a prolonged period of time (or shorter periods when it comes to bathrooms and locker rooms) in which I am expected to have a set of genitals that I do not. For me, mandatory sex separation is terrifying because my presentation and paperwork put me in those situations.
7/31/2012 07:01:20 am
Let me throw this interesting tidbit out there. I teach middle school Health. I used to think that Sex Ed should be taught together, but after years of teaching, I think females and males should be separated for 6th and possibly 7th grade. There's just so many questions that the kids won't ask with the other gender present in the room. I do use an ananymous question box, but it sometimes still gets very uncomfortable for them. Should I leave it coed, or ask for changes? The LGBT kids....nothing for them in middle school except me!
8/2/2012 02:22:27 pm
I'm a big believer in gender neutral bathrooms, but I also know that some people are terrified (with valid reason in some cases) of mixing sexes. I think that the best way to deal with this would be single-stall gender neutral bathrooms. There would have to be more of them, but you could easily fit two or three of them in the same space that you use for a single-sex bathroom. These also tend to be handy for people who are handicapped to use because there's more likely to be adequate room without the only usable stall being snatched up by a mum waiting for her two-year old to pee.
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