Reading Summary 4: Making Bathrooms More Accommodating

In “Making Bathrooms More Accommodating,” Emily Bazelon dives into the relatively new controversy our society is facing.  Transgender citizens are fighting for the right to use the restroom of their choice: male or female.  Or even for the inclusion of an all gender restroom.  Any solution will do, as they feel as though they are not being accommodated for in this section of everyday life in America. Recently, In Texas, what has been tagged as the “bathroom ordinance” was rejected and attacked with a vicious campaign that advocated for “No Men In Women’s Bathrooms.”  Such feelings toward the proposal of the law were prompted by its vague nature and seemingly dangerous potential.  Citizens were disgusted at the idea of legislation possibly opening up an opportunity for transgenders to be allowed in the same restroom as women, as they felt that they are not equal and crime would result from it. However in Illinois, action favoring the wishes of transgenders has already begun to take form. A teenager that was born male but has underwent surgery and is identified as a female officially was denied the right to change in the girl’s locker room by the school board.  However, the United States Department of Education stepped in and requested that the district allow her to change in the girl’s locker room behind a curtain.  The purpose of the privacy curtain is to accommodate for the transgender girl so that no student feels uncomfortable. With that being said, the author takes the time to dissect the actual meaning of the word accommodate and why is so problematic in an issue such...

Are Public Bathrooms Really ‘Accommodating’? : A Summary of Emily Bazelon’s Article

  In Emily Bazelon’s article “Making Bathrooms More Accommodating”, she argues that public bathrooms should be more “accommodating” to fit the needs of all groups of people, and not just the socially constructed genders, male and female. She begins by giving insight on the struggles that transgender people have when they have to which restroom to enter. It is difficult for them because their only options are “Men” and “Women.” Bazelon states that if they enter and the people inside “think [they’ve] confused male and female and walked through the wrong door, [they] risk discomfort, or even real trouble.” She argues that this is because the gender categories which determine who can enter the restrooms are “fixed.” According to Bazelon, the idea of “mixing male and female anatomy in [multi-stall] bathrooms and locker rooms” is a touchy subject for a lot of people. In Houston,  a law that “protected against discrimination in housing and employment, [due to] race, age ,sexual orientation and gender identity” was voted against and given the nickname, the “bathroom ordinance”. The “opponents” of the law even made shirts with images of a man threatening a girl in the bathroom, in order to discourage people from supporting the law, by “playing on voters’ fears.” To take her argument a step further, Bazelon provides a story of a transgender teenager, male to female, at a high school in Illinois, who was not allowed to change in the girls’ locker room because of privacy concerns”. Instead, she was sent down the hall to a separate room. Her parents brought a “civil rights complaint”, which resulted in the Department...
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