Reading Summary #4

BAZELON, EMILY. “Making Bathrooms More Accommodating.” New York Times Magazine. 17 November 2015. Web. 2 January 2016. This article focuses on bathroom accommodations for individuals. It starts off discussing bathrooms and how they are the most common markers of sex differences. Bazelon goes on to explain that “restrooms are a public convenience, freely available and in principle open to all, but the terms for entering them have been fixed”.  This can cause discomfort to some and transgender people are asking for society to rethink, from designs to signs to who can enter places. She discusses a vote in Houston where voters rejected a “broad equal rights ordinance” that protected against discrimination in housing and employment, as well as public spaces. She talks about changes in school districts, discussing that they have “generally agreed to call transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns, and allowed them to join the sports team of the gender with which they identify”. She claims that although these changes have been made, deciding where they can change, shower, and use the bathroom has been trickier. She discusses a civil rights complaint from suburban Illinois where the department of education intervened. She focuses on the definition of accommodate and discusses that in detail. She says “it can have a compulsory aspect – it’s a word that involves moving over to make room for others, whether you want to or not”. Bazelon then talks about activists and how they have chafed the use of the word “accommodation” because its interpreted as a distinction between normal and the other. This word offers the possibility of mutual give...
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