Everything is OVER-sexualized…REALLY???


by Kenneth Justice

~ One of the coffee houses I frequent has caused quite a stir in the community; they’ve removed the gender designations of the bathrooms and made everything unisex.

Kenneth, can you believe they would do this?! Don’t they know it’s entirely scandalous to have unisex bathrooms!” someone asked me yesterday

I really don’t have a pony in the race; I’m not for or against unisex bathrooms. However, I am surprised at how passionate both sides of the disagreement are in their arguments with each other. The pro-unisex bathroom people are very diligent in their crusade to end gender designated bathrooms, and the anti-unisex people are equally as assiduous in their defense of traditionally gender designated bathrooms.

Honestly, is taking a whiz really deserving of so much attention and debate?

When the University of Berkley moved to co-ed dorms and unisex bathrooms back-in-the-day it caused quite a stir, one friend of mine wasn’t allowed to apply at Berkley because their parent said; “You would have to share bathrooms with the opposite sex!

Perhaps I’m being too simplistic, but I keep wondering if Western Society hasn’t become a little too sexualized. While I’m not suggesting we return to Roman days where they had a long building with 40 toilet holes in which every one of mixed gender and children sit and stare at each other, talking, visiting with each other, and conducting professional business while they, err, conduct their ‘personal’ business, it does seem we may have gone a little too over the top in making bathrooms a sexualized experience.

The coffee shop manager explained to me, “during peak business hours we kept getting complaints from women that the wait for the women’s bathroom was too long, so we figured we could help the bladder out of those waiting women by simply making both the bathrooms unisex. There weren’t any politically correct or sexualized reasons for our change; we simply wanted to help out our customers who had told us of the problem they were having

On the radio recently the local Evangelical Christian superstar of the area said quite loudly, “Unisex bathrooms are sinful! It is tragic that young girls are now being asked to pee in the same room as grown men!

If it sounds like I’m demeaning the anti-unisex bathroom people I’m not. Like I said, it doesn’t matter to me if all bathrooms are gender designated, or if we make them all unisex. I don’t spend much of my life thinking about public bathrooms in a sexualized manner; and I keep asking myself if this isn’t the real problem. Why have we sexualized so many things in life?

—-) Advertisers have long used beautiful women to sell shampoo by portraying them as showering naked in television commercials; do we really need to see the woman put the shampoo in her hair in order to be coaxed to purchase the product?

—-) Beer companies are notorious for using women in a sexualized manner to hawk their alcohol

A lot of rather normal day-to-day activities are often sexualized in the media and this is what makes me wonder if the real problem in the bathroom debate (and other similar debates) is connected to our over-sexualized culture.

Perhaps we should all chill out just a tad, that’s what I plan on doing as I finish my cup of coffee this morning,


Categories: Culture & Society

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63 replies

  1. I really don’t see the big deal about sharing bathrooms with me–we do that at work all the time and no one is dead yet.

    Although I can’t say I don’t enjoy unisex bathrooms though. Men and female hygiene’s a lot different I’ve come to notice….and the sight of pee on the toilet seat is annoying.

    Nothing sexual about it. So I agree with you, this world is darn too sexualized.

  2. Bringing connection between genders like this could even lead to less gender-related issues – because it seems that making separations within humanity is what causes most issues.

    • Agreed. The issue in question has no importance – using the toilet is a private act, so gender designations are irrelevant. Ironically the strident debate about it is the problem itself; those anti-unisex are stating gender matters when it doesn’t, and those pro-unisex seem to see the issue as a chance to discuss gender politics where gender is totally irrelevant.

      If the ultimate aim of feminism is to reach a state where gender is not a relevant factor in judging an individual, then both sides fail here.

    • Aw, thanks! Love your stuff by the way.

  3. Yes, this society’s advertisement has been oversexualized. My own greatest fear of the uni-sex bathrooms is this could set up the perfect opportunity for a not-so-well-intention man to “take advantage”, um, “rape”, a woman.

  4. There seems to be a fear for some people in our society stemming from equality of the genders. It requires that they keep separating and distinguishing. To objectify women is to demean them. It is a fear of losing power and less about love making.

  5. I have no comments on the unisex bathroom as long as one person in the cubicle can lock the whole door.

  6. Does unisex mean that either sex can use the bathroom, but it’s locked when one person is in there, or that both sexes are in the bathroom at the same time? (In this particular coffee house)

  7. Didn’t we already have this debate way back in the 90s when Ally McBeal intvented the unisex bathroom?

    • You mean ADRA headquarters isn’t installing unisex bathrooms?! I don’t remember the debate on Ally McBeal because my mom didn’t want me to become obsessed with weight issues and never allowed me to watch that show. – The Wifey

  8. Didn’t we already have this debate way back in the 90s when Ally McBeal invented the unisex bathroom?

  9. For me it’s not a sexual or gender issue – I just like not having to “put the seat down” in a public restroom. LOL

  10. Will we have to call it the Joan instead of the John? Will the graffiti be better? Will the seat always be up or down? Will they finally get cleaned more often??? Watch Slumdogs again, remember their bathroom on the end of a pier? Now don’t we feel silly with our worries.

  11. My only complaint at this particular place is they now I as a guy might have to wait longer to use the bathroom. Not fair! Grrrrr….

    Seriously, if it’s a single-user bathroom, I don’t see the big deal aside from wait time. I have experienced it first-hand, and while annoying, my life is hardly ruined by it. I think the unisex debate is larger when it’s a multi-person bathroom. I’ll be honest, that’s awkward and uncomfortable on several levels.

  12. Men and Women’s hygiene needs are slightly different and while I don’t mind using a unisex bathroom if there’s only one toilet cubicle, I’m not sure I would like to see men peeing in a urinal in the same area while I am washing my hands at the hand basin in the main area of a LARGER toilet block – LOL. Remove the urinals if there’s a reassignment of the bathroom as unisex permanently, please.

    If there’s one cubicle and one hand wash basin and the door from the main coffee lounge/bar/store is lockable, I don’t care if it’s designated unisex. And yes, small restaurants, especially in older buildings or locations often only have one (lockable) toilet/bathroom anyway. Well, they do DownUnder in Oz.

    But guys, please don’t pee on the seat, floor etc!!

  13. I think its a smart idea ! Yes, the line to the women’s restroom is almost always a longer versus the men’s(in crowded venues) ..Sometimes I think folks just want to whine and moan about ‘ish…Closed door with a lock on each stall..Problem solved!

  14. My first thought was “Hooray! No long line for the lady’s room!” I’ve been know to sneak into the men’s room when I really have to pee and it’s a one person restroom. I see no big deal with it. People are too uptight. 🙂

  15. Don’t chill out too soon Kenneth you might cool the coffee.
    If the new unisex toilets are individual and lockable there should be no problems. After all, when you need to go it’s either engaged or vacant and if engaged it doesn’t matter who by as long as they get a move on. No more repairing make-up please ladies and make sure you clean any spills please gents.

  16. I’ve noticed rich clean, areas are like “YAY UNISEX POTTYS”. Like your coffee shop. But I was in a restroom where men were barging in pretty rangy area of the country and it wasn’t fun and it was scaring my toddler. Most were construction workers making it as crazy uncomfortable as ever. I was alone and it was only men coming in a stream into the restroom in a line while I was the only one using a stall and trying to help my daughter use the toilet while she was still learning. This was NOT fun or “HAHA! YAY GENDER EQUALITY!” It was strange and uncomfortable and some of the men stared at us while they peed. But again, you’ll see people all holding hands in the potty when it’s a cleaner place to live with everyone polite and friendly and somewhat clean. But this seems to be the usual. What’s good for the cities BETTER be good for everyone else. I know, cause I grew up in the city then moved all over after.

  17. My husband and me share our bathroom! Our family also share and although the hygiene differences of our teenage sons versus our daughter are noticeable I have been in the women’s bathrooms at work to know just how disgusting they too can be. I don’t think this matters as long as there are lockable doors!

  18. Yeah, Kenneth…. drink that coffee…. that HOT, coffee…. I bet you like to put your stirrer in there, too! In and out… up and down…. stir that bad coffee… you know you want to!

    Meanwhile…. don’t forget to put the seat back up when you’re done!!

  19. A locker on the door take cares the business, and Yes, it would be pleasant scene if everyone aimed IN the target lol. Agree that sexual advertising is in the rise; looks like companies spend much more money, time on advertising as they do on research.

  20. It is amazing how we look at certain things here compared to other countries. I have seen commercials for other countries and they would never be played here. They seem to remove the stigma of the human body and in their culture it is a norm. For example, breastfeeding is done in the open and no one bats an eyelash but here there are protest as people look at you funny. I’m sorry, but breast are to feed children, long before formula and bottles came about so why is it considered risqué here? My question about the coffee house bathroom is it just one stall or is it multiple stall’s? If it is only one I really don’t see the big deal, lock the door. If it is multiple stalls it would be uncomfortable to have a mom in there with her child and a man walks in. Just my thoughts, hope you enjoyed your coffee.

  21. To funny. Sinful? Only if it is one door with 5 cubicles to where one can use a toilet. Surely I understand that, that would invite indecent behaviour.
    Men on the other hand should refrain from that kind of dirty indecent behaviour like snapping picture over or under while a lady is having a moment to herself.

    It is that kind of argument where we hear a lot of noise, but lose track on what really matters. One toilet behind a single door why not. But again it does ask change in behaviour. And we men are not easy to potty train. We do leave the seat up and may forget that we always splatter something up. It means each and every one should wash their hands.

    Trivial small behavioural changes that are not easily made. They could have just and I do see this a lot make a extra bathroom for the ladies.
    But sinful, come one grow up. I am okay with unisex bathroom. as long as it not the 5 cubicle kind.

    Side note how many time does a bathroom not be used for both sexes at the same time 😀

  22. I am very amused by this post. In America, we can turn the simplest human act into a national debate, create petabytes of social networking firestorms of inanity, separate into toxic opposing views, and rant over the top of each other for months on end in televised debates, achieving nothing but polarization. To settle the debate, our inept lawmakers must inact a poorly constructed public law that imposes one solution on the population. Satisfied that no one is happy, we move on to some other miniscule issue to find or regain our 15 minutes of fame. We should be more concerned with public safety, security, privacy, cleanliness, comfort, and convenience while performing this necessary act of personal relief. Those lofty performance measures are rarely considered in total and so we are now worried about the harm done when Johnny Whizart and Tessie Mae Blowflower are forced to toss out their last hold on dignity and urinate in or on a common pot with a 50% probability that the lid will be in an incorrect position causing moments of delay. Give me good ventilation! I’ll live with the other harsh realities and hope for progressive elaboration of the true issues of humanity over the next few centuries…

  23. Only issues I have with unisex bathrooms are to do with safety and sanitation. I work where the single bathrooms are unisex. They are lockable and I just lock it when I’m in there. No problem except that sometimes it’s pretty nasty. We do have people that clean but apparantly not often enough.

    We also have larger bathrooms with stalls and urinals for the men. Those are single sex. I wouldn’t really feel comfortable going in there. The womens rooms have all stalls, so I don’t think it would really matter if a man went in there as long as he kept it clean. It would take some getting used to. Not sure all women (including me) would be comfortable TRUSTING all men to behave respectfully in those situations.

  24. As long as these are small bathrooms where one occupant uses them at a time, it only seems fair and practical. But I would worry about safety in large lavatories in anonymous buildings.

  25. Sharing the bathroom isn’t an issue if it’s one toilet and one sink in the room. Multiple stalls can be dangerous for women. Maybe other people don’t think of things like that but rape and violence can happen anywhere. I was called for jury duty on a case where a woman was raped in a public bathroom. I don’t care if everyone else doesn’t think this is an issue. It is an issue for a lot of women. Stalls can be hiding places. Caught alone with someone can be frightening, especially for those who have already had violent experiences. That’s the only reason I would vote no. We constantly tell girls to never go into bathrooms alone…never, for any reason. Bathrooms can be dangerous places. Now, I realize that the coffee shop is small, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. This is a real issue for a lot of people. Unfortunately, everyone isn’t nice, everyone CAN’T be trusted. If you haven’t worked with women who have had violent experiences and are afraid, you may not be able to understand this, but it’s real for them and to me that’s way more important than being PC.

  26. If it’s a one-seater, then it’s much ado about nothing. I’ve been known to dive into a one-seater men’s restroom when the need was strong enough. No apologies. Otherwise, I’d probably prefer not to share, but I certainly wouldn’t make a huge fuss or anything. I’d suck it up and deal because my preference is mine, and I don’t expect others to change to accommodate little ole me .

  27. We do live in an overly sexualized culture, but the alternative we like to wallow in is glamorized violence. It becomes really disconcerting when we start putting the two together.

    The bathroom battle is actually a rather profound cultural debate with many implications. On the surface it probably seems kind of silly and shallow, to practical people anyway. It’s actually become a symbolic representation of our entire struggle with gender issues. Women have been saying we want equality and yet biological reality just keeps rearing it’s ugly head. Do we really want complete equally as the physically smaller and more biologically vulnerable gender, or do we want to hold onto some of the cultural protections that inequality arranged for us?

    We have the added twist of trying to redefine gender itself, as if it is nothing more then a social construct. The questions than lead you to ponder what the impact of attempting to erase and deny the biological truths inherent in gender might be.

    So you see, nothing is ever truly about just going pee 😉

    • Gabrielle, well said. This is actually the real subject I was hoping would be discussed; how much of what we designate as gender is nothing more than a societal construct? Thus, gender/unisex bathrooms are perhaps nothing more than an invention of western society.

  28. I say this to the vast majority of folks I am sure it does not matter. I fear with the sharp rise of child molestations that that could pose a problem if the bathrooms were such that many can use at the same time otherwise it is a non issue. I do not like the idea of sharing at the same time but I am fine with everyone using the same bathroom

    • Do you really think child molestation is on the rise? I’ll admit I haven’t read anything on it so I’m not to educated on the subject

    • Yes it is my family is currently going through this and I have learned a lot. With the growth of porn on the Internet there has been a corresponding growth of child molestation though in our day and age people do not like to connect the two there are many studies that do and I have not seen one that does not. It is a changing world out there and we are basically still only at the beginning

  29. Oh, society is definitely oversexualized. Sex sells, and so it’s EVERYWHERE. You should check out AVEN (asexuality.org) for a perspective of those who have no interest in sex, just to see HOW oversexualized our society is.
    But I never thought of bathrooms as sexualized before. It’s weird. Why ARE bathrooms segregated? It does seem a little silly. As long as there are bathroom stalls, I don’t see the problem. I know segregated bathrooms make it a little tough on parents with small children of the opposite gender.

  30. Wow! The post was fun, the long list of comments is an education!!

  31. Our family was obviously well ahead of the times. We had a unisex bathroom in our house in the 1950s. My father, mother, three sisters and I shared our bathroom and thought nothing about it. Neither did any of our visitors.

  32. I love the coffee shop manager’s approach. Awesome.

    As for this: ““Unisex bathrooms are sinful! It is tragic that young girls are now being asked to pee in the same room as grown men!”””. Ummm, I’m assuming we’re still talking about cubicles here?! I really can’t see the big deal. Where the heck is the sin? And I say this as the mother of a seven year old girl.

    When you gotta go, you gotta go after all.

  33. but if we don’t major in minors then we might have to face up to something important!

  34. This is quite an interesting post today. I think that in many places, such as the coffee shop you describe here, that unisex bathrooms would be no big deal. In large public places (I’m thinking of Grand Central Station in New York as I write this), I see the potential for problems.

    • What did society do before gender designated problems? Do you think that people have changed too much from the way they used to be ‘back in the day’ for unisex bathrooms to work?

  35. From this girls perspective, I suppose unisex bathroom shouldn’t mean that much or be that controversial BUT (and here’s where I will spark controversy… you don’t mind, do you?), I like a little mystery. Modesty really would be more aptly named “mystery.” Truth: The reason the stereotype of taking the girl next door home to mom instead of the girl from (insert name of racey street in your town here) is because moms know that mystery means something in a marriage and that’s what has sparked every gender related debate I’ve ever been a part of. Why can’t women whip out a boob in public to feed a baby without having to deal with societal pressures to hide herself? Mystery. Why can’t a girl where a skirt that shows a little butt cheek in the mall? Mystery.

    Why is there “spark” in a relationship? Mystery. Why do guys like teddy’s instead of a nudist colony in their home? Mystery!

    Just sayin’… Ok, let the gender nuetral people really say something!

    the wifey

  36. I too hate the idea of a dozen, okay, three girls simply rushing in to deliver a pair of pants to a man simply because he uses a particular Deodorant.

    But I am not Sure I would like my Wife or my Daughter, (If I were married), to use a toilet which men also used. The very presence of the other sex can (and does) bring out a different language and behaviour.

  37. I think unisex bathrooms are a great idea, especially because there are more than two genders in the world. I mean, in our own homes men, women and children all use the same bathroom. Anywhere else but in stores and restaurants men and women use the same bathroom. It’s not like unisex bathrooms don’t exist.

    I’d like us to move away from how we separate genders. There are people who are my gender and people who I would sleep with maybe. Everyone who doesn’t fit in these box is a sinny sinner whose going to hell. I’m really tired of that thought process.

  38. I have used the men’s room many times because the other line was so long. It’s a super duper idea!!!!

  39. “Unisex bathrooms are sinful! It is tragic that young girls are now being asked to pee in the same room as grown men!”

    That cracks me up. My guess is that the bathrooms in nearly every home in America are “unisex.” My guess is that this fellow has bathrooms in his own home where “young girls are asked to pee in the same room as grown men.” Someone should point out what a sinful person that makes him.

  40. It would be silly to care about that, in my opinion.


  41. Well the way I see it, the complainers can always choose NOT to use the business if their facilities are so offensive. Cuts down the waiting line for the rest of us, but the business owner may not be too happy. My favorite clubs are unisex, a is my home, so who cares!

  42. We’ve had unisex bathrooms in San Francisco for over two generations. I believe that this was the
    scare bomb that launched the backlash against feminism.

    So far, civilization is in the same precarious shape that it was in before the horror of unisex bathrooms…

    I’m just glad that the debate over separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites is over…

    Or is it???

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