I'm not sure how I feel about this

(121 Posts)
Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:17

Our university library has recently installed a gender-neutral toilet, following requests from transgender people. I don't have a problem with that.

However, it replaces the ladies' toilet, so the toilets on one floor are 'mens' and 'women / genderless'. It feels as this reinforces that men are the default gender, and anything else is aberrant.

What do you think?

Sunnywithshowers Mon 11-Mar-13 17:38:23

I have finally visited the SU loos. The downstairs loos are labelled 'Gender neutral' and 'Male'. There are 'Female' loos elsewhere in the building.

The 'Gender Neutral' loos look exactly like 'Female' loos: there's a machine for buying durex / sanitary protection and bins for the aforementioned sanitary protection in each cubicle. I suspect the only thing that has changed is the label.

So I'm still slightly hmm about it, but am happy that 'Female' loos are available and they're not all 'Gender Neutral' and 'Male'.

SomeTiggyPudding Thu 20-Dec-12 20:28:28

I need reports on toilet name, colour scheme and odour. And whether it's now a choice between Men and Unisex loos in the building.

Good luck with your boggy essays.

Sunnywithachanceofjinglebells Thu 20-Dec-12 20:20:47

Sorry Tiggy and everyone else, I got bogged down in essays and forgot all about it.

I've since found out it's the SU loos. I'm back on 7th January so will go and have a look.

SomeTiggyPudding Thu 20-Dec-12 20:11:58

The OP never did come back to the thread.

Update please?

KRITIQ Thu 06-Dec-12 01:15:01

Soz to hear you didn't get the job kim and good luck with the operation. May be a bit late in the day, but did you talk about practical arrangements on the ward with your surgeon or other staff who booked you in?

GalaxyDisaster Wed 05-Dec-12 22:10:54

I used to be a cleaner. As someone who has got far more up close and personal with gents toilets than I would wish, I can agree that IMO it is the bloody urinals. My area had one gents with just two cubicles and another floor had urinals and cubicles. The one with just the cubicles was far less stinky, and they had similar levels of traffic. My (male) colleague always reckoned men peed upwards more at a urinal and therefore there was more splash. With a toilet they were more conscious of aiming at a small, low level toilet.

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 05-Dec-12 22:09:46

doesn't male wee have a vile "special" scent as well? That's why it keeps away foxes and cats?

kim147 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:03:38

I think there's "splashback" as well which gets on the floor.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:12

But don't the men's stink because of the urinals?

kim147 Wed 05-Dec-12 21:47:37

I think men learn this at primary school. The boys' toilets at school have a smell all of their own.

To the women saying, why not just make all toilets unisex? Er, because the men's always stink!

kim147 Wed 05-Dec-12 21:36:42

They could just put the word "toilet" up.

And shield the urinals so you don't get to peek.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:30:22

Thanks ... I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just wondering what the feck was going on because it does sound really off, if it's true.

I think it'd make a big difference if the sign said 'gender neutral' rather than 'genderless', and if they're preparing to put it on both men's/women's loos, but I can totally believe people have made an arse-backwards decision, as they often do. sad

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 05-Dec-12 21:29:03

LRD I heard about the library loos from a fellow student and I haven't had a chance to check. I'm in tomorrow and will check and will come back to the thread.

TheSmallClanger it's a London university, not Manchester.

I feel a bit daft for having posted without having checked blush and am really interested in the debate.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 20:35:24

Ah, sorry if you didn't get that across before ... gotcha now.

I guess if making loos unisex prompts some blokes to stop (literally) pissing things up for everyone else, that's good! I do always pity DH when he describes what they're like, ewww.

kim147 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:34:21

shelby Totally agree. Women's toilets just smell nicer.

Shelby2010 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:30:09

LRD, sorry if you took my comment the wrong way before.... I wasn't disagreeing with you, probably just missed out a grin or whatever the [Tongue-in-cheek] emoticon is.

My only problem with unisex toilets is that when I've gone in the men's out of desperation they usually seem to be in a much worse state. Obviously I don't get pissed desperate that often so its not like I've done a thorough survey, but they can be a bit Yuk.

And please can we just take it as read that I am a)sexist and/or b) facilitating men's subconcious belief that a woman will clean up after them, by not wanting to paddle through their badly aimed pee making this comment.

CrunchyFrog Wed 05-Dec-12 20:27:16

The public toilets here are individual rather than a room of bogs, there's a disabled loo (which you could nearly swing quite a small cat in, if it didn't mind hitting the walls), one urinal, one proper loo with pic of man and woman on it. And nasty, nasty metal toilets and a needle disposal unit.

I thought this was a naice area.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 20:10:57


I was just saying to DH I think students would love it. There would rapidly be many non-official labels: 'this one is good for a long, slow shite' 'this loo is reserved for Ellie and Sam', etc. etc.

I worry the students I am know just aren't of the class some other posters know ...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 05-Dec-12 20:08:57

Maybe some men would protest the urinals/cubicle labelling as then people outside would know if they were going for a poo.

(I have had the misfortune to discuss this topic with male colleagues before)

TheElfOnThePanopticon Wed 05-Dec-12 19:52:35

Dromedary- I totally get your point about risk, but part of my risk assessment kit would be the knowledge that trans people (regardless of whether or not they have a penis) taken ad a group have very, very high levels of experiencing sexual violence and very low levels if perpetrating.

I like the cubicles/urinals labelling.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 18:58:32

crunchy - there we go! Perfect elegant solution.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 18:57:57

Oh, how weird. When I googled 'genderless toilets' I just got the MN thread. Can you link?

If this really is in an NUS guide I'm inclined to see if any of the student feminists I know fancy kicking up a stick. It's a really nasty, sneaky bit of casual misogyny - much worse than if an individual library has just been 'not good with words'.

CrunchyFrog Wed 05-Dec-12 18:28:53

I can think of an easy answer- label one toilet as "cubicles" and one as "urinals/ cubicles" or similar.

Those in a position of penis ownership/ a shewee/ good aim and flexibility/ not needing a poo can use the urinals, everyone else can use either set of cubicles although having worked in a pub I think urinals are there for something to look at while they piss on the floor

AliceWChild Wed 05-Dec-12 18:16:52

LRD good to hear.

Google tells me the NUS included it in a guide in 2008 and brings back lots of hits from various universities across the country. So maybe it depends how on board they are with NUS politics.

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