“The Bathroom Problem”

A reading that I thought was really interesting was Jack Halberstam’s Female Masculinity, more specifically “The Bathroom Problem.”  This stuck out to me because it brought up questions I never thought about like how a transgender person has so much trouble using the bathroom.  Something that for me I never even have to think about which bathroom I am going to use.  It can be confusing if a transgender woman who still has masculine features is trying to use the bathroom.  Or even a lesbian woman who appears very masculine; or a person who does not identify as a male or a female.  The bathroom is something that for some reason many people take very seriously and insist on separate bathrooms for women and men.  Especially today with Trump trying to remove Obama’s protections for transgender student bathrooms and facilities in public schools.  He is trying to tamper with state laws, which will remove transgender equality in bathrooms.  It is nice to see that many bathrooms at the University of Delaware are for all genders or are gender neutral.  I do not understand why there even is a bathroom problem.  It should not matter which bathroom anyone decides to use.  A transgender man or woman should not be afraid to use the bathroom at school because of the risk of not fitting in or getting bullied.  The bathroom should not be a dangerous place for people.  Society needs to realize that there should not be a “bathroom problem” because using the bathroom should not be a problem for people who identify as different genders or no gender at all.


5 thoughts on ““The Bathroom Problem”

  1. I enjoyed reading Jack Halberstam’s “Female Masculinity” and specifically “The Bathroom Problem” also and it was also eye opening for me too. I think Halberstam did a good job adding in different scenarios of masculine females in a woman’s bathroom and how their personal experiences affect their daily lives. I never put much thought into how trans people and other people do not look like they ‘belong’ in their assigned bathroom and I never realized that it entails some of them avoiding the public bathroom all day if they have to and able to relieve themselves. I also never put much thought into because well, everyone goes to the bathroom to do exactly that, go the bathroom and people should not rage out about it. As Halberstam said when giving an account of when a masculine woman went to the bathroom, that the other women in the bathroom were not alarmed but jokingly talked about the woman out loud to her friend. I think the only reason people do not want to remove gendered bathrooms is because of hate and its a damn shame.


  2. The subject of “the bathroom” never really crossed my mind either until hearing about the things going on in North Carolina. I never realized almost like white privilege, there is “Cis Privilege” when comes to common everyday things such as which bathroom to choose. My high school never had gender neutral bathrooms or locker rooms and I never even thought about it until now and that’s just sad. I wish that there were easier ways for trans or non gender conforming people to talk about and share their struggles, without pinning themselves as a target. If I was more aware of these situations and others were too I feel like we would be stronger together to fight for rights and simple equalities that should be changed in our schools at least and then our communities.


  3. In relation to the ‘Bathroom Problem’ that many transgender individuals face, I was wondering about the safety aspect of segregating certain bathrooms. Today in class, members of Haven spoke about issues of safety and equality on campus, all of them saying they do not feel welcome or safe at UD. I believe that UD should be more accepting of all identities, but regarding safety, I wonder if more radical students would target and terrorize these specifically gender neutral bathrooms. The panel discussed feeling insecure and unsafe in both male and female bathrooms, but I wonder if they would feel as equally unsafe having a specific bathroom which openly displays what some people find controversial. I feel like certain precautions should be taken when creating gender neutral establishments, like an alarm or security system that could help prevent potential harm.


  4. When reading your blog, I noticed that I also did not realize how hard it may be for those who are transgender to use the bathroom. They face the difficult decision whether they should use the boys bathroom or girls bathroom and the decision gets even harder if they consider themselves transgender, but haven’t gone through with hormones and the transition. People use the argument that people, who are not transgender and simply just identify as a male or female, feel uncomfortable when transgenders are using their bathroom. They fail to realize, and look from transgenders’ point of view, that they feel just as uncomfortable deciding which bathroom to choose. There shouldn’t be a bathroom problem to begin with. A bathroom is simply there for you to use the bathroom and leave. People get caught up in the details of certain things that don’t need to be that big of a deal to begin with.


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