A funny thing happened on the way from the Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw Brothers of the Sun concert. As the last tune wound down and the acts said their good nights, people started filing out of FedEx Field. As they did, they decided to make one last ‘pit stop’ before heading out to the parking lot to wait the hour, hour-and-a-half or longer to get out and on the road. Per usual with any kind of event like this, the women’s room line stretched as long as the taillights would. As gals became more impatient or more in need, they decided to break formation and just run on into the men’s room to use the facilities there. There were some embarrassed giggles from the ladies and their friends, but for the most part, they got in and go out with nary a blink from the menfolk who were using their gender assigned facilities in turn. Shouldn’t it always be this easy?
The women who were using the men’s room at FedEx Field had no fear about going in. Some of them were really bold: waiting outside of a stall with their friends holding a purse and texting; just standing in the line with the rest of the men. Some of the men were helpful; guiding the women to the stall that looked least like somebody’s science project. In this atmosphere there was no concern of the oft mentioned lurking pervert who would take advantage of such an opportunity. Why is that? Why did these women have no qualms at all about using a restroom with the opposite gender? Did they feel, because of the crowd, should anything happen there would be people near by to help? Did they feel secure in knowing that they were with a group; either internally in the restroom itself or just outside the door. A group where one of their friends would come looking for them should they be delayed for an unusual amount of time. Did they just not care? Did urge or convenience override apprehension? These are not rhetorical questions, but questions which I really do seek feedback.
We hear a lot about the potential abuse of the system that could happen should we have gender neutral bathrooms or should we allow transgender persons to use their appropriate gendered bathroom. This is mainly voiced as men who would prey on women. This is a valid concern. But one that needs to be addressed with reason and logic. I believe the gender neutral bathrooms of convenience can help us address this concern and provide some guidance that would help address the needs of transgender persons as well as allay the fears of those who worry ‘what happens if…’