Saturday, December 1, 2007

Debate - BP All Public Bathrooms should be Unisex

Practice debate at the University of Vermont held by the Lawrence Debate Union at the University of Vermont. The debaters are: Proposition - Gergana Zapryanova, Carina Berg, Maeline Murphy Hall and Sam Ricker. Opposition - Lucas Caress, Joe Torda, Danielle Bauman and Arman Ismail. Chaired by David Register. 30 November 2007.


  1. i think that we should build mens/women,and unisex multi-stall public bathrooms, and just have pepole get use to it. i think its a normal thing that men and women should use the same bathroom at the same time, we all poop/pee the same way any one els, to me it personly dosent bouther me that someone makes disturbing noises next to me becuase we all do it. plus i think it would biluid personel charecter. those who dont like the idea there pepole that dont even like to interac with other pepole, like other contries there much more friendly over there,thats why they have multi-stall bathrooms, and pepole here dont even interact with each other at the grocery store, we should not be strangers to each other in the same country. so europe isnt haveing any problems with multi-stall bathrooms, why should we have problems with it, so we should give it a shot start small and see what happens. and children they find out how evry thing works with men and women at early age anyway, i bet we all played docter with your best oppostie sex friend when you were 6,7,8 years of age, and we all should feel comfortable with each other using the bathroom its a natural thing we do it, pets do it we see it all the time. thats why it dose not disturb me when some one is takeing a poop beside me in the next stall over.

    PS: changing bathrooms i think would change are personality and character twoards other pepole makeing us more friendly nation.

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  4. Public Toilets are social equalizers. They erase distinctions between the genders. Men and women are stripped of their differences. So that social class, wealth, race, age, culture, nationality, and even religion, are set aside. Two men at the urinal are equal inside a Public Toilet. Two feet under a stall have the same hierarchy. Both produce farts and both stink. It doesn't matter if a guy pooping in a stall is a blue collar worker and the guy shitting next to him is a Harvard alumnus. Both have an urgent need to shit and both are men. I assume a similar story should unfold in the ladies room.

    Society has accepted Public Toilets as places where differences are set aside and equality is the norm. But a major difference still exists. That between men and women. Public Toilets have failed to erase this difference. It is acceptable for a Wall Street broker to take a leak next to a construction worker, or a politician taking a dump next to a cop at an airport restroom. However, it would be unthinkable to take a dump in a restaurant while your date applies makeup, or worse still to take a leak while she takes a dump.

    Unisex Toilets would erase the difference in gender and in consequence would be people equalizers. They would demystify the Victorian taboo of shame between men and women when going to the bathroom. Urinating and defecating are physiological functions, just like breathing, sleeping, and eating. There's nothing wrong with them. Poop is natural and there's nothing disgusting with it if handled properly. It is society which has attached to it the taboo of uncleanliness, guilt, and shame. This can be partly understood because in the 19Th century, sewage systems were not always existent and the toilet as we know it today was not yet perfected. There were many outbreaks of cholera and other diseases. So poop was considered extremely dangerous, and it was understandable that people had an aversion to it. On the other hand, Victorian morale made it fashionable to pretend you didn't poop. The higher you were in the social scale, the less "earthly" you were. So for the higher classes, it was essential to pretend they didn't poop and thus, hide all the aspects related to pooping. That's how the water closet (W.C.) became invented. And that's how privacy became the norm. If pooping was considered taboo for society as a whole, for women it was unthinkable. Girls don't poop and the only thing emanating from a women's body should be the scent of roses. That was the prevailing ideology and that's the primary reason why men and women are segregated when going to the bathroom. At least in Western society.

    Opponents of Unisex Toilets might argue that they're not soundproof. True, but what's wrong with hearing farts, plops, or crackling sounds after all. They're not worse than hearing someone blowing their nose. Or sneezing, or coughing. They may argue that they're not smell proof. True, you can smell someone’s gas but what else would you expect in a public restroom. And would you really care if the poop smell comes from a man or a woman. Poop always stinks. They may argue they're not visual proof. So, what's the big deal with seeing someone’s shoes, or high heels under a stall. You're not seeing nudity or anything else you wouldn't see outside the restroom. Finally, the test of fire. Women might get offended by seeing a man's penis. Regarding this delicate issue. There's no reason why a woman should see a penis inside a Unisex Toilet more than a man seeing a vagina. However, since men in a hurry sometimes unzip before getting to the urinal accidentally, my solution would be placing the urinals in a separate area were women would be visually protected. That way, this issue would be solved once and for all.