What follows will be a discussion of a rather delicate matter. A delicate matter that involves something that we, of both sexes (oh, and not to forget the transgendered, and more about that later) carry out a few times every day – and often far too many times a night, in my esteem.
That is the simple act of urination. Oh, we do the ‘other’ as well, but I, in the interests of respectability, will stick to peeing issues and will offer a few thoughts in that regard.
I have often thought we are a bit uptight about the matter in North America, since it is something we all do, but we try to keep it separate as far as the sexes are concerned. I recall, many years ago, going to the loo in one of those old British hotels in the days when you didn’t have a facility in your own room, so you had to traipse down the hall. In any case, early one morning I was standing at the urinal when a middle aged woman trotted in, said good morning, and then entered a stall and went about what she needed to tend to. At first I thought I was in the wrong place, but that was apparently not the case. It was a coed can.
And why not, I concluded. I had my back to her whilst I peed, and she went into a cubicle and was hence in her own sanctum for her elimination. Why do we insist, for example, that stores and restaurants have one for ladies and one for gents? As long as you can maintain your privacy, then two aren’t needed. We don’t have separate facilities in our homes.
I think we are relaxing a bit, though. I have noticed on some TV shows, like NCIS, for example in which a man will be standing at a urinal in the restroom and a female colleage will come in and carry out a needed conversation at the time. And again, why not? We all do it, and his back is to her. Often the show will depict a bit of discomfort on his part initially, but not for long. I know it really wouldn’t bother me, but I am fairly immodest, I can only conclude.
Of late the issue has come up of how to accommodate the transgendered. I don’t get this one. If the ‘trans’ person (male, let’s say, changing to female a la Bruce Jenner) still has his ‘junk’ intact then he will use the men’s room. If he has made the physical switch, he will utilize the ladies. I mean, why is this an issue? We are only talking about a minuscule percentage of the population (like less than one percent) so I don’t think revolutionary changes are in order to accommodate.
If we really want to serve the peeing public then every bit of new construction that is installing restrooms should provide two (or even three) potties for females for every one for men. Women waiting in queues in desperation, I have been told, often stand in jeopardy of humiliating themselves because there is no available place to pee. I have a few times invited desperate women into the men’s during which time I will willingly stand guard at the outer door. Hmm, maybe the potty paucity is a conspiracy by the people at Depends.
Whatever the case, let us accommodate women before we worry too much about the transgendered. And maybe let’s work towards becoming a little less delicate about a normal human function.