A Room With a Southern View

Thoughts on Life and Liberty from an Average Middle-Class Kentuckian

The Great Bathroom Debate

on May 21, 2016

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or in a cave, you know about the dispute raging over transgender people’s choice of public restrooms. This issue has made its way from the outhouse to the White House.

In this week’s local paper (yes, our newspaper is published only once a week) a front page story revealed how the DOJ and the DOE sent a letter to all public schools in Kentucky stating that the schools must allow students to use whatever restroom they identify with, and the letter implied that schools could lose Federal funding if they don’t comply.

How is this legal? When did it become OK for the Federal government to bully citizens into submission? This issue is still being deliberated in courts and legislatures across the country. I think the Feds are overstepping their authority by acting as if the issue is resolved.

I agree, laws decreeing that a person must use the restroom that agrees with his/her birth certificate are just silly.  Are folks supposed to show their birth certificates to get permission to use the restroom? Laws like that are no solution, neither is the Federal government forcing people into what some feel is an unsafe situation. Although I disagree with the government’s heavy-handed approach, it will most likely be the impetus to real lasting solutions. Perhaps that was the whole idea.

I believe, in a few years public restrooms as we know them today will be gone, must be gone. There will no longer be large rooms with multiple stalls. This layout makes no sense if men and women are using the same room. The only real solution I foresee is to replace the rows of stalls with rows of rooms: individual non-gender restrooms with a toilet, urinal, and sink. That will eliminate chances of pedophiles in the ladies room, or little girls being traumatized; and it will allow everyone to use the restroom with peace and dignity, without making a federal case out of it.

There was a time in history when public restrooms were outhouses out back. The next incarnation was restrooms as we know them today with rows of stalls. In the near future many businesses may simply do away with public toilets to avoid controversy. Other places may opt for portable toilets. Whatever the future holds, I think we will bear witness to the transformation of an icon: the public toilet.



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