Gender Equality Assumptions

My kids are tut-tutting (or maybe cringing) right now, because this is another post about restrooms. And showers, because it’s a followup to the pool shower story.

Why I know now (and should probably try to remember) that what is sauce for the gander is not sauce for the goose:

My choir scheduled a concert in a certain church in Boulder. I vaguely remembered that Certain Church was pretty darn inaccessible, so one day at lunchtime I went over there to look. The office manager told me that the restroom was accessible, and he walked me over to the restrooms, two of them, marked Men and Women, just as you’d expect.

Also just as you’d expect, I went into the women’s restroom. There I saw that someone had tried and failed to make it accessible. There were two stalls where there had probably been three before renovating. The door on the large (“accessible”) stall opened in, not out, so once you got in there with your wheelchair you couldn’t close the door, and there the door was, between you and the toilet, which sort of made the whole thing moot.

So I popped back out again and sorrowfully informed my choir that even though Certain Church claimed it had an accessible restroom, it did not. I may have even uttered the words, “I didn’t check the men’s restroom, but I assume it is the same.”

After some kerfluffle that included me being scolded for unnecessarily riling up the staff of Certain Church, the office manager of Certain Church sent an email that said, “I apologize, this is my fault for not being more specific in directing you to our restrooms. The ‘men’s’ restroom is 100% accessible for people with wheelchairs.”

Right! The men’s restroom is accessible.

By the time we had our concert there, the sign saying “Men” had been replaced by a unisex, accessible type sign. And it was, in fact, accessible.


1 Comment

  1. Jackie Greenrock

    I know of these difficulties. I have MS was diagnosed September 2008. I am still walking a bit (more like staggering) not in a wheelchair yet. I attend a support group at a local hotel. The restroom consists of two stalls, one for handicapped and the other for not. The handicapped is typically full. I found out why. To close the stall door you must ‘spread eagle’ standing over the comode. I only hope each of the rooms are not in the same condition.


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