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Take Back the Toilet

Ever yearn for the days of elementary school, when all it took to be cool and edgy was to dare to step foot into the bathroom of the opposite sex? Well your dreams are about to be answered. Tomorrow, in celebration of Trans Week of Celebration and Disability Awareness Week, and coincidentally on 4:20 / Joey Lawrence’s birthday, the women’s restroom on the ground floor of the EMU will be open to people of any sex and /or gender, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Your ASUO representatives, along with members of Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance and the LGBTQA, will be on site to welcome the tired, weary and huddled masses and promote gender issues as part of the “Be Free to Pee” event.

“There are many UO students who identify as trans, or who don’t identify with the male or female gender,” said ASUO Accessibility Advocate Kai Kubitz. “Many people don’t fit in the gender binary. We want to educate students that there are many genders.”

There are already a couple of gender-inclusive restrooms on campus, such as in the law school, Lawrence Hall and that corner of the Oregon Commentator office that smells kinda funny — but organizers hope that the event will pave the way for more officially-sanctioned genderless restrooms in the soon-to-be-remodeled EMU and Rec Center.

“Gendered restrooms are inherently discriminatory. Gender inclusive restrooms allow people to access the restroom without forcing students to make a statement about what gender they identify as,” said ASUO Gender and Sexual Diversity Kelsey Jarone.

The only real question we have is: Will the seat be left up, or down, when not in use?

  1. Tim! says:


    First, it is useful to draw a distinction between sex (physical characteristics) and gender (psychological and social characteristics).

    Second, note that approximately 1% of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity. That means that, in the United States alone, about 100 people are born every day with both male and female sexual characteristics. Note also the large range of sexual indicators in adults – some women are possessed of broad shoulders and large hands; some men grow very little body hair – not to mention the variation in primary sexual characteristics such as breast or penis size.

    Third, ponder the degree to which traditional gender roles exist as cultural constructs versus individual preference.

  2. Xanthor says:

    @Gsim: It would be useful to point out that transgendered individuals have existed long before this century, and in periods of great poverty and discord. For example, as long as you carried a card that defined your self-identified gender, transgendered individuals were free to live as their chosen gender in Weimar, Germany, after WWI. Remember that this was a time when people were starving in the streets, and money was so useless that a wheelbarrow’s worth of bills would maybe buy you a loaf of bread.

  3. Java says:

    Betz, spend 20 minutes meditating on the word, “orientation.”

    As for those restrooms, one option would be to move a little closer to the edge of the box. Let me suggest Sitters, Standers and Optional. Anybody else wanna try?

  4. Cameron says:

    Betz, you were a bit too specific in your analogy. To claim to be a part of another race would be similar to identifying with another gender (or not identifying with one at all), because they are both socially constructed. However, claiming to be of another ethnicity is not the same because ethnic groups are based on geography, not race.

    That said, as long as you do not discriminate against transgendered people, you have every right to find it absurd. By the way, don’t confuse gender and sex–they aren’t the same.

    To answer the last question of the article: Guys are generally too lazy to lift the seat in the first place (myself included). So I’d say down.

  5. Gsim says:

    Betz, people are more than just their physical bodies. They have a soul and gender is only a social construct.

    Or… it’s because we live in a time of great opulence and people have so much free time and wealth that we can afford to pretend that mental health issues are life style choices.

    No one will ever convince me that a dude that seriously wants to chop his own dick off isn’t totally out of his fucking mind.

  6. Betz says:

    I just don’t understand the whole gender politics / identity debate. From what I understand about it (which was limited to a wikipedia search on “gender”, ‘cuz I’m lazy), I find the idea that you can self identify as a different gender other than your birth-given biologically-defined gender absurd. By the same logic, I could claim that I self-identify my ethnicity as half albino-African American, half Hispanic-Inuit. … so respect my identity, and my rights! (Disclaimer Note: this is not my true ethnicity). I also have a hard time understanding how someone can identify as an “in-between” gender, or something other than male or female. Maybe if you had some kind of genetic mutation in which you were born as a eunuch, or the chromosomes were of some weird pair, then possibly …

    Again, not trying to be insensitive or dense, and I think I keep a fairly open mind about a lot of things – but I tend to rely more on anatomy and biology when defining gender vs. someone’s feelings about what they think their gender is.

  7. CJ says:

    Michael, no! You’ll get us in trouble with the Bias Response League of Super-Friends again!

  8. Michael G. says:

    It was “ze can fuck hirself”…

  9. AD '07 says:

    This is the first thought that came to me:

    Haters wanna hate,
    Lovers wanna love,
    I don’t even want,
    None of the above,
    I want to piss on you.
    Yes I do, I’ll piss on you,
    I’ll pee on you.

  10. Lyzi Diamond says:

    @Betz Remember Toby Hill-Meyer and the subsequent defunding of the OC? “Ze” identified as gender neutral, and when the OC made some sort of quip, ze thought it was in hir authority to zero-fund the program. Shameful.

  11. Who want’s to bet on whether or not the comment above is spam? I’d put down 25 cents.

  12. I like this article.It’s very good.

  13. Xanthor says:

    “Not to be insensitive or dense, or anything …. but how can gender be anything but binary?”

    Well, think of it this way: if someone is FtM or MtF, they sometimes actually have to worry that if they walk into the wrong bathroom someone is going to clock them in the parking lot.

  14. NGA says:

    Jarone said, “Gendered restrooms are inherently discriminatory.” I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for my penis…it gets in the way of everything.

  15. Betz says:

    Not to be insensitive or dense, or anything …. but how can gender be anything but binary?

  16. Luke says:

    Ellie: You mean a shit in?

  17. Ellie says:

    I find the concept of bathrooms in themselves constricting. We should hold a sit in. 6 AM tomorrow morning, 6th floor of the EMU at 6 pm be there or be there.

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