Thursday, October 13, 2011


Ladies, Gentlemen

Today The Morning News links to this old[ish] but fascinating collection of men's and women's restroom icons, although it leaves this one out.

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gender-free bathrooms. no sign necessary.

femme cassidy

@becky@twitter For serious.


I'd be curious for the author to propose some different signs, too - with the exception of just creating "bathrooms" instead of men's rooms and women's rooms, how would we label ones that are split?


@Ophelia I got the impression the author was pretty against separate bathrooms, period. "The segregation of public washrooms is one of the most basic ways that the male-female binary is upheld and reinforced." etc.

Lily Rowan

I will never understand why one-holers get gendered.

Favorite bathrooms ever: At Vynl in Hell's Kitchen.


@Lily Rowan The Justin Timberlake shrine! (Or maybe that's just the one in Chelsea.)

Lily Rowan

@applestoapples I can only remember Cher and Nelly, but there are 4. Dolly?

Pound of Salt

That eternal difference between men and women: men have pointier noses and brims on their beflowered hats. And blue.

Edith Zimmerman

@Pound of Salt Bonnets!


This, depressingly, just reminds me of how many times I thought I was subtly checking out a butch chick in line, and she, in turn, thought I was giving her the Wrong Bathroom Stinkeye.


Three times. This has happened three times.



Who'll chip in to buy Melis a lorgnette?


@atipofthehat Now I'm going to have the music from Carousel in my head all day.



I see you with a sleek, modernized lorgnette that makes a pronounced "click-into-place" sound when you snap it open. Then you take your time, coolly raising it to your eyes; take a good look; and snap it shut at the same instant as you turn slightly away, as if to allow for an uninterrupted reciprocal scoping.


@atipofthehat Thank you for fixing my life.



Tosh, not at all. Now, quick, let's roll this into a book deal and do all the morning shows!


I can just imagine myself standing in front of a lot of these trying to figure out which triangle i look more like.


Am I horribly sexist for not understanding what the hell this woman is talking about? Enjoyed all of the pictures, though.


@Kakapo Yes. Please stop looking at the pictures now; they are only for non-sexists.


@melis I essentially agree with some of the points that I was able to make out, but wow was that ever all over the place. Can I look at the pictures now?


@Kakapo I don't know, are you post-gendered enough now to look at them without THE MALE GAZE?


@melis I am basically a disembodied circle on top of a slanted triangle.


@Kakapo You are ready.


Erg, just a warning, some of those pics are sort of NSFW.

Interesting read, though. I think the apple one baffles me the most.


Interesting! I'm reminded of a perplexing question asked by a friend who, in her travels in Poland, was confronted with the choice between washroom doors, one with a triangle and one with a circle. To this day we're baffled by which was the mens' room and which was the ladies'.

She picked the circle, her logic being that circles were more like vaginas and triangles were more like the heads of penises. She also said she went into both washrooms (there was nobody around) and they both looked the same—no clues like urinals or tampon vending machines in either.

Maybe the washrooms were non-gendered? It was in an art gallery in Warsaw. What say you, pinners?


@planforamiracle clearly not a bathroom at all but an interactive art exhibit in which your friend was participating!


This WAS fascinating but I was surprised to realise ultra-PC cultural studies lingo is alive and well (having finished a degree in it almost a decade ago). The bit about the hens cracked me up - it's so unusual for hens to act like roosters that it was actually newsworthy when it happened - regardless, must NEVER place gendered expectations on our feathered friends any more. Argh


@GoCeilings Whoa, friend, who are you to tell this mayle-bodied chicken person how zirr biological systems "can" or "cannot" work?


@melis Bok bok bok

Barbara Gordon

Our law school bathrooms have typical man/woman signs--except they're carrying briefcases.


I saw that utilikilt restroom sign on a recent trip to Seattle! Wow. I feel like I'm in the in club for restroom signs. At the time I was just, "OH SEATTLE, YOU ARE SO SEATTLE", but now, now I'm like, "that was a thing, related to thing I read, how cool".


I think the only way to not step on the toes of anyone would be to have two bathrooms based on function... One could be for urinals and the other for toilet stalls.


@browneyedghost There's a bar near my work that has their restrooms labeled "Standing" and "Sitting" -- I haven't been in the Standing Room, so I don't know for sure if it's urinals-only, but I wondered when I saw the signs if their intent was to make the division functional rather than gendered. I like the idea.

fondue with cheddar

I like the detailed silhouetted ones on glass best (Gender Performance, #3), because the man is the one who is carrying a purse.

fondue with cheddar

I was on a boat once where the bathrooms were labeled "gulls" and "buoys".

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