More specifically to my company's case, is a woman rightful to feel outraged if a man uses the toilet designated for women?
I am asking this out of curiosity after a few talks about the matter in my office. But first let me describe our small workplace. Our single "bathroom" is made by a common area with two lavatories and then two smaller separate rooms with the toilets, separated by a sliding door. One is designed for men and one for women. They both are equipped with toilet and bidet (an uncommon furniture in most countries, but very useful). Incidentally, the men's toilet also features a shower that our boss (a man too) uses when he sleeps at office about once a week. Nobody else uses that.
It is normal for a man to wash his hands next to a woman doing the same, and nobody complained ever. However, since our workforce started growing, and since incidentally only 3 women work at main office (with 20+ men), bathroom queues started to grow biased.
This started very few men, who also have little health problems that won't recommend them to wait a lot, to (ab)use the women's toilet when the other one is in use.
I know that one of 3 female coworkers who works here would be surely outraged if she discovers that a man is using "her" toilet, despite the need. I am sure because we joked on that and got angry answers. She currently doesn't know anything.
Given that everyone always flushes, and also cleans up eventual dirty, I am asking the audience here what people think about gender separation at bathroom.
More specifically, to what degree should genders be separated, after which we could all be considered equal peers.
Here a few points:
- If there were separate rooms with separate lavatories, etc. I would agree that it is inappropriate for a man to enter women's bathroom. It is my understanding that common culture requires gender separation in particular for allowing men and women to discuss possible male or female specific health arguments without feeling uncomfortable by undesired ears, or even to keep their "noises" away from opposite gender ears. But here only the small toilet closet is separated, and that's just the place you don't want anybody to be there with you. Any word or noise is shared among the 4 maximum occupants (2 using the toilets, other 2 washing their hands/teeth)
- I personally would not mind if a person of the opposite gender uses my toilet, as soon as he/she doesn't leave disgusting dirt on the toilet itself (leg hair, blood traces... or worse like you often find in public places) to the next user - worded this phrase gender-agnostic
- I don't also think that women in particular should be offended by men using their toilet argumenting cleaning reasons, as they will be always sitting and men not. I know about different women who complain about lack of cleaning of their public toilets and buy hygienic paper covers (those you also find for free in most trains)
I belong to the group of 20+ men, and I feel like it's not an offense to women if we use (and keep decently clean) their toilet, and the opposite the same.
Final, subjective, part of the question:
In the case I ever need to rush to the bathroom I'd like to understand if I should feel acting wrong by using a different gender toilet, and with what arguments to pacifically confront with the only one person who would certainly not agree with this behaviour.
Certainly, everyone deserves respect of his/her spaces too.