Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Toilet Training

1 Comment

Think of the last time you were sitting through an important class, trying to catch every piece of information that came from the professor’s mouth. “Oh no!,” you thought to yourself, “I missed that last sentence! I know I’ll be tested on that!” Pretty stressful situation, right? Maybe, instead of sitting in the classroom, you were in your vehicle, cruising down the interstate towards a long distance destination. Hours upon hours in the vehicle make for one bored, stiff individual. Now, in both scenarios, imagine that you had to go to the restroom. In the middle of that important class or that long car ride, you needed an urgent restroom break. You “hold it” until the class is over or until you reach the next rest stop on the interstate and then you make a mad dash for the respective male or female restroom. Did you ever consider yourself lucky that you were able to associate with that little male or female cartoon on restroom doors? Neither did I, that is until I watched a clip from Toilet Training. This video is composed of people who defy gender norms by having a gender identity that doesn’t match up with their gender assignment. It shows and tells of the discrimination and hurt they encounter and feel when they go to perform a basic human action: using the restroom. Some individuals from the video spoke of times when they went into a restroom that coordinated with their gender identity but not their gender assignment and, in return, were thrown out, harassed, or even arrested. Many of the individuals mentioned that they usually try to “hold it” when they feel the urge to use the restroom, even if “holding it” puts them in agony. In my opinion, it is not appropriate or ethical to harass, arrest, or discriminate upon ANYONE for using a restroom. Holding in wastes is miserable and can lead to health issues such as infections or bladder, kidney, or bowel dysfunction. No one, regardless of which gender category they fall under, should have to “hold it” and/or suffer health problems from something that could be so easily prevented. I doubt society will rid itself of the male and female cartoons on restroom doors anytime soon; however, I believe it is great that many public places have family restrooms of which any gender type can enter. Everyone deserves restroom access when needed. Next time you have to use the restroom, be thankful that you don’t struggle with which door to walk through. Be mindful and stand up against the discrimination that some people face simply for performing a basic life necessity.


One thought on “Toilet Training

  1. nice summary! and i loved your set up/intro into the topic so that the reader imagines themselves in that situation.

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