Safe bathrooms, safe elevators

Trigger warning, sexual assault, transphobia

Safety, when can a person assume safety? In a bathroom? in a elevator? What if that person has mental health issues? Whose safety matters?

I am what a psych would call hyper vigilant

I prefer not to walk alone at night, I don’t fear an attacker, well illogical I do but what really changes my behaviour is the fear of a panic attack, I fear the damage my brain is doing to my body pumping me full of fight-flee juice* all the time. I don’t like public bathrooms, not because they might have trans people in it, but because it is unpleasant to feel under threat all the time.

I used a toilet the other day which didn’t make me afraid, it was a series of cubicles along a a wall, which could be seen from the road, it felt safe because no one could be hiding, things could not happen in the dark, alone.

I am sure the toilets weren’t built for me, they probably built them to annoy beat users and while they where all identical cubicles (expect a disabled toilet) they were gendered.

I revisit this issue in the light of what bloghag called Elevator Guy Gate, my fears are unreasonable, I said that at the start, but they are also a product of a culture that supports men’s volition of women**, which minimizes abuses that disproportionally affect women with phrases like rape-rape which apparently doesn’t include drugging and anally raping a child who is begging you to stop.

Which tells women to shut up, because it is worse somewhere else. [Yes it is worse elsewhere, but combatting sexism means combatting it everywhere]

It means telling women to carry mace and a taser because you know, that is just the cost of being female. So 6 months from now, in an athesist conference “fuck bitches are crazy, she fucking tased me in the lift, and I did nothing! I just asked her for coffee, bitches can’t take a compliment!

first I understand the point of view of that came from skepchic’s blog. I understand it’s creepy being nearly the only female in the pack and every guy at a conference is lonely/looking for an interesting companion ect..

But give it a rest.. buy some pepper spray and a taser and stop camping here. [link]

“Camping here”, lets be clear feminist atheists, feminist sceptics don’t belong in atheist/septic spaces it isn’t our world, at best we are camping.

We have gendered bathrooms but not gendered ellevators? most of the argument made gendered bathrooms can be made for gendered elevators, and if you are going to talk about genitals I will be forced to point out that we don’t do panty checks, or ask that those men who need to sit down to pee use the womens.

This quote from some radfem transphobe I pulled out of a google search of “transgender women in women’s bathrooms. Seriously not a trans freindly link, approch with care.

“Transgender Activists always dismiss the realistic concerns that women have about allowing males into spaces that are sex segregated for female privacy from male predators. Such as restrooms, locker rooms, showers, hospital bed assignments, jail cells, homeless shelters, rape crisis centers, etc. These activists deny and disregard the real threat to females by males” [link]

So we have a list of places here, not all of which include nudity or states of undress, they are picked out because women there are isoloaced, possibly unable to excape, all of these are are true of elevators, so rather than assuming women should just carry offensive weapons and suck up that they can’t expect men to be decent and think about other peoples comfort.

So gendered elevators, well to my mind no, but then as I said, gendered bathrooms make me less safe, not more so and elevators would be just the same.

When the perennial issue of gendered toilets, and the risk of secret trans people trying to take a piss comes up, one groups safety, that is assumed neurotypical cis peoples safety and fear is brought up, no one complains (mostly) about me as a trans man using women toilets, my birth means that people accept that I as a female appearing person, needs the safety of a women’s bathroom, they don’t extend that need for safety to my trans female friends, even though for me, an open bathroom, like the one I described makes me feel safe, helps me deal with my issues. But when it comes to safety in elevators, or even politeness to tired people at 4am comes up, women are on their own.

*Not a biologist/endocrinologist

**and people who are read as/ assumed to be women.

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