Unisex Toilets Action at ETH
Last month, a group of student organized a small-scale action in the restrooms of the HIL building at ETH Zürich. During one day, they removed all gender signs on the restrooms door and changed it with a gender-neutral one. They asked afterwards the students to give feedbacks.
The reaction were mitigated:
“Women take longer to use the bathroom, because they need to urinate in a seated position”
“Unisex bathrooms would help to ensure so-called ‘line equality’.”
“It doesn’t matter. The important thing is the cleanliness of the place. Men’s toilets are always in a worse condition to the women’s.”
“As long as there’s a basic level of privacy, I really don’t see what the difference is.”
At the end, women are more anti-unisex toilets, saying they would not feel comfortable using them, but they not totally closed to the idea. For men, they don’t really have a strong opinion on it but they don’t see the necessity of doing it.
All-gender restrooms are designed to make sure that restrooms are accessible to all members of society. They are thought for people who identify outside of the gender men/women, they are eliminating gender segregation in restrooms and can also benefits disabled populations and for exemple parents with children.
But transgender and non-conforming gendered people are still sometimes subject to visual and verbal agression, this is reinforced by the architectural design and gendered codes of conduct that are still present in our society and we will need a bigger change in the public opinion to make the people accept unisex public toilets.