This anger over bathrooms is exhausting. There are real problems in the world today, but we are obsessed with sex, nudity, and the bathroom. When do we realize that these are all things people made up that do not really matter? Throughout most of human history, people didn’t have the luxury to worry about these things. We know from a recent study on the evolution of lice that people went without clothing for the majority of human history. When they did start wearing clothing, it was to keep warm and protect from insects. The ancient Greeks celebrated the nude body and the Romans had public baths and even public toilets. It was not until modern times (in Western culture) that nudity became seen as shameful or sexual, and still, when Columbus arrived in the new world, the first thing he saw was nudity.
Throughout much of history, nudity, sex, and body functions were non-issues because they had real problems to deal with and had no reason to make up arguments about things that didn’t matter. I only wish we were as advanced as them.
Today, our nation is going through the pain of transitioning from an industrial to a post industrial economy, people are underpaid and families are struggling, chaos is gripping the Middle East and parts of Central and South America, America is being ripped in two by both economic and cultural forces, our space program has almost completely fallen apart, our education system is not far behind it, our roads and bridges are crumbling, the suicide rate is on the rise, and all we can worry about is sex, nudity, and bathrooms?
A human body is a human body and there is nothing there to be ashamed or afraid of. It doesn’t matter if that is a male body or female body, a fat body or a skinny body, or even an old body. A body is a body and we have no reason to fear that. Unemployment, war, disease, and famine are things to fear, but not bodies.
Bathrooms are not something to fear any more than any other enclosed spaces with strangers. Yes, a strange person can harm a child in a bathroom, but they can do the same thing in any other place where they are able to be alone with a child, and that predator can be an adult male with a male child or an adult female with a female child just as much as it can be an adult male with a female child, and if the research holds true, children are much more likely to be harmed by someone they know than by a stranger.
And we focus so much on the fears with bathrooms, but the reality is that a bathroom is a place everyone needs to visit, even transgender people, and even adults with elderly parents of the opposite gender who need help in the bathroom. Imagine a situation where an adult male is taking care of his elderly mother and he is in a public place with no unisex or family restroom and she needs to go to the bathroom. Which one does he take her into? This is a real problem, unlike many of the made up issues people are so passionate about.
I hate to rant on this, but we care far too much about things that do not matter at all and far too little about things that matter a lot. As a society, we act like children, all in other people’s business, worrying about what they are wearing, worrying about who they are sleeping with, and fearing things that are unlikely while things that are likely are attacking us without us even realizing it. We are more likely to die of cancer than in bathroom, so why don’t we take this energy about bathrooms and push it toward cancer research? Why don’t we push it to exploring outer space, exploring how the brain works, expanding our minds, advancing education, repairing our failing infrastructure, or something real. These things we care about so much don’t really matter, and civilizations throughout history understood that.