The politics of the toilet: A feminist response to the campaign to ‘degender’ a women’s space

Originally published in the Women’s Studies International Forum Journal:

“This article is a feminist response to the campaigning activism and queer and transgender theory which promotes the ‘degendering’ of public toilets. This campaign originates in the demands of men who transgender to access women’s toilets. Activists argue that sex
segregation of toilets is the result of nineteenth century moralism and is a discriminatory
practice. They say that degendered toilets would be safer for women because the good
men would protect women from aggressors, and they show a remarkable degree of
insensitivity to women’s needs and interests. The campaign is increasingly effective, with
schools in the US and local councils in the UK moving to degender toilets in response. This
article will argue that the safety of women as a group requires that toilet provision should
remain sex segregated or take the form of individual cubicles that offer privacy and safety
to all users.”

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