Friday, 4 March 2005

Where only one gender has gone before

A couple of interesting things I noticed today are being discussed at Begging to Differ:

  • Today’s New York Times carried a story on unisex bathrooms; I tend to think the solution to this issue (discussed today by Will Baude and Hei Lun, among others) is the spread of unisex, handicapped-accessible/baby changing restrooms, which would seem to be the solution for the gender-confused or gender-transitioning, rather than “desegregation” of bathrooms in general. Incidentally, every story I’ve heard about womens’ restrooms has echoed Amber Taylor’s indication that they tend to be worse than mens’ rooms (initially, I was surprised too); I should ask the custodial staff for an objective evaluation.
  • I learned a new word today: heteronormative, which apparently doesn’t mean that you think diversity is a good thing (i.e. what the word would mean if it were constructed from the actual meaning of the stem “hetero”; more properly, the word should be “heterosexualnormative”). Greg has more if you care. Given my epistemological leanings and the likely composition of the audience, I suspect Ms. Pinkett Smith’s comments were probably more heteropositive or heteroempirical. Or something.