The Democratic National Convention is embracing its party platform by transforming a women’s bathroom at the Wells Fargo Arena into an “all-gender” restroom instead. Many female attendees, however, are less than enthused about the shared bathroom, with at least one arena employee complaining that she doesn’t want men in the stall next to her while attending to personal business in the bathroom.
Attendees report there is a single all-gender restroom aimed at accommodating transgender people, and it’s the convention’s female attendees who are coming up short as the transformation leaves them with one bathroom fewer than the men in attendance. In other words, men on that floor can choose whether they want to use their own bathroom or a shared one, while women have no other option but to use the all-gender one. This is leaving some women feeling like their right to privacy has been disregarded in a big way by the “equal opportunity” DNC. After all, surely there are more women in attendance at the convention than transgender individuals.
The bathroom, which is situated near the arena’s media section, is being used by female and male reporters and cameramen. Interestingly enough, several of those in attendance report that they have not seen any transgender individuals using it.
However, the openly transgender Sarah McBride will be featured in the convention’s speaking lineup. McBride is the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s national press secretary.
The issue of transgender bathrooms has gotten a fair amount of attention in the current presidential campaign after a law in North Carolina brought the topic into the public discourse. For his part, Republican candidate Donald Trump has said that he would allow transgender celebrity Caitlin Jenner to use whatever bathroom she preferred at Trump Tower.
Gender-neutral bathrooms becoming obligatory
Colleges throughout the country have been creating “gender-neutral” bathrooms to accommodate students who are “uncomfortable” using facilities that are specifically designated male or female, and the Obama administration is trying to force all public schools to permit students to use the bathroom of their choice. Pennsylvania lawmakers penned a letter expressing their outage over the order and asking Obama to rescind it immediately, while Mississippi officials indicated they would not be following the guidance. Other states, including Arizona and Georgia, are pushing back, citing federal overreach.
These bathroom protocols are concerning across the board. Many women are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing bathrooms with men, particularly when they need to tend to matters that cannot or should not be confined to a stall, such as breastfeeding. Many women also report that gender-neutral restrooms tend to be messier than female-only restrooms. In addition, shared restrooms allow, for example, men to enter bathrooms that young girls are using, which poses an entirely different and even more disturbing set of problems.
Excellent distraction from party’s latest woes
The DNC takes this “inclusiveness” one step further with the designation of certain zones in the arena as “gluten-free”. One person’s gluten-containing food is extremely unlikely to cause harm to someone with a gluten allergy, so this move is just as baffling as the bathroom one.
Of course, the Democratic Party will be pleased that the restroom is getting so much attention in the news; perhaps that’s even why it was placed right outside the media area. The topic of the all-gender restrooms and gluten-free zone is a great distraction from the other, far more serious problems plaguing the party, such as leaked emails showing that the DNC conspired with Hillary Clinton to destroy Bernie Sanders.