Bathroom Talk

My Google Reader continues to come up with little gems occasionally.

This is it’s latest offering:


Poly in Pictures

This lead me to this fantastic essay on how images are used to segregate rest rooms. This of course is yet another way society polices and enforces its own construct of gender. (You can see my own thoughts on this subject here.)

GO WHERE? SEX, GENDER, AND TOILETS

Women’s and men’s washrooms: we encounter them nearly every time we venture into public space. To many people the separation of the two, and the signs used to distinguish them, may seem innocuous and necessary. Trans people know that this is not the case, and that public battles have been waged over who is allowed to use which washroom. The segregation of public washrooms is one of the most basic ways that the male-female binary is upheld and reinforced.

Click on picture for yet more gendered toilet signs.

As such, washroom signs are very telling of the way societies construct gender. They identify the male as the universal and the female as the variation. They express expectations of gender performance. And they conflate gender with sex.

I present here for your perusal, a typology and analysis of various washroom signs.

[Editor: After the jump because there are dozens of them… which is why Marissa’s post is so awesome…]

The Universal Male

One of the ideas that supports patriarchy is the notion that a man can be representative of all humanity, or “mankind”, while a woman could only be representative of other women. For example, in politics we see “women’s issues” segregated from everybody issues.

Washroom signs illustrate this idea by depicting the male figure simply, and the female as some kind of elaboration on the male figure. Read the rest here.

I Feel Like I Missed Out…

I don’t seem to have the ultra-creativity that many other sufferers of Bipolar Disorder seem too…

Sure, I’m fairly eccentric when it comes to my clothing and hair styles, but that’s pretty much it.

I have dabbled in the odd bit of poetry and art, but not for a long time, and I certainly wouldn’t say that it was particularly fantastic (no matter what I tried to tell myself at the time).

Maybe my perceptions are being skewed by society and the media… that and the fact that I have type 2 Bipolar Disorder, which generally doesn’t seem to have the same potentially dangerous and extreme effects on an individual and their surroundings as type 1 does. I tend to have mixed episodes, and, luckily I suppose, not hypomania.

I had thought that once I had my correct diagnoses that it would make everything seem a little better, but now I feel even more isolated than anything else. I have Evil Twin Fae sitting inside my head, surrounded by her gremlins, telling me that I’m doing it wrong.

Who needs trolls when you’ve got your very own one living in your head.

—————————————————————————————————–

You can find a complete contradiction of this post here.