There are big changes coming to public bathrooms. Will you feel safe using them? 19



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Would you use a public bathroom open to both men and women? This is a question you might be asking yourself sooner than you think.

The concept of gender-neutral bathrooms is sweeping many parts of the world, with countries across Europe introducing laws to create dual-sex bathrooms in popular tourist cities. Australia has been quick to follow trends like this in the past, so it might not be long before we see bathrooms for both men and women popping up around the country.

While this concept has been successful overseas, sceptics are doubtful it is the best policy for Australia to adopt. Going to the bathroom when you’re out in public has always been a relatively straight-forward process, but with single-occupancy toilets open to both men and women the idea of relieving yourself in public just got a whole lot more uncomfortable. The mixed-gender toilets are meant to encourage less of a divide between genders, but some critics aren’t happy about the idea.

Many people are arguing mixed-gender bathrooms will leave people feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable, with some pointing out the potential risks associated with the proposal, as reported in So Cawlege.

“Single occupancy bathrooms are fine, but coed or multi sex bathrooms are not,” said one sceptic online. “There is a significantly more chance for harassment, assault in coed bathrooms. I think generally speaking women don’t want men around when they are showering or going to the bathroom, and men do not want women around when they are peeing. There needs to be a distinction between single use and multi use restrooms.”

“Seriously, females DON’T want to walk past the guys at the urinals to get to the bathroom, and should not have to,” added another critic.

Would you use a public bathroom open to both men and women? Do you think Australia should adopt this policy?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I can tell you this much I would not feeling comfortable walking in any bathroom while a man is standing at the urinal, I don’t like that idea at all

  2. Well we don’t have male and female toilets at home?

    1 REPLY
    • Yes but they are single occupancy PLUS you know who else is likely to be on the other side of the door when you come out.

  3. Have to admit…not comfortable with this idea at all. Can see lots of problems. Single Occupancy bathrooms are fine…shared conveniences are not.

  4. There is a divid between genders? I think not, we mate don’t we. I think this is designed to accomodate and keep happy the transgenders etc.

  5. Definitely should not happen .I would feel extremely uncomfortable entering when there are men in there.

  6. Welcome to most of the restaurant toilets around the inner north. At many there is only one or two at the most. Doesn’t seem to be a big problem, likewise the public toilet at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

  7. Women always use a cubical with a door, If the design is right will be separate from the urinal, no walking past the men. I stayed in a hostel in Venice last year, mixed dorms, no problems & I am 68.

  8. I wouldn’t want mixed gender toilets for one reason…..I couldn’t stand having to queue get in as women so often have to, men are in and out in no time…

  9. I feel quite strongly about this. My husband has had a stroke and when we go out he needs to be taken in a wheelchair.
    When he needs to go to toilet I need to accompany him and I frequently have to make a decision about which sex toilet we will go to. Do I embarrass him by taking him to a female toilet or do I push him past the male urinals? In our country it is law that there must be wheelchair access but in the past little thought has been given in the layout to how one accesses it. The situation is equally as awkward for a male who cares for a female. We tend to shop where we have found there is a separate unisex disability toilet which has a separate access. I think that the main consideration is layout and if that is carefully thought through there should be no problem

  10. These unisex toilets don’t have men’s urinals at all! We have several of these types of lavatory in our area and they are all comprised of a row of cubicles, each with an ordinary toilet bowl, just like a home system, but usually made of stainless steel instead of ceramic. They work very well here, the only criterium being that they naturally need to be kept clean – ours are!

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