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Nothing to do with running…

My parents write a weekly (or monthly, I can’t remember) column for a local paper that is syndicated in a few different markets.  It’s called “Behaviourisms” and basically consists of them fighting back and forth over some political/pop culture/social issues.  I found their latest one particularly interesting (mainly because they agree for once in their marriage).  Anyway, since I don’t have much to blog about in the way of running (it’s hot, running is hot and sweaty, long runs and short runs are all hot, the wind is hot, even when it’s not hot it’s still hot… you get the picture) I thought I’d share my parents’ latest piece:

Equal Stalls for All

She said: I have trouble understanding the hullabaloo about possible threats to safety in restrooms as the result of Senate Bill 200. The recent law adds sexual orientation to the list of prohibitions of discrimination in public accommodations. Conservative groups like Focus on the Family feel this legislation is a threat because transgendered persons might use the women’s restroom. It is obvious that the number of stalls for women in restrooms are usually far less than the number needing them. I am in far more danger of wetting my pants while waiting in line  and damaging my psyche than being accosted by a transgendered person.  Why would they want to wait when fast, zippy service in the men’s bathroom is available?

He said: I do have sympathy for you.  I didn’t appreciate the problem until I went to the 1970 World’s Fair. There the women’s restroom line required a 20 minute wait. It didn’t seem right to me then and still doesn’t. You are jealous that we get in and out. But, we still have to stand around and wait for our female companions. Woe to the man who doesn’t wait. Why would anyone want to endure this inequity? Why can’t  we do a better job of providing restroom facilities?  Mother nature treats us all equally. A hundred years ago, there was the great outdoors and one-holers. I haven’t seen any old cabins with two outhouses. Modern outdoor events provide equal access to unisex porti-potties. Many places, like the Starbucks in Frisco, have only one restroom that is shared equally. A casino in Mississippi has separate restrooms for men and women, but everyone shares the sinks.

She said: I disagree some. I always felt men have the advantage going to the bathroom on a small boat. Anyway, who knows what goes on behind closed doors in the bathrooms now? What about the unaltered males who are already in the girl’s bathroom? I’ve seen boys come in with their mothers because the moms don’t trust the safety of the men’s room enough to send the boy there alone. Is Focus going to guarantee a proper escort for these boys to use the segregated facilities safely?  Are they going to screen possible escorts to be sure they don’t include ex-pastors of large Denver evangelical churches? Who’s competent to judge femininity? Does Focus want a gender check every time someone enters a bathroom?

He said: Well, no one was checking when I went to a male restroom at a Denver restaurant, and while I was doing my business, a tall blond in high heels and a slinky black dress came out of the stalls. I then realized that she had declined to stand in line at the women’s restroom and had slipped into the men’s. How was I harmed?

Actually, the current system discriminates between squatters and standers; far more urinals are provided than stalls. And, as a certain Congressman found, one is far more apt to get in trouble sitting.  Maybe all bathrooms should provide stalls that reach to the floor so we don’t  have to fret about people who move their feet suggestively.

She said: All the fear-mongering seems even more senseless once you leave our country. As we found in Europe, men and women can share the restrooms. Sure it takes you aback at first, but the stalls offer privacy so people can go about their business without exposing anyone to anything. We could have really public restrooms like India or other parts of Asia where there are only partial stalls, a non-enclosed hole in the ground or a gutter.  There everything that goes on is open to public inspection. They do not have the luxury of worrying about which facility to use.

He said: Doesn’t it bother you that these Focus people are out to protect you from something, regardless of how you feel about it or how long you have to stand in line to relieve a biological stress? I don’t think they care about your pain at all.

A few local wags fear that the law  will also have an adverse impact on things like hiring educators.  Maybe scientists need to develop a brain implant that zaps anyone thinking impure or lustful thoughts. That would make my daughters safer from the likes of some local heterosexual educators who allegedly sent suggestive e-mails to girls or attempt to seduce players on their team. A zapper  would make more sense than having a TSA-type check to enter a restroom.

She said: I’m glad you are so supportive. I think all bathrooms should be equal opportunity- first come, first right to the empty stall. Us squatters want equal access and we won’t quit until we’re flush with victory.

He said: Whoa woman. Next thing I know you’ll be demanding that it should be against the law to leave the seat up.

The Skinners hope no matter where or how you go that you remember not to squat with your spurs on! They can be contacted at jlajtls@bresnan.net.

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