Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bathroom Sign Alternative

A couple of months ago, after writing a post that contained an image of the traditional bathroom sign, my friend (yes, that one) asked,
...how would you revise this picture, using the same silhouetted images?
I didn't have an answer. Truth be told, I'm not that creative when it comes to redesigning images - and, I suspect, few people really and truly are. Ask me to rewrite a sentence, and I'm all there.

During our most recent conversation, my friend (yes, still that one) brought up the bathroom sign thing again, telling me,
Some of the things that you've highlighted in the past -- like the bathroom signs -- are impossible to correct.

I responded, I'll admit, derisively. And tonight, I went on teh Google and did some Googling to see if anyone had been able to come up with a solution to the bathroom sign problem. And I found one. Now, it doesn't use the same silhouetted images. But it gets the point across.

And, I kind of like it. It makes me laugh :


And if we're going with using the same silhouettes, then there's this one, which is a slightly more graphic take on the one above:


That second one is still a bit too gendered for my taste, what with the blue-pink divide, but still is a valid example of something other than the same old, same old.

Given the advent of products like the "Go Girl" (discovered via feministe), the standing up brigade may see a swelling of its numbers with those of the XX chromosome, but I'm pretty happy with my discovery. It lends to the theory that many things - even those seemingly engrained in our collective psyche - can indeed be corrected.

***

I've been pondering the true reason for the male-female bathroom divide anyway. I've been known to pop into the Men's if the line for the Women's is atrociously long - or if it is moderately long and there are extenuating circumstances. I have always been a little suspicious of the Men's-Women's divide when the divided bathrooms in question are truly two separate rooms housing only one toilet. At that point, gender seems like it's pretty moot in terms of bathroom assignments.

But now, I'm starting to think that, perhaps with a few moderate practical changes, all bathrooms could really be unisex. And in event, this sign:

would do quite nicely.

10 comments:

mikhailbakunin said...

A couple thoughts:

First, I have no idea which is "male" and which is "female" in the first bathroom sign. If you know, please explain to me how you figured it out.

Second, I can't believe you referred to me as "That One." Thank, John McCain!

Pbbbbbt. : )

petpluto said...

How do you pee? How do women pee?

If you still need help, I just don't know what to say to you. Other than this helpful hint:

There's a reason why my grandmother had a *charming* sign in her bathroom saying,

"Gentlemen: Stand closer. It's shorter than you think

Ladies: Remain seated for the entire performance".

MediaMaven said...

It took me a while to get the first image; I was really confused. I don’t like either of them; they are both way too vulgar, and I’d be very embarrassed to enter into any restroom with either of those signs on it. I don’t need to visualize people actually using the bathroom.

I’m sure I’ve used a men’s room a few times in my life, but for the most part I’m daunted by it, especially since there are usually men around (or other ladies), either of whom will stare and/or make comments. We shouldn’t have entirely unisex bathrooms; for one, it would just get too crowded in certain establishments, and honestly, people want their privacy. There’s no problem when it’s one stall that everyone has to share, but a room of 20 toilets is too much.

This also makes me think of the unisex bathroom in Ally McBeal…

petpluto said...

We shouldn’t have entirely unisex bathrooms; for one, it would just get too crowded in certain establishments, and honestly, people want their privacy.

Would it really be all that big a difference if the person in the stall next to you was a boy or a girl?

I wish I were good at marking up blueprints (and then good at scanning them in) because I'm imagining the urinals being slightly more enclosed than they are now (which would help with the men needing their privacy and the strange social mores of which urinal to pick upon entering if there's another guy using it), and somewhat separate from the actual stalls. Kind of like some establishments have all the stalls, and then you walk around the wall and there are all the sinks.

As for crowding, I'd say still have two, but have both be for anyone. That way, it is automatic crowd control. If one line gets too long, people can drift to the other.

I don’t like either of them; they are both way too vulgar, and I’d be very embarrassed to enter into any restroom with either of those signs on it.

I'll agree that the one actually peeing is minorly vulgar, but I don't see the top one as being that bad - or embarrassing. It would be bad if it were a picture of *me*, but squiggly lines don't make it hard for me to separate myself from the business of being in the bathroom. They don't know, maybe I just have to wash my hands!

DaisyDeadhead said...

I love that sign! (the last one) How nice would that be?

jjfs85 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jjfs85 said...

I was thinking about this very topic the other day. In particular, I thought that you needed to address this issue again, and by golly, you're already way ahead of me.

But anyway, I looked at the sign on the men's room door as I opened it and thought, "If these symbols for gender are not acceptable, then what would be?" I was hoping that you'd give some serious thought to some acceptable symbols, but now I'm glad that you went with humorous ones. Besides just making me laugh, it made me think that beyond the age of 16 everyone should be mature enough to handle having people of the opposite gender in the same bathroom as them.

I mean, everybody poops, as the book tells us, and who cares whether the people around you have to stand or sit to pee.

But again society is to blame for making a big deal out of nothing.

petpluto said...

I thought that you needed to address this issue again, and by golly, you're already way ahead of me.

I try to anticipate your needs, and then fulfill them as best I can.

By the way, do you remember that conversation we had outside the coffee shop where Eteco (or however you spell it) used to play, about which bathroom was more convenient for having sex in (damn ending sentences with prepositions!!!)?

Because the shared bathroom thing would also totally take care of that as well!

I was hoping that you'd give some serious thought to some acceptable symbols, but now I'm glad that you went with humorous ones.

I'm glad too. But that was also a product of there being a limited amount of variation in bathroom signage.

jjfs85 said...

I remember that conversation, but I don't remember the verdict, do you?

petpluto said...

I don't remember if we came to an actual verdict. You were convinced that the women's room was the place to get down, because it was cleaner. Jess and I were on the Men's Room side. If it were a straight up vote, Jess and I won - but those rarely work out well for you in the triad, so I don't think we generally go that route.