Monday, November 30, 2015

Specificity in Restrooms

A few months ago we visited the Public Market on Pike Street in Seattle, and we saw amazing things: fish being tossed for entertainment purposes, unusual preserves and honeys, piroshkis, and the original Starbucks, where people wait patiently in line to get in for the same coffee you can get at a mall.

One of the often needed but less often commented on are the public restrooms, which follow the American pattern of sex-specific ones.  However, to drive the point across, the tiles on the floor are in specific XX (female) and XY (male) patterns.  It's a clever, original idea; but what about people with XXX, XO, or XXY sex chromosome patterns? Mike provided a pleasingly detailed coverage of the different types of chromosome patterns.

Admittedly, practically all XXY males (Kleinfelter's syndrome) have gender identities as males; and practically all XO (Turner's syndrome) or XXX sex chromosome females see themselves as females.  Still, a sign literalist would see this as providing a comfort facility only for people with the most common sex chromosome configurations.

As background, all XXX females look similar to other females, except perhaps a somewhat larger percentage of them being taller than average.  XO women have a broad webbing of the neck, shortness of stature, underdevelopment of secondary sexual characteristics, and poor spatial ability.  And Kleinfelter's syndrome men tend to be taller, have weaker muscles, poorer coordination, smaller genitals, enlarged breasts, and less interest in sex. Recently, Heidi pointed out the sense of discomfort stemming from sharing a locker room or restroom with someone with different parts. I occasionally used one in France; but they had individual stalls, and they were presided over by a Mme. Pipi!

Seattle's Pike Street Public Market may have unwittingly left out those with 45- and 47-chromosomes with no comfort zone unwittingly; people who would have claimed femaleness or maleness with no quibbling and no one to question otherwise!


Bilbo said...

Anything I could say would probably get me into trouble. I long for the good old days, when we knew what we were!

TexWisGirl said...

a conundrum. :)

John A Hill said...

No cowboys and cowgirls?
No laddies and lassies?
No roosters and hens?
Not even men and women?
Just XX and XY.

Interesting post, Angel.
Have a great week.

Linda Kay said...

Hmmm, now that is a challenge. Here in Texas, we have those cowboys and cowgirls occasionally, but "men" and "women" seems to work fine. As long as I have a separate stall, I really don't care who is in the next one.

Mike said...

Pity the poor fool that forgets his high school biology.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I's like to see one of those XXX women.

Cloudia said...

I think most XX types would be pretty shocked if a bearded muscled transman (still XX presumably) obeyed these signs and walked into XX!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Elvis - Don't expect too much.

Cloudia - I would give a start.

Mike - He or she could squirm a bit.

John and Linda Kay - I like novelty rest room signs, myself.

TexWisGirl - I agree.

Bilbo - Yeah, it can be a problem

Blue Grumpster said...

See, now I need to either go back to school or pour myself a drink. ;)

Dixie@dcrelief said...

We still have Micky and Minnie - whaaaa!