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As Long as We Remember...

September 5, 2014

Political Correctness Run Amok!

Joe Charlebois

“A 14-year-old boy walks into a bathroom…” may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but as a father of two 14-year-old young men I was a little more than disconcerted when he was confused as to which bathroom to enter.


Should he enter the one on the left or the one on the right? Both doors had the same sign. Each one showed the images of a male, female and a wheelchair.


My family and I attended the University of Maryland football game as part of the Mighty Sound of Maryland’s Band Day. Prior to the game my boys and I went through the University of Maryland’s bookstore to update our Terrapin wardrobe. We purchased a t-shirt and a pair of Maryland shorts.


Instead of carrying the shorts around for the rest of the day, I suggested that he change out of his current shorts and wear his new ones. He agreed. When we went to find a men’s room to change, we came across the unusual situation of not knowing whether we should choose what was behind “door number 1” or “door number 2.”


After mulling it over, we saw a few young men come out of door “number 2.” I said to my son: “There you go, that must be the men’s room.” My son dutifully went in to change.


A moment later a young female alumnae came out of “door number 2” shaking her head. Her fiancée joked a bit about it as she told him how strange a situation that that just was.


Just then four University of Maryland co-eds entered the student union and ended up with the same dumbfounded look that my sons and I had just five minutes earlier. I mentioned that behind “door number 2” there were men, so a good guess would be to use “door number 1.”


As I finished saying this, a 50-something man came out of “door number 1” still drying his hands. He said “Good to go ladies. All clear!” They filed into the empty restroom but not before stating how (expletive deleted) this was.


I, for one, was mystified and amused that the university would go to the extreme of relabeling 132 individual restroom facilities all across the campus inconveniencing thousands of students, alumni and visitors in an effort to accommodate what amounts to a handful of people who may feel intimidated by using the “wrong” restroom.


In defense of “uni-sex” bathrooms, there are definitely situations that come up in public that are currently uncomfortable at best. Parents bringing in children of the opposite sex is one, but it has never been an issue that I have seen.


A more problematic situation could be when there is someone who requires physical assistance into a public restroom has an aide of the opposite sex. Of course, the main reason this change was done at the University of Maryland and other institutions is pressure from LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) groups, who look to politicize and enforce inconveniences upon the 99% plus that were fine the way things were in favor of the less that 1% that may have felt discriminated against.


As I came away from the situation that I originally was amused by, I thought of my daughter who will be attending a college or university next year. How would she feel if late on a Friday night four drunken men came into her restroom while she was alone? Would she feel intimidated or threatened?


The answer would likely be “yes.” Who is going to stand up for her rights, feminist organizations? Not a chance! Feminists are championing this idea as equal rights. How relabeling public restrooms is another step toward equal rights is beyond me.


A real response and action would be to provide male, female and “family-style” restrooms as they do in many public gym facilities. In essence, these facilities provide for a private shower, toilet and changing area for individuals or families that may have issues with using the public locker rooms and bathrooms. In the university setting, school’s such as the University of Maryland, which undoubtedly spent a great deal of money removing hundreds of urinals and putting up privacy walls could certainly have afforded to instead provide additional restroom facilities for “uni-sex” purposes.


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