What Is to Stop a Man From Using a Woman's Bathroom?

Restroom doors
Restroom doors

What's to stop a man from saying "I identify as a woman today" and using a women's bathroom? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Erica Friedman, librarian.

Nothing "prevents" that and nothing has to. Women's single-person bathrooms have locks on the door. I've used single-stall men's bathrooms before and it's never been a problem. Because for most people the point of using a bathroom is using the toilet and that's it.

If a person enters a bathroom and is harassing people in the bathroom the person is a problem, not the gender or sex of that person.

If someone wants to use the toilet, they are welcome to do so, no need for elaborate facade.

All the consternation about this is creating fear around the wrong part of the issue. There are zero situations in which trans people have attacked anyone in a bathroom. If we can't trust straight cisgender men to behave, then we should be policing and punishing them, not everyone else.

Answer by Matt Becher, Independent.

I can do you one better with a scandalous secret: I've been in a women's restroom on more than one occasion. I didn't even have to stand outside and make a grandiose declaration on my gender! I've gone in to make sure one of my female friends was okay. I've used one when the men's bathroom was overcrowded or unusable and the women's restroom was empty. I went in with my mom when I was very young. When the rooms are single occupancy, and there aren't any women waiting, I will readily use the women's room (I lift the seat; don't worry). Nothing has, to my knowledge, been thrown into chaos from my actions.

Turns out that bathrooms are used as, you know, bathrooms. Turns out that gendered signs have never been foolproof barriers in the first place. Interesting how this is a transgender issue for so many people.

Answer by Julie Gurner, Doctor of Psychology.

People who are transgender don't just feel like a woman "today," they have always felt like a woman. If they are using the women's restrooms it is because they live their lives as a woman, because they are one...and always have been, although they were born biologically male.

The inherent problem with this question is that when we are talking about these bathroom laws, we are not talking about the whims of the moment, we are talking about people's gender identity...how they identify, and how they live their lives EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We have all shared our bathroom with a transgender person at some point...and likely went about our business without a second thought.

Where do you think transgender people have been using the bathroom all these years before these ridiculous laws and scare tactics? Wherever they felt most comfortable, and no one has cared at all.

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