Holidays and Gas Station Bathrooms: gender politics hold the jargon
I think Thanksgiving is possibly the worst day to drive. Like many other family visit procrastinators, I left 4 hours later than planned to join my family in what is typically a 1.5 hour drive away. Add holiday to the mix and that drive turns into a 4-hour wait in gridlock. About 2.5 hours into it I had to pee and of course all your typical roadside establishments are closed with the exception of gas stations.
We stopped at one only to find a bathroom line that wrapped around the corner and it looked like it was moving at the same pace as the freeway. We headed across the street only to find the same situation so we got in line. It was a single line for two bathrooms, which were traditionally gendered male and female, however the patrons in line did not seem to care and took any available stall. Perhaps it was the holiday season inspiring rational thought or the fact that those who have to pee, know that the most efficient way to do so is to utilize both bathrooms and not let one sit idly aside just because the stick figureon the door is wearing pants or a skirt.
Yes the line did primarily consist of women (bio men of course have a physiological advantage that enable them to pee in a variety of ways and locations that doesn’t confine them to strictly use designated restroom areas) but there were a few men in line and they gladly used whatever restroom that was available because obviously the line moves faster that way. One lovely gentleman held the door for the men’s room open for his wife, who says chivalry is dead?
Ok so after several minutes of waiting, a middle aged couple walks in. Dude walked up right to the front of the line; his sense of entitlement was amazing to watch in action. The women in the front of the line started to grumble, my wife being the great person that she is politely said “excuse me, but we are all waiting for both bathrooms.” You could almost see the entitlement bubble shake with outrage. He turns with a look of bewilderment, frustration, and then anger and starts to form a rebuttal. His words of protest were lost mainly because none of us in line spoke moron. As he turned to the back of the line, a biker type guy exits the women’s bathroom with a satisfied look, but Dude blinded by his own stupidity, misses this as well as the point.
Just then Dude’s girlfriend comes in with an equal look of confusion. She continued the protest except this time louder and with more zest. “I don’t understand why people won’t just use their own [gendered] bathroom?”
Lady, I’ll tell you… it’s because the difference you see and impose upon these people is so arbitrary in the presence of our sameness that it is down right silly. I’ll break it down.
We are humans. We have basic needs, like peeing. These needs take priority over your personal attempts to mask your insecurities by:
(Ok there’s a little jargon here but you don’t have to read it)
1) Investing such a sense of self in your culturally designated gender that your world is obviously rocked when others choose not to do this.
2) Trying to reinforce your fail and potentially vacant identity by forcing others to use the faulty standards you use.
3) Being an idiot.
She eventually got in line behind me but continued to spew her words of ignorance. I then entered the men’s room. I knew her and her boyfriend were behind me. I was sooooo temped to piss on the seat, but I didn’t because I am not a bad person, most the time. As my wife and I exited the gas station, an older woman exited the men’s room with a joyous bounce and announces “Happy Thanksgiving” and indeed it was.