Gender Stereotypes : The Restroom

Very often, in our lives, we need to make decisions in a split second. We use stereotypes to help us get comfortable with unfamiliar situations – people, things, etc. Stereotype, however can also let us judge stuff without giving the other person a fair chance. When do we draw the line?

You walk towards the women’s restroom in the mall. You are about to open the door when you hear running footsteps from inside. As you open the door, a mom and her 6 year old playful son walk past by. You step in and walk past the rows of open stalls on one side and the basins on the other. As you are walking to the farthest stall as you always do, you notice an androgynous person washing their hand.  You could see the reflection from the mirror. You make eye contact and acknowledge with a smile. You open the stall door and find the seat raised.

What goes on in your mind immediately? Did you think the person who was cleaning up at the basin raised it? Or, Did you think the boy raised the seat? Or, Were you too preoccupied with something else?

Very often, in our lives, we need to make decisions in a split second. We use stereotypes to help us get comfortable with unfamiliar situations – people, things, etc. Stereotype, however can also let us judge stuff without giving the other person a fair chance. When do we draw the line? Or rather, how do we know when to draw this line? When and how would we know to distinguish what we see from what is true particularly when what we see is misplaced in time?

About the author

Rashmi

Rashmi grew up in India and now she enjoys her time living in one of the queerest places in the world. She started transitioning a while back and is gradually coming out to people she thinks are cool enough for her. She enjoys discussing any topic under the sun and has an opinion about anything and everything. She thinks of herself as someone who can only hold intelligent conversations with people, when in reality she is totally insane and crazy, not to mention she has been highly hormonal recently. *GRIN*