Monday, June 2, 2014

How Feminism Has Let Us Down

Feminism is one of those things that almost everyone claims to believe in, yet all interpret differently. Even the women people recognize as pillars of the feminist community were often at odds. I daresay they still would be at odds if they had the good fortune to still be alive. 

Feminism is great. I'm so glad we no longer live in the world of Jane Austen where we had to hope for a Mr. Darcy rather than a Mr. Collins. I adore Virginia Woolf, and totally believe that the ability to make our own money out of our own independence getting our own jobs and affording our rooms of our own is just great. I much prefer it to the idea of hopefully marrying into money and also getting a husband who you can hopefully stand five months out of the year. 

But I'm too practical to ever be a card carrying member in the vein of Gloria Steinem. Ardent feminists speak fondly of the bra burning days. I am afraid I have too much of my sensible grandmother's Scotch heritage to ever be a good feminist, because good bras cost a lot of money and aren't something to be burnt. Bras are a vast improvement upon the olden days when women were basically harnessed into corsets made of unforgiving materials like whale bone. Bras do their best to help me defy gravity and so I shall ever be grateful to them. Besides, no one wants to be remembered as the girl with the low slung breasts because she was too lazy to wear a bra that day.

With this in mind, perhaps we should worry more about what feminism can accomplish on the practical side of life. And there's one front which feminism hasn't done nearly enough to break the glass ceiling.Or maybe in this case, a glass door. Because we still have the abomination of single stall bathrooms which are marketed as male/female. 

It only stands to reason that if there's one toilet, one sink, and one door with a lock on it, it's obviously a single sex bathroom. Yet every weekend at brunch I see men and women holding up the line by meekly lining up behind their respective stick figure sign. 

For a long time I thought it was due to the issue of cleanliness. But that is not the case, because the first time I was desperate enough to dash into the bathroom door marked "men" I was shocked at how clean it was. Women claim that men make horrible messes in bathrooms, and while that may be true at home, it's not true in public. The woman who is freaked out about touching any surface in a public bathroom will always leave things dirtier than the man who is only concerned with relieving himself. 

So with that in mind, I'd just like everyone to be aware that single sex bathrooms are an awful lie, one that is keeping you from living your best life. No one has time to stand in lines for one bathroom when there are two available. Brunch is about mimosas, not bathrooms, and you should be spending your time during brunch maximizing that bottomless mimosa deal you just spent twelve dollars on. 

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