bathrooms and gender



Hi, it’s Akari. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts on “bathrooms and gender” that I noticed when I came to Finland.


* ユニセックストイレ = 性別に関係なく利用できるトイレ。

For example, when I imagine the signs on bathroom doors, I think of something blue for men’s and red for women’s bathrooms. I thought this was the same everywhere, but in Finland, I have never seen a bathroom that uses colour to separate gender. Here, they use the silhouette of a man or a woman to show which bathroom is for which gender. Moreover, the bathrooms I saw in a cinema and an art museum in Helsinki were labelled “unisex WC” and everyone could use the same bathroom, regardless of gender. In Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden, where I travelled, there was not even mention about gender in the bathrooms in museums and art galleries; bathrooms are just labelled “WC.” Regarding the structure of restrooms, most of the bathrooms contain several cubicles which each contain a small sink, soap, and a trash can. From this experience, I learned the new idea that gender does not matter in bathrooms. In fact, when I used these unisex bathrooms, I didn’t feel any inconvenience. I thought it was a good idea to have unisex bathrooms because the phenomenon where there is a long line only for the women’s bathrooms doesn’t occur.


* 性表現 = 『男らしさ』や『女性らしさ』を表すと規定されている服、しぐさ、言葉遣いなどで、自分の性別を表現する方法のこと。

But why do we need to separate bathrooms by gender in the first place? When bathrooms are separated by gender, there is a risk of sexual crime, harassment, and prejudice against transgender people. Even if someone is not transgender, if they look androgynous or have a sexual expression that is different from the gender of the bathrooms, they are also at risk for sexual harassment. Moreover, these people may feel uncomfortable when they have to choose which bathroom to enter.


* Xジェンダー = トランスジェンダーの中で自らを男性、女性いずれの性別にも合致しないと意識する人。

In my opinion, there