Sometimes my almost-MRU gets it right

Jan 20 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

My almost-MRU is in a very rural area. I knew this when I came here. I figured I could cope. Last week I had an somewhat less than pleasant interaction with a member of staff who supported Trump, wanted to make sure I knew this, and had many racist/etc-ist things to say. I kept a smile plastered on my face.  Tried to reason, present other views, and, yes, proved I could cope.

But today this message just came from the President's office:

  I am pleased to announce the opening of our all-gender restrooms. Located in XXX (near printing services) and in YYY (near The Very Rich Dead White Man Who Gave Lots of Money Hall), the all-gender restrooms are available to any member of the NEOMED community regardless of the gender with which they identity. Studies have shown that transgender people are highly likely to face harassment and assault when using a restroom that conflicts with their gender identity. NEOMED not only has zero tolerance for harassing or discriminatory behavior, but we are also proactive in embracing inclusion. These all-gender restrooms, which are also handicap accessible, allow NEOMED to be more responsive to transgender or transitioning students, faculty and staff.

Also in the email was:

We also want to remind you that we have several lactation rooms  around the campus. Lactation rooms can be found in ZZZ (not named after anyone); YYY (also an all-gender restroom, which is quite likely causing the very rich dead white man who gave lots of money to be rolling in his grave ); and the first floor of  QQQ building.

I am sure there are lots of unhappy staff here.

6 responses so far

  • Ola says:

    Well I do hope you surely reported said individual to their superiors, for fostering a hostile work environment? Such people are not generally known to give in to reason, but when you hit them where it hurts (such as being called in for a chat with the boss), that'll get their attention. As the phrase goes... well bahaved women seldom make history. Now is not the time to sit back and take it.

    • potnia theron says:

      I'd bet the bosses are right there with them, and they'd just say something like don't waste your time talking to the eggheads.

      Your point about well behaved women is well taken. But there are many paths to many ends. I suspect this man has no friends who are: of color, of GLBTI, of other religions. I made the call that being polite & engaging in conversation, and leaving the door open to the future will have more of an impact than a slap on the wrist from someone who sees it his way.

  • Former Technician says:

    I am at an MRU in a major Southern town. We have a terrible record when it comes to women and minority faculty and administrative officials. And yet ... we have had lactation rooms, unisex restrooms, prayer rooms and even ablution rooms for years. Now I do have to admit that most of these exist only in those buildings built in the last 10 years. However, my building was built in the 1950s and has only unisex restrooms. Buildings with everything else are just next door and can be reached without going outside.

    FYI for those unfamiliar: ablution rooms are for those who need to cleanse before prayer

  • chall says:

    I commend you for being able to bite your tongue and be civil. I too have coworkers who at times spew "hatish" comments.... they are a little careful around since we are in a diverse environment at work (research is fairly diverse, at least they know a lot of immigrants) although the city itself is very Southern with all the toppings. I wish we had more gender neutral bathrooms, alas it's very southern with one for men and one for women with stalls. I never thought about it before I moved to the States, but very obvious when I came here - in Sweden we mainly have "separate toilets with their own door", and none of them with a sign for women/men at uni. It does make life a little easier in general if you ask me....

    • Zuska says:

      Yes, just a little architectural creativity could get rid of all this bathroom madness.
      Then the culture cranks would have to find something else responsible for endangering civilization & all we hold dear.

      • chal says:

        true. There is a little joke (?) between my European friends and I

        $How do you know you've left the States [going home to Europe]?
        #When you get to the airport there are separate toilets and not stalls....

        Please note though, that in a lot of airports there are still women/male toilets - although in Sweden there are a lot of unisex toilets. I think it also has to do with a bigger debate decades ago when they needed to add "baby changing stations" to the male sections. At this point it might have been easier to just add "toilet and "family toilet"?

Leave a Reply