Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Southern Oregon goes gender neutral

A little while ago I wrote a post on parents who complained that children were at risk from TV shows being "gendered". The first reader comment was:

"gendered" Do liberals hate public toilets?

And right on cue arrived the following story about the replacement of toilets for men and women at Southern Oregon University with "gender-neutral bathrooms":

Kevin Tomita says that in his four years at Southern Oregon University, he has noticed a sizeable effort by administrators to make the campus more gender-neutral.

...At least 15 gender-neutral bathrooms were created over the past few years, either by changing the signs on the doors or by gutting old bathrooms and reconstructing them...

The changes across campus — particularly the bathrooms — were a welcome addition for Amiko-Gabriel Stocking, a student who chooses not to identify with a gender of male or female...

"I certainly became less anxious about my own gender identity," said Stocking, 27. "I create my gender as I go."

Well, that makes Stocking a liberal hero, I suppose. Stocking has managed to "liberate" himself from a predetermined sex identity and to replace it with a fluidly self-defined and self-determined gender identity - right in line with liberal autonomy theory. He has done it as a homosexual activist, but the campus authorities are supporting him all the way.

Stocking has also taken aim at gendered language:

Stocking, who is finishing a major in human communication and sociology this year, is working on a senior project to create a gender-inclusive training manual for the Lotus Rising Project, a youth-led social justice organization in Southern Oregon.

The manual describes gender-inclusive language that encourages people to focus on an individual rather than gender, omitting words such as "he" or "him" whenever possible.

It is gender inclusive except that it discourages the recognition of gender and particularly the existence of men.

So students at Southern Oregon University are being offered a freedom from being men and women. If I were the conservative opposition there, I'd be countering this with a freedom to be men and women. That's the more significant freedom to hold onto.

(Hat tip: WWWW)


  1. I find it funny that liberals are always talking about needing to leave options open for a third gender. The only problem is that there is no third gender. Sure, they can say that bi- and a- and trans- are different genders, but they are all linked to either male or female or both. They can think of no 'third gender'. Either you are neither male or female, or you are both, or you are the other that you hadn't been. But they can only be described in relation to the only two real genders there are: male and female :)

  2. The part about the gender-neutral language pisses me off. Leftists are massive hypocrites when they tell everyone they just want "rights". Once they get their "rights" they immediately start on forcing the rest of society to not just tolerate them, but to reform society's behavior to make these deviants and freaks 100% comfortable, so they don't have to suffer any sort of inconvenience or disapproval for their choices. Of course even if all they really wanted was "freedom" to legally change their gender, I would still be against them. But I am simply pointing out how words like "rights" and "freedom" are leftist trojan horses for mass re-education.

  3. The problem here is allowing the word "gender" into the discussion. "Men" and "women" are not "genders" they are "sexes." Restrooms should be divided according to biology, not identity.


  4. I found something you can sink your teeth into, Mark:


    I always felt coed schools were a scam. Of course women and girls like them. What's not to like? Girls, in their youth, have all the power, and they use it to distract boys, and tease and manipulate them. Boys, on the other hand, excel in single-sex schools, where there is nothing to do but work and accomplish and overcome.

    Bring in the girls and the boys withdraw. Boys don't want to do what girls do. They want to do what boys do, which is to build things and then knock them down.

    So what kind of world do we want? Do we want more women brimming with confidence a la Sex and the City? If the answer is yes, then we go with coed schools.

  5. "...omitting words such as "he" or "him" whenever possible."

    Well, that's telling, huh? Why would the words "she" and "her" be any more neutral?

    Sure, "she" and "her" might be less powerful, if leftists are correct about the patriarchy. But I don't see how they can claim these words are less gendered/more neutral.

  6. Boys, on the other hand, excel in single-sex schools, where there is nothing to do but work and accomplish and overcome.

    Anon, it's interesting that this year the top achieving boys in my state, Victoria, all came from the few surviving boys only schools.

    I think the ideal is to have single sex education in the junior high school years and then at the senior high level to have mostly single sex education but with some opportunities to intermingle (e.g. drama, music) to help with social skills.

  7. Teaching a boy to be 'gender neutral' will improve his chances of never having a girlfriend. With such things one should never listen to a woman. I watched the clip of the Stockholm 'gender neutral' school. What a bloody joke. Who's going to make your toes curl girls? Javier Bardem or Boy George? Come on be honest. Dare I say this is a subconscious shit test as well as a power play.

  8. My upperclassman dorm at University in the 1980s had male, female and coed bathrooms (basically the latter were female bathrooms that were made coed to avoid the "discomfort" of women choosing to use them having o view urinals (being offensive displays of male privilege due to specifically being designed around urinating whilst standing at full height --- clearly a "patriarchal abuse of power", and one that is practically as offensive and oppressive as the reality that men even *have* penises ....).

    It was a very odd situation, to say the least, as the bathrooms included showers (there were individual shower stalls, not communal/locker room type showers). Most of the guys tended to go with the male-only bathrooms/showers, just because it was easier to deal with. It was plainly stupid, looking back on it, and plainly unsuccessful in making either men or women think in "less gendered ways" (e.g., men and women both covered when exiting showers in coed bathrooms, but not generally in same-sex bathrooms (at least not the men) which is about as "gendered" a behavior as you can get).

    The gender inclusive language thing has peaked and passed, I think. The use of the singular "they" is probably the lasting manifestation of it, and seems to be fixed in informal discourse now. Attempts to get people to use the word "ze" instead of he or she, for example, have crashed and burned because it's just way too artificial and stilted for most people to manage. Same with words like "cisgendered" and "heteronormative" and the like.

  9. I started a phys ed course in 1977. We rocked up for the first session which required changing clothes and stood patiently in two groups of twenty outside the mens' and womens' change rooms.

    When staff opened the doors we entered to find we were all in a single environment.

    This was a phys ed course which was not a teaching program but a science degree. We were destined to be performing extensive physiological testing on one another. Being shy about one's body was not going to help so the school made sure to get it out of the way ASAP.

    That was the seventies of course. I very much doubt that it happens that way today.

  10. "So students at Southern Oregon University are being offered a freedom from being men and women. If I were the conservative opposition there, I'd be countering this with a freedom to be men and women. That's the more significant freedom to hold onto."

    I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. If society is making strides to accommodate those who don't fit the gender binary, how does that affect the rights of cis-gendered people to be cis-gendered?

  11. I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. If society is making strides to accommodate those who don't fit the gender binary, how does that affect the rights of cis-gendered people to be cis-gendered?

    Isn't cis-gendered a derogatory term thrown around by transgenders and their sympathizers against those whom approve of the male and female societal distinction? In essence the whole focus on civil and human rights is itself an error. Accomodating the perverse leads to a depraved spiritual state on a large scale. These activists sanction immorality while claiming that there is no such thing as morality. If we give in to their demands they won't stop and will just keep on going until either they cease such demands or until they destroy any vestiges of normality. Unfortunately current trends suggest that the West will go down the pit and keep giving into these demands until the very end.

  12. "I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. If society is making strides to accommodate those who don't fit the gender binary, how does that affect the rights of cis-gendered people to be cis-gendered?"

    Fair warning: This explanation is going to be long. I'm aiming for clarity and thoroughness in order to avoid some of the endless quibbling that is typical when trads and leftists discuss things.

    You're talking here as if people are born spiritually identifying or not identifying with their physical sex. If that's true, it means that sexual identification is an innate, non-chosen trait, similar to race and sex. If a trait is innate, and cannot be altered, then your side thinks it isn't supposed to matter. In the name of this principle, people who have had other innate, non-chosen traits that your side thought to be dominant were prohibited from expressing solidarity or identification with that trait and others who share it, as your side thought this was oppressive against those who don't share that trait.

    Thus, white people are no longer allowed to identify positively as white.

    Men are no longer allowed to identify positively as men.

    And hence we predict that at some point soon, sexually normal people (whom you call "cis-gendered") will no longer be allowed to identify positively as sexually normal. I think your side already calls this "heteronormativity".

    As white people are rapidly losing the right to be white (doesn't even my mention of white rights sound Nazi-like to your ears?), and as men are losing the right to be men (doesn't "manliness" already sound like a punchline to you?), so sexually normal people will soon lose the right to be sexually normal (and it will soon sound offensive to your side to suggest otherwise).

    And that is how your philosophy affects the rights of "cis-gendered" (i.e. sexually normal) people to be sexually normal.

  13. Yes, we've already reached the point at which some activists wish to rid society of "heteronormativity" - the social norms that men and and women live by.

    Anon, being a man or a woman is more than a mere fact of biology. It is an aspect of being. Our efforts to fulfil and to order our being depend in part on how we express ourselves as men and women, on our roles in society as men and women, and on our relationship with the opposite sex.

    Attempts to deny the norms of gendered behaviour amongst men and women will therefore be felt as a demoralising loss of the conditions of life rather than as a freedom.

    That's true even of the abstract denial of the "gender binary". To tell men and women that there are seven sexes or that sex is a mere social construct denies the reality within which men and women express their being.

    Most men and women will therefore reject or choose not to hear such claims. But to live in a social environment in which you are expected to affirm something unreal in public at a formal level is not a freedom but an imposition.

    And it becomes worse as the campaign against heteronormativity takes on more practical forms. As a taste of what is to come, think of the reasons left-wing activists gave for opposing the maypole festival in Sweden:

    The tradition of girls picking seven different flowers to put under their pillow to dream about their future man is also very heteronormative and patriarchal.

    The message to girls? It's wrong to have dreams about a future husband. Again, an aspect of being can't take formal expression within society - it can't be freely expressed.

    And what's the message to young men and women attending Southern Oregon and finding unisex toilets there? It's that their sex doesn't matter in ways that they themselves feel it to matter.

    In Sweden the Green Party (which gets around 10% of the vote) wants all legislation to be vetted for heteronormativity. The Green Party believes that creating a "queer" country will be an improvement because:

    "a society in which the norm is queer makes all genders equal and does not place emphasis on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."

    Notice that to achieve a "queer" society you have to de-emphasise sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

    But as I wrote earlier, these are aspects of being through which we fulfil who we are - and yet queerness requires us to treat them as if they don't matter so much.

  14. Hey Mark,

    Re-reading this thread, I realized I might have stepped out of line by answering Anon's question. It was, after all, directed to you, not me. Sorry about that, and merry Christmas to you and yours.

  15. This is one of those liberal projects that is rendered non-viable by another: the importing of large Muslim populations. When 40%+ of your student body is Muslim, you don't mess with bathroom genders!

  16. I was just building an archive following the gender-inclusive hall project and stumbled upon this page. Here is some feedback at the source.

    1. If it is a gender-inclusive bathroom, then you don't need 7 different versions of it. (Gender-inclusive is the term SOU students are using. So, they are for everyone.)
    2. SOU is not pushing for gender-inclusive measures. Students are asking for it, and the administration has been receptive.
    3.Regardless of what people do or do not believe about gender, inclusive restrooms are beneficial to several groups, not just one. These include care-givers working with clients who are differently gendered or just perceived to be differently gendered. The same for guardians with small children. Many of these bathrooms are also wheelchair accessible.
    4. The state allocates a certain amount of funding each year for building renovations. These funds cannot be used for anything else, including SOU salaries. Some of the bathrooms at SOU need to be renovated for various reasons, why not make a bathroom that accommodates more people while SOU is at it?

    If you want gender-theory, that's a topic for another day. ^_~