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OP-ED: Gender Neutral Bathrooms Are Great, But When Will They Build Bathrooms for Men?


Photo from Pxhere / CC0

There are now dozens of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, ranging from the FRES office to Van Pelt, Addams to Fagin Hall. This is fantastic for people who may be trans, gender nonconforming, or just more comfortable using a single-occupancy restroom. And Penn is, to the best of my knowledge, working on making more gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

All this is great, but it feels like Penn is ignoring another related issue: there are nearly zero bathrooms on campus designed and intended specifically for men.

There are many women's restrooms at Penn. Just about every academic or administrative building has a women's room. Only three buildings have men's rooms, one each. 

Three is a small number considering that there are at least a hundred men on campus, if not more. These bathrooms are often crowded or dirty because they are so heavily used.

I'm glad that there are more gender-neutral bathrooms. Yes, men like me use them. But it would be a lot more efficient just to build large, multi-person bathrooms with numerous urinals for men to use. 

Men pee, too. We even poop. For these reasons, we need bathrooms.

To make sure it wasn't just me feeling this way, I talked to an expert.

"Yes, men have to use the bathroom," said biology professor Philip Stevlen. "And this is a big school so I guess sometimes multiple men will have to use the bathroom at the same time, sure."

Point proven.

Penn has done an excellent job making campus restrooms more accessible. But they aren't done yet. Now, they need to add bathrooms for men.