Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Future is Now

In 1987, Alex Murphy was taking criminals "dead or alive" in "Robocop". I remember watching it for the first time (oh yeah, many times over the years) and seeing the scene in the Detroit police department locker room where both men and women were in various stages of undress (and no, I'm NOT posting a pic). The reason the scene got my attention, outside of the women in various stages of undress (I admit, I AM a straight male), was that both sexes were oblivious to the fact that the opposite sex was there in various stages of undress. I'll say that again: they were oblivious to the fact. It was normal. Just another day. And I wondered: what would it take to get us from "here" to "there"?

What I mean by "here" is a society that still has difficulty with male and female equality in all of its various forms (think "equal pay", for example), dress codes that determine the length of a woman's skirt and whether or not a man wears a necktie, and what gender "Pat" is.

Then one day it hit me. I finally figured out that unknown bridge: transgenderism.

Transgender people are throwing all kinds of confusion into "normal" society. Recently, an elementary school hit the news because a boy, who has determined himself to be a girl, has decided that she didn't want to use the teachers' or unisex bathroom, but decided to use the girls' bathroom. Both students and parents were up in arms, and the school made the statement that students are to use bathrooms that match their "plumbing" (my word, not theirs). I know of a business where an employee who presents himself as female, wants to use the ladies restroom as well. That business determined that if the employee is presenting himself/herself as a certain gender, they are able to use the bathroom that coincides with said gender. Part of the decision was based on the fact that the toilets are in stalls with doors, and the urinals have dividers (and I have never seen, in all my 49+ years, another male attempt to look past the divider - ever!): no one sees anyone in any form of undress. And does anyone really care the gender of the person at the next sink washing their hands? Hell, I'm just happy when people wash their hands. Of course, that business hasn't determined locker room/shower room use, but they will have to address it soon.

Having the opposite sex "invade" your bathroom is nothing new. Anyone who has been to a concert at the former Richfield Coliseum (I saw my first concert, Billy Joel - from A Piano Man to An Innocent Man - at that coliseum) has seen women skip the long lines for the ladies' room and grab a stall in the men's room. We guys noticed, but again, the stalls had doors. But now, that "invasion" is starting to become the "norm". (I noticed that I use a lot of quotation marks in my blogs. I wonder what the significance of "that" is . . . )

So for good or ill, trans genders are here to stay, so society needs to adjust.

According to an article by Jocelyne Zablit, "a California elementary school has become one of the first in the country to phase out gendered bathrooms". They are not adding a unisex bathroom; they are getting rid of those male and female silhouette-signed bathrooms.

Society is beginning to adjust.

Ally McBeal was the first to address a unisex bathroom (that I'm aware of), and that was back in the late 1990s. It was a novel idea that became a mainstay in the course of the series. And as has been said, good fiction soon becomes fact.

So, the future is now. We are slowly setting aside our long-held "hang ups" (there are those damn quotation marks again) and are beginning to allow the natural progression of society to become whatever it decides to be. And I think that is a good thing.

First unisex bathrooms, and next: silver jumpsuits!


(The above video is a clip from the 2002 Simon Wells film, "The Time Machine". That's right, Simon Wells: the great-grandson of H.G. Wells, the author of the book of the same name.)

© Emittravel 2015

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