As you may well know I spent last semester attempting to provide entertaining and objective political analysis to the students of Bowdoin College and it is my pleasure to inform you that I will continue my work as a columnist for the Orient. You can consider me the Fox News of Bowdoin. Just like Fox I will be fair and balanced but due to the overwhelmingly liberal atmosphere, I will appear polarizing. And as always, I will have my critics who attempt to display me has a hatemonger, a bigot and yes, even a "Republican twaddle." However, I can assure you that my goal in writing these articles is not to draft vicious hate speech but to stimulate intelligent debate that focuses on facts, truth and reason. Such debate will encourage ideological diversity on campus. So it is with that spirit that I now reveal the incongruence between the idea of progressivism and its application.
The intention of progressivism is to escape the dangerous logical fallacies that arise from dichotomy-style thinking. In doing so, Progressives seek to transcend narrow-minded conceptions of ideology such as liberal or conservative. As such, one would expect a progressive institution like Bowdoin to understand that gender is not an either/or attribute and that policy should be made accordingly. However, the current socio-structural restroom system utilized by the college indicates that this is not the case.
It's been many years since the United States has rid themselves of the racist segregation laws however, segregation based on gender has remained ubiquitous in society. And it has done so through our bathrooms.
As I sit here on the third floor of the library wobbling my knees and holding back the morning's coffee, I am dismayed by the fact that, in order to relieve myself, I will have to venture to another floor of the library. This is not because the third floor has no bathroom?it does?but because I am not the right gender to use it.
While this example may seem frivolous, consider the situation of an individual whose gender is not so clearly or easily defined. By limiting bathroom selection to male and female, the college has followed a pattern of inside-the-box-thinking that is contrary to a progressive society and major changes are required to ensure that all individuals are treated equally at Bowdoin, regardless of gender.
So how can this discrepancy between attitude and reality be resolved? Constructing more bathrooms for a third gender type seems logical, but that is yet another inside-the-box idea that will increase the college's costs and lower sustainability. Here's the real fix and the best part is that it won't cost the college a single dime!
Rather than develop an unneeded, and costly, surplus of bathroom facilities, Bowdoin College should fundamentally change the way it views going to the bathroom by ceasing the use of segregationist bathroom policies. This simple change would require only the removal of gender specific bathroom signs and would result in a more equal and fair social structure at Bowdoin College.
In social houses and dorms across campus, co-ed bathrooms have been demonstrated to work just as well as segregated bathrooms. In these existing co-ed bathrooms there are rarely disputes caused by inter-gender bathroom mixing; so there can be no argument made for the safety of one gender or another.
This bathroom system will increase the sustainability of the college while extending equal privileges to all genders. Here at Bowdoin we are civilized; we are ahead of the curb; and we are progressive. Thus, our policy should seek not to create further division but to unite our society on common ground.
Now that change has finally come to America, I can only hope that someday I will be allowed to pee in the third-floor bathroom of H-L.