My Beautiful Wickedness

L’un et L’autre
June 1, 2007, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I like reading Twisty over at I blame the patriarchy because she writes well, provokes thought, and possesses an admirably acidulous sense of humor.

A recent working of Twisty’s obstreperal lobe involved a subject near to my heart: the demarcation of certain toilets as female and others male. You have NO IDEA how difficult it is to communicate to a child of tender years that there are no male and female toilets. There are just toilets. They all flush pretty much the same. If you gotta pee, trust me, you can use either and it will be okeedokee. You’d think a kid who had regular exposure to outhouses would have less trouble with that, but everywhere one goes, one is confronted with the skirt-human and the human-human.

Twisty mentions her dream of opening a wine bar with appropriately labeled bathrooms. In the spirit of helping a sister out, I suggest using l’un and l’autre. Because really, if you ain’t one thing, you’re something else. (Alternately, I and Other would be perfectly fine, though maybe only Baudelaire would get that and he’s too dead to need the can.)

Next on Child Rearing dilemmas — “No honey, there is no such thing as a fourth-grade math problem. If you are ready to do that problem and want to give it a whack, do so. There’s just math problems and you do them as you are able and interested. We’re not keeping score…


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Several weeks back the students involved in our Scholar’s Program (honors courses) presented their semester projects. One was a very impressive discussion of the bathroom issue, focusing on the legal issues for transgendered people (which she is – transitioning male-to-female). She did a fantastic job of taking this one issue and then using it to expand her focus to wider issues of identity and law (she was doing this for a law class) in our society. She ended with a very persuasive argument for unisex bathrooms, which apparently are becoming more common in newer corparate headquarters buildings.

Comment by Gerald

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