Down With Coed Bathrooms!

There are a few unspoken rules that make it acceptable for you see your best friend’s (or guy friend’s) bare ass in certain situations: a dare, a (drunken) hookup, a music festival, or on amateur night at a strip bar.

But in the shower? That might be going a little too far, and one Green Mountain College student agrees. Jennifer Weiler, a Green Mountain freshman, is suing her school for a lack of girls-only bathrooms. And homegirl’s making a pretty good case. I mean, I can count on about three fingers the amount of people I know who would feel comfortable stripping down and jumping in the shower with strangers and hall-mates of the male persuasion. Especially if nothing sexual was being followed.

Some say, “Don’t knock it till you try it,” but I’m pretty sure I don’t need to try showering with my R.A. to know it’s not going to go down well.

What if you’re having a fat day (or year)? Even the most perfect looking person still has the occasional insecure moment about his or her body. And even if you don’t, you might not want that random dude from down the hall knowing about the mole on your left butt cheek.

Personal Maintenance. Seeing a guy shave his face is something I find adorable. However, I don’t think I’d want a guy watching me shave my legs in the sink or worse, listen in as I’m doing some mowing downtown.

The Creep Factor. Guys are handsome creatures and I bet there are some you wouldn’t mind being totally naked in front of. Yet, there are some guys known to be extremely don’t-take-no-for-an-answer-no-thanks-I-don’t-want-you-to-buy-me-that-drink CREEPY. Put them in the shower situation and we have a recipe for trouble. The wandering eyes may possibly turn into wandering hands and then you’re avoiding showers all semester. OK, so maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but being naked in front of someone you have a gut instinct to run away from isn’t exactly SAFE-CITY.

Number Two. Besides the showering issue, sometimes that cafeteria food just doesn’t sit well. And running to the bathroom to relieve yourself becomes a pretty awkward situation when the guy from your History class is sitting in the stall next door reading the sports section. And he recognizes your feet.

Boys smell. Call me immature, but it’s true.  Somehow, guys find humor in farting on each other and things of the sort. Being caught in a fart battle when all you want to do is wash your hands is not my idea of a fun time.  That’s why, in public places, they have a room reserved just for the smelly and weird interests of guys. It’s called the “Men’s Room.”

When you’re living in a dorm, there is very little privacy. Sometimes the only alone time you get is standing under the hot water (in your flip flops) in the shower. Is it so wrong that you’d like to do that without fear that you might come face to face with a naked guy?

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  1. Brooke says:

    I agree that I wouldn't want coed bathrooms in the dorms but when I lived in a dorm last year I never walked around naked and neither did anyone else. We all had robes or towels and each shower had two curtains, one for a small changing area and one for the shower.

  2. twentieslife says:

    Besides the hilarity of this situation, I agree completely.

  3. Lauren - University says:

    I honestly dont understand how coed bathrooms even exist! I get that there are curtains and stuff, but the bathroom is a really personal place where I do very personal things. Personal things that would make a guy look at me differently. And not in a good way.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Uh, I go to gmc, and there are PLENTY of girls bathrooms…from what I know, she's in the shitty freshman dorm (which I lived in for two years) and frankly, I don't get why it's such a big deal. Live on an all girls floor (of which there are plenty) and it'll be fine. However, GMC has theme floors too..Rec Floor for rec majors, Sub-free for those who don't smoke, drink, etc, Honors floor, CALF (Creative Arts Living Floor) and for those theme floors no gender is discriminated. It may seem like there aren't girls only bathrooms, but there are a few..keep in mind this is a college with under 1000 students.

  5. Lindsay says:

    *I mean plenty of bathrooms that are mainly meant for all-girls floors…but sometimes we have a boyfriends on the floor…it's not strict dorm policy when it comes to things like that..the stall doors generally suck.

  6. victoria says:

    oh, for crying out loud. i go to GMC as well.

    yes, we have some co-ed floors, as lindsay mentioned above. so don't live on them.

    the rest of our floors are single-sex. sure, the bathrooms aren't labeled "female" or "male" but generally speaking they're only used by whichever gender lives on that floor. the doors on the stalls suck, but hey — there are doors. there are curtains on the showers.

    buildings with classrooms, etc — all the bathrooms are designated male or female.

    so…STFU or go to another college.

  7. victoria says:

    oh, also —

    on the first floor of each dorm there is a private bathroom that is completely closed off where you can shit in private. no shower, but hey, you can take your shit in private.

  8. Renee says:

    I go to a school with coed bathrooms and at the beginning of each year the halls vote on whether or not the bathroom should be coed. The bathroom is automatically single sex if one person is uncomfortable.

  9. Erin -- University o says:

    You have to keep in mind that with these coed bathrooms there are stalls and curtains and doors…so it's not like you're all walking around naked together.

    You're in college now for crying out loud, stop crying to mommy and daddy and be an adult and handle the situation as such. Can't you find friends who agree with you and regulate polcies for the bathrooms instead of interrupting my college education and experience?

    Especially with money so tight right now, I can't imagine wanting to sue my school over something as small as bathrooms making me uncomfortable when classes are being dropped, gym, library, and caf hours are being decreased, student jobs are being eliminated, security is making budget cuts and so on. I'd much rather still have my daily workout than see the gym on my side of campus shut down because the money used to keep it open is going into some lawsuit. Or even better, i'd much rather still have that walking escort back to my dorm at 2am and be safe than have to walk it myself, much more vulnerable.

  10. Kristi says:

    This is dumb. There is nothing wrong with co-ed bathrooms, it's like sharing a bathroom with your brother or sister except that you're not related. Even in same-sex bathrooms, no one just strips down. Everyone at my school treated the co-ed and same-sex bathrooms the exact same – bring your clothes with you to shower and get undressed and dressed in the stall. Also, the co-ed bathrooms were kept cleaner than the male AND the female bathrooms.

    I agree with the Victoria's post, this girl needs to STFU.

  11. Liz says:

    I too go to GMC and while Bogue does have coed floors, most of the other buildings have single sex floors. So unless someone has a boyfriend over, there are plenty of female only bathrooms on campus. Plus on the first floor of Bogue, there is an all girls floor with an all girls bathroom.

  12. no says:

    I go to GMC too.

    If you can hear the girl in the room next to you fucking her boyfriend all night, what's the problem with hearing her shave her bush?

    And what about the floors where half the population is gay (we have many) should we ban the queers from the those bathrooms? Send them to the 'other' gender's bathroom? Or maybe we should set out a bathroom just for the gays? Wait what about the bisexuals!? Oh no, whatever will we do? Maybe we could just all fucking shit together.

  13. GMCstudent says:

    This article is ludicrous. The author worries about people seeing her nude, shaving her legs, etc.

    When I am nude, shaving my personal bits, or taking a shower, get this: I do it in the shower, not in public places!

    I don't think anyone has seen me doing any of these things, except for the nude part, of course, because I am often skinny dipping in the river, streaking campus events, or sunbathing nude on the backfield (which as everyone loves to point out, is legal in Vermont!)

    But seriously, as already pointed out, the co-ed bathrooms are clearly known to be such (i.e. no reasonable expectation otherwise) while single-sex bathrooms are labeled as such. The showers at GMC are all (co-ed and otherwise) for a single persons use, so there is little concern that, as the future Fox-sensational-news-correspondent Cristina believes, anyone will be jumping in with her.

    This is a ludicrous way to waste students tuition money that could go to providing us with better (co-ed) shower facilities.

  14. J-Rob says:

    We at GMC are attempting to solve issues related to preserving the environment and it’s resources, climate change, globalization, and sustainability, among dozens of other larger goals more important than bathroom policy. I am no granola-bar crunching dread-head (sorry to anyone that might offend) by any means; however, I see this as a waste of time and money. I mean the fact that THIS got into the “NY Daily News” truly appalls me. Society is getting more stupid and off-task everyday. Lets try solving our energy policy issues before we try to go around tackling bathroom policy. This idea is a novelty and should not be taken seriously. Hopefully any semi-competent judge (if it gets that far) will throw this case right out of their courtroom…ridiculous…

  15. Ronnie Black says:

    I went to Green Mountain and actually graduated from there. I lived in this particular dorm for two and a half years. I never saw anyone naked other than my girl friend (actually that's not true. Did anyone mention that the school has a streaking team?) What college do you know that has open shower rooms? Uh, other than in the gym all the dorm showers are stalls, just like the toilets. It used to be an all girls school (during WWII) did anyone mention that? There are like 5 urnals on campus. My point here is that this whole issue is stupid. Green Mountain should counter sue this girl for being such a douche bag. If she takes a shower without closing the shower curtain that's her perogative, but she shouldn't complain about privacy. Besides I would also add that it is a private school and they do listen when people talk, but I'm guessing that the school's final opinion will be if you don't like it leave.

    PS. (this is the last thing I swear). It reminds me of a similar situation last year where a group of vegans were mad that the farm slaughters pigs. (Yes, the school has a farm) The pigs are still there so I'm guessing the co-ed dorm bathrooms will stand. All the dorms on campus are co-ed by the way, there is no all girls or all boys. No one ever told me not to use the bathrooms on an all girls floor. I slept in my girlfriends room for like two years.

  16. Matt says:

    I go to gren mountain college. This is the most ridiculous thing ever. I know that people like privacy when there washing and stuff. there are curtains and doors on te stalls. even if you live on a all bos or all girls floor there are some things that would be weird for somene to hear when they walk into a bathroom, regardless of their gender. this is the real world. And in college, especially green mountain college which consists of less than 800 students, no one really cares about what goes on in the bathrooms as long as it isn't destroying the bathroom and causing fines for the hall mates. were atleast 17 most of us are 18. grow up people. there are only six co-ed floors throughout campus. every other floor is either all boys or all girls. if the co-ed bathrooms are bothering you, move to another floor. or maybe you shouldnthve chose to livethere before you came to gmc.

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  19. Amanda says:

    The only thing I got out of this is you guys have a streaking team…

  20. RiAnna says:

    First off, I go to Green Mountain College and we are a hippie liberal arts college. Jen (the girl whos suing the school's argument is invalid) she could have always chosen the all girls floor.. we do have that option.. and she decided not to. So no she must suffer the consequences.

    I'm sorry the bathroom situation isnt a problem. People are very respectful and honestly.. yea it was a little awkward at first but its fine. Seeing naked people is nothing new at GMC. We have a streaking team and people are always naked.. you walk out side and theres girls hula-hooping naked. Thats just how we are. Most of us are comfortable enough with our bodys. We are not children.

    And again i feel that it should be pointed out that she TURNED DOWN an all girls floor which would have given her the girls only bathroom she wants. The rest of us shouldnt have to change our entire routine because she didnt want an all girls floor.

  21. Katie says:

    I go to Macalester College, where we have some gender neutral bathroom options. Some friends of mine freaked out when they got put in one of the dorms that had gender neutral bathrooms, and they threw a hissy fit about it, which is ridiculous. The showers are private, and there are private stalls as well. They managed to get some of the bathrooms changed back, which sucked for people living there, because the guys or girls had to shower and use the bathroom in another part of the building that wasn't accessible from the inside. Luckily no one really follows the regulations anyway, because the bathrooms were originally made this way for the queer and transgendered people on campus to have this option. However, when the new athletic facility was being built 2 years ago, some people started writing in the school newspaper about how we should make all of the bathrooms and locker rooms gender neutral. This was the worst idea I have ever heard, because there is a huge difference between a locker room and the bathroom. Showering in a group shower with members of the football team is not a viable option, so if you are confused about the difference between a co-ed bathroom and a locker room, I could see being uncomfortable. Although boys are stinkier.

  22. Stacie says:

    I do not mind co-ed showers or bathrooms, just that 95% of the guys out there think it is an open invitation.

    I do not mind being naked in front of anyone, it does not mean I want sex…

  23. […] at schools like Brandeis, students get to vote on whether they want their hall bathrooms to be single-sex or coed. We’re all for spending as much time with boys as possible, but there are some times (read: […]

  24. MBP says:

    It seems like with the curtains and stall doors on both the changing areas, showers, and toilets, that a person can avoid being naked in front of anyone else. Though the naked part really isn't what bothers me. It's the number 2 situation that I have a serious problem with.

    As a guy, I don't even like doing my buisness when other guys are in the bathroom to hear it; and only do so in a dire situtation. So that would go double and/or triple for taking a dump when there are girls around to hear and smell whats going on. Sorry, not going to happen.

    And I'm willing to bet the feeling is mutual. I would imagine most girls would not want and do not want to be going number 2 while guys are around to hear and smell it; especially if any of those guys are guys they happen to have an interest in.

    So that's my biggest problem with the whole chirade; it's not the nudity (which doesn't seem to be an issue anyway), it's the pooping situation.

  25. Tex says:

    How does the Streaking Team work? Are there other teams? How do you win?

  26. Jay Dee says:

    You have to be kidding me?! Guys stink?! Really? Women's restrooms in a retail setting are by far more disgusting than the men's rooms. I have worked as a manager in retail many years and my female associates when asked to check up/clean the restrooms cringe at the idea of cleaning the women's rooms. They are nasty to say the least. So don't use that as an excuse.

  27. greg says:

    im sorry but guys are twice as worried about what people think of us we wouldnt just whip it out any were because girls are more jugmental of guys bodies than guys are of girls bodies and just cause you are naked and we see it doesnt mean we want you the problem might be if we wanted to fuck u before we might change our minds wen we see u naked

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