The University of Toronto just proved why gender-segregated restrooms were always a thing.
After two separate incidents of so-called “voyeurism”–creepy peeping–in their gender-neutral bathrooms, the administration rolled back their new restroom policy, in the name of personal safety.
Two women, on September 15 and 19, reported seeing a cell phone reach over the doors to the shower stalls–in an attempt to film them as they showered. Police are still investigating and no one has been identified as a suspect at this time.
Melinda Scott, the dean of students, said that the university would be rolling back their “Washroom Inclusivity Project,” at least temporarily.
“The purpose of this temporary measure is to provide a safe space for the women who have been directly impacted by these events and other students who may feel more comfortable in a single-gender washroom in the wake of these incidents,” she explained.
That’s a very different tune than the University of Toronto has previously struck. Their “Washroom Inclusivity Project,” as described on their website, articulates the importance of having gender-neutral restrooms.
“Gender neutral washrooms are often central in discussions of transgender inclusivity in public spaces. The Washroom Inclusivity Project is no different in this, mapping the location of gender neutral toilets is the most visible manifestation of inclusivity that we can provide.”
The University of Toronto displays the tug-and-pull between being politically correct and risking safety. Gender-segregated restrooms came out of a very legitimate need to protect safety and privacy, not as a way to arbitrarily punish some members of society or create inequality.
By quickly changing policies to create so-called “inclusive spaces”–as is happening all across Canada and the United States–that need for safety is too often being snowed under by the rush to protect other people’s feelings.