The City of Portland has banned urinals in the $195 million remodel of the Portland Building, which houses administrative offices for the city. While urinals use less water than toilets, they are a relic of a bygone era when men and women were recognized as biologically different.
A spokeswoman told NBC affiliate KGW News that she could not estimate how much it will cost to remove the urinals, which have been a feature of the building since its construction in 1982.
Chief Administrative Officer Tom Rinehart explained the urinal ban in an email to employees last February.
“We will continue to have gender-specific (male and female) multi-stall restrooms that are readily available to any employee that prefers to use one. But, there will be no urinals in any restroom in the building. This will give us the flexibility we need for any future changes in signage,” he wrote.
According to KGW, the building will have gender-neutral multi-stall bathrooms intended to be used by men and women together. These free-for-all restrooms — a dream come true for perverts — will be on the first, third, and fifteenth floors.
Every floor will have at least one bathroom open to “any gender,” in most cases a single-stall restroom. Throughout the building, there will be 42 “all-user stalls” and 104 sex-specific stalls.
Rinehart framed the urinal ban as a way to “remove arbitrary barriers.” In his email to employees, he wrote, “I am convinced that this is the right way to ensure success as your employer, remove arbitrary barriers in our community, and provide leadership that is reflective of our shared values.”
Yet the ideology involved in such changes is far from universally shared. It relies on the idea that gender is a social construct unmoored from biological sex, so a male can identify as a woman and be respected as a woman. Many have advocated for opening restrooms to those who identify as transgender.
But the transgender revolution denies men and women the privacy of using the bathroom with members of the same sex. Many men have abused Target’s gender-neutral bathrooms and changing rooms to spy on women in various states of undress. While the urinal ban and other gender-neutral bathroom changes are not intended to facilitate this disgusting behavior, there is no way to prevent such abuses with such a policy.
The difference between men and women is far from “arbitrary,” and both sexes deserve the right to bathroom privacy.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.