In 2005, Professor Olga Gershenson sent out a call for academic papers on public toilets--"the holy of holy for nerds." Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender, the book that resulted, virtually created the toilet studies field. But along with the nerds, geeks and dweebs who answered the call came bigots who slandered the premise and Gershenson personally via internet, mail and fax machine (remember 2005?). In this hour, Shawn Shafner (The Puru) chats with Gershenson about this experience and her work documenting Restroom Revolution, a student group on the UMass Amherst Campus fighting for transgender-friendly unisex bathrooms in 2001. We'll break down how this incident was a bellwether of things to come, why unisex restrooms would make all our lives better, and what you can do to help usher in a new era of life, liberty, and single stalls for all.
Also mentioned: Cultural Studies, discourse analyst, alt-right, kulturkampf, academic policing, homophobia, glory hole, university politics, Bridgewater State University, University of Massachusetts UMass Amherst, Restroom Revolution, Transparent, Jill Soloway, Jeffrey Tambor, bathroom, Harvey Molotch, Laura Noren, campus, unisex, gender neutral, gender non-conforming, buddhist mantra, Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Erving Goffman, backstage, urinal, potty parity, civil rights, disability, bladder, plumbing code, glass ceiling, Simone de Beauvoir, Manneken Pis, Standing Up, Alexander Kira, Reginald Reynolds, Donald Trump