Friday, May 8, 2009

Everyone should be allowed to pee even in Syracuse

Dear Let Us Pee,

We are writing you from the campus of Syracuse University in Upstate New York. With the help of our Sociology of Sex and Gender class, we have become concerned with the gender issues on our campus. We are unhappy with the gender binary that is constantly perpetuated in our society and we wish to challenge and question it. We decided to focus on one of the only gendered spaces left in our society ? public bathrooms. A small group of us decided to do something about this problem, although none of us identify as transgender, we agree that this is a real issue for some students/faculty and as your blog says, everyone should be allowed to pee. Within a couple of hours early in the morning, we managed to cover over 200 bathroom stalls throughout 20 major buildings with signs and fliers raising awareness of the gender binary that our campus so religiously follows. We wanted to get people thinking about the strict two gender policy that is enforced on us. We also wanted to get people to join us at a rally being held for LGBT rights.

Throughout the process we noticed that our signs were being taken down quite rapidly. There were even cases in which we watched faculty ripping down the fliers minutes after we put them up. Without the University's stamp of approval on any of the signs, it is questionable exactly why they were taken down so fast. Was it because they weren't stamped? Was it because they didn't approve of our message? Either way, we believe it made people take a step back to consider our society's rigid two-gender system. We heard quite a few students talking about the signs throughout the day and a journalism student was even interested in doing a story about the issue of gender-neutral bathrooms. We think that together we can make a difference and raise awareness, even if it starts with a couple of signs. We hope the many readers of this blog feel compelled to also take action and share their stories.

Pee-ers for Peace at SU