How does one label bathrooms for 30+ gender identities?
For thousands of years, the world operated on the premise that there were only two genders: male and female. Then the 21st century came along.
As a matter of modesty, various societies separated the two genders in various matters such as education, and most frequently, for private matters such as using the bathroom or locker room.
Bathrooms typically used language to denote the appropriate room for people to enter, such as “Men,” “Boys” or “Gentlemen” for males and “Women,” “Girls” or “Ladies” for females. Some decades ago, to address language barriers, many places began adding linear stick figures for men, and a stick figure which seemingly had a skirt or dress for women.
Liberal societies soon challenged those stereotypes. Is a woman defined by wearing a skirt while many females wear pants? Does a man stop being a man if he dons a dress? The liberal advance pushed for more general symbols to replace the stick figures. Circles were used to represent women and triangles were rolled out to denote men’s rooms. Why these shapes? It is unclear. But the migration to circles and triangles has been taking over.
The question now remains of what to do with the newly minted dozens of gender types that municipalities have started to recognize.
International Federation of Red Cross and
Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
For almost 60 years, the IFRC refused to admit the Israeli emergency group, the Red Magen David to its ranks because Israel insisted on using the Jewish Star of David instead of a Christian cross or Islamic crescent as its logo. It took several years of United States pressure – including withholding dues – for the IFRC to admit Israel in 2006.
But the IFRC still refused to allow Israel to use its Star of David.
Muslim countries originally offered the excuse of barring Israel’s entry because they objected to Israel’s control of land it captured in the 1967 Six Day War (they could not remember why they objected to admitting the organization in the many decades that preceded the war). Christian countries objected to including the Jewish Star as there were many other religious countries (such as Buddhist Thailand) which would create a confusing string of logos.
A compromise was reached in 2006 in which all countries that did not want to use the cross or crescent could opt to use a crystal / diamond.
Perhaps that will become the official symbol of all non-dominant actors such as non-males and non-females in bathrooms: a diamond which conveys the mass of minorities, the “Others.”
If and when the world adopts the bucket diamond category, will the world similarly be dismissive and persecute the diamonds outside of the dominant genders, the same way that the world attacks the only Jewish State?
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