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Transgressing Gender Binarism in the Workplace? Including Transgender and Intersexuality Perspectives in Organizational Restroom Policies

  • Monika Huesmann
Chapter

Abstract

The design of organizational restroom policies is a way of controlling how people can use restrooms and who feels comfortable in using those restrooms. Most organizations still use gender segregated restrooms; this design also gives some insight into the way organizations categorize people into women and men and ignore that these categories may not fit the diversity of all staff, customers and other stakeholders.

In some organizations restroom designs are under question, and new ideas of redesigning restrooms are being considered. Some organizations are realizing more and more that not all of their employees feel treated with respect and dignity when restrooms are gender segregated in a binary way. Intersexual people, those transitioning, and those who have transitioned, might feel uncomfortable and under pressure when having to choose between men’s and women’s restrooms. In this article, restrooms will be discussed as institutions that are designed or redesigned in a way whereby the gender segregation that reflects the gender binarism of society is, or is not, called into question. The balancing act between gender segregated restrooms that still matches the long-established cultural norm of gender binarism, and the demand for restrooms where users are not forced to decide between being a woman or a man is difficult. Organizations have chosen different ways to redesign their restrooms, which will be discussed.

Keywords

Restrooms Gender identity Transgender Gender order in organizations Intersex Cisnormativity 

Notes

Photos

The copyright of all photos is with the author Monika Huesmann.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business and EconomicsBerlin School of Economics and LawBerlinGermany

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