Monday, April 18, 2005


As I was entering the Men's Locker Room of my University's overpriced athletic facilities I did a double take as I saw what undeniably were two women using the digital scales inside the locker room. To get to the scales, they had to walk past several aisles of lockers as well as the entrance to the showers. Hence, it was certainly possible if not quite likely that they would have encountered some men in various stages of undress along the way. The men around them seemed to regard them with a mixture of astonishment and bemusement. Were we really seeing what we thought we were seeing? After weighing themselves, the girls casually walked out, grumbling something semi-unintelligible about the scales being out of order in the Women's Locker Room or some such.

While I confess I was glad that I was only entering the locker room when this happened and was not either changing or heading to the shower, I don't think I would have been seriously discomfited in any event. Too many years of men's locker rooms not to mention Korean bathhouses and saunas have rendered me fairly unconcerned about public nudity, at least in certain obviously limited contexts. Still, this is not a test that I am eager to take any time soon.

It occurred to me that it is highly unlikely that the reaction to a similar situation with the gender roles reversed (e.g. men sauntering into the women's locker room to use the scales) would be the same philosophical bemusement. It also occurred to me that if one were to heed the letter of the law, what the girls did could clearly constitute sexual harassment. I somehow doubt, however, that many men could be found who would be willing to press charges.

Women can be as masculine as they want and thats ok. But, let a man do something feminine and that a another story. I know it doesn't really fit your situation but in a way it does. Women can go into the men's dressing/shower room easier than a man can, for example, go into Curves.
That doesn't surprise me that girls at that school are going into the men's locker room. Afterall, the way some of those girls act, you would think that the world revolves around them in Foggy Bottom. I graduated from there, so I can say that.
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