Our bathroom is a small one, as is well warranted for a just slightly over 700 square foot apartment. So it would only make sense that fighting in such close quarters would make the words hurt thrice as deep. I will admit that I was desperately tired of our dump dwelling, even though to him it seemed to continue to exist as a quaint love cottage. Frustrated at not being understood and much like the small little girl that I still feel personifies my soul, I ran into our bathroom. Our bathroom consists of your basic shower, a sink, a drawer or two under the sink, a medicine cabinet, a mirror and of course a little bit of floor. There is barely any room for movement.
Once you exit the shower you can turn 90 degrees clockwise and voila! You are now using the toilet. Get up off the toilet and reverse that 90 degrees counter clockwise and take one step. Now another rotation and you have reached the sink. Congratulations. Of course, there is one more step that allows you to enter the bathroom. But, between the doorway and the drawers of the sink, there is a small crevice of which I found myself nestled in between that night.
Whilst crying, knees pulled to my chin with arms and head placed in the stereotypical positions that I’m sure you can imagine probably with extreme accuracy at this point, I came across a sudden realization.
Why is it that the first place I have always ran to since I was a small little girl to find quiet, amenity, and just a damn good place to cry is the mother fucking bathroom? Actually, why do most girls do this?
In fact, “the bathroom” has become so much more than its practical purpose, as do most objects that human beings factor into their daily lives. For example, “the bed” is more than just a mattress that you sleep on. It’s the place where you lost your virginity, where your mom told you that your grandmother had died and you cried about it for hours, the place that he and you would cuddle up to binge watch Netflix or eat ice cream for breakfast or argue so stupidly you decided the sane and mature decision was to run into the bathroom.
Maybe it’s the American pop culture which is so obviously deeply engraved into our brains that we who identify as female are taught to believe in the supposed comfort of the bathroom. You know what I’m talking about – those scenes in movies in which we are shown the age old tradition of watching your mother getting ready in the mirror, of inspecting yourself minutely for hours mid puberty, of knowing it’s the only place you can safely gossip with your girlfriends while exchanging tampon tricks, mascara, and those tiny liquor bottle things. The question is: do we really know if these movies are trying to relate to females by depicting natural human behavior or is it really something that has been so brainwashed into our systems by big corporations that we can’t remember what was real and what felt right? Regardless, the fact of the matter is that humans who identify as female have some type of attachment to bathrooms that cannot be traced back to one single origin.
But this does bring up a huge discussion that is beginning to happen in our society. Who belongs in this bathroom that most of us women adore so much? As far as I know, the bathroom has always brought me a sense of security, a place to belong. Even if I didn’t get along with the folks outside I could always find my way to a restroom and gather myself with a deep sigh and a quick makeup check. Should we be so overprotective of this sacred space that we deny it to anyone who simply doesn’t look the same? Oh wait, I am suddenly reminded of racial injustice – something that this country was proud to “overcome” so long ago. So why should transgender rights be any different? If you feel comfortable here, if you can find solace in four window-less walls and a small white round bowl, then you can be no foe to me.