Letter: Please, protect privacy

Published:

 

Regarding a March 31 Columbian story, “Gender harassment down the toilet,” I am appalled that two students who organized “Gender-Neutral Bathroom Week” at Washington State University Vancouver would choose this manner to “bring awareness” about gender issues, diversity, and tolerance. I’m sorry that they have been the recipient of ignorant comments while using the bathroom. I have no doubt that they felt uncomfortable as a result. However, is subjecting other innocent and uninvolved parties to losing their sense of privacy, security, and comfort really the way to bring about this awareness? If you ask me, this method sounds closer to “retaliation” or “revenge” than it does to “awareness.”

Think about those people who are victims of sexual assaults, and the trauma that can result from the very idea of gender-neutral bathroom week. I would have thought that, especially on college campuses, minimizing the amount of sexual incidents and misconduct would be a priority. However, this gender-neutral bathroom idea is quite the opposite; in fact, it provides an additional avenue to increase the opportunity of sexual harassment and assault across genders.

Keeping in mind how much I pay for tuition and college expenses, is it too much to ask to keep my privacy and dignity when going to the bathroom?

Raime Rigby

Vancouver