Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. - George Bernard Shaw
Question #91237 posted on 05/15/2018 12:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've heard that the Womens' showers at BYU are stalls, rather than communal like the Mens'.

If this is true, why? Are women more self conscious about nudity, even around other women? Do building designers care less about the privacy of men? Is this somehow discrimination in some way? Because it sure feels like it.

-Humongous Wot

A:

Humongous, 

A very similar question has been talked about before so you might like to read up on BQ #72803. Other writers have confirmed that the men's showers do not have stalls. I wonder if they're more worried about the risk of men seeing women, rather than same sex exposure. Most utility and maintenance workers are men. I would guess historically most coaches and staff would be men (hopefully that has improved. I haven't checked those statistics.) If a member of the opposite sex was going to accidentally see a student naked, it would probably happen in the women's locker rooms. Also I think culturally, LDS men tend to be particularly protective and respectful of women--sometimes overly so. I mean it's not the first amenity that LDS women are exclusively offered. We get cushy chairs in every church building. Ever think of that? But, as mentioned in 72803, I don't think the privacy was ever really about homosexuality. I don't know if women are more self-conscious. It's possible that it was kind of a market decision. If women are more self-conscious they may have noticed no one was using the showers. Or maybe a large enough group of women asked for them.

My point is, it could be a lot of things. The source of that decision is, in my view, too obscure and spread out to define by digging and deeper. I try to make the calls, send the emails, and do the sleuthing when I think there is a clear answer to be found. Unfortunately the speculation I've outlined already will have to suffice in this case. It could very well be rooted in sexism. It seems like it is. But whether that sexism is overt or just an abstracted product of our culture is hard to say. If you have any real problems with it, start calling and emailing the facilities director. I'm sure if you call around enough you can find out who could make that happen. Let them know it matters to you and it might happen!

I recently reached out about bicycle parking in my work building and it turned out they already made motions to improve it! Maybe they're already working on it. Good luck!

Babalugats