Gender-neutral bathrooms. What a let down. After a lifetime of mystery, it turns out that the women’s bathroom is nothing like the fantasyland filled with plush couches and accoutrements that men had been led to believe for years. Nay. Women have been dirty dancing in a domain similar to ours for decades.
We can rule out the possibility that establishments with gender-neutral bathrooms have “geared back” the frills of former female-only facilities to cater to the utilitarian tones that men are accustomed to. Imagine the uproar if they had (deservedly so). So now here we are, forced to realize that the women’s bathroom was never that much more magical than our very own.
This wouldn’t matter so much if we as humans weren’t so nosey. It’s in our nature to want knowledge about what we don’t know, but only when we are aware of what we don’t know. I can’t want to know about astronaut llamas if I don’t know astronaut llamas are a thing (they are). We are curious like the cat, but unlike our feline counterparts we don’t have nine lives, only two (we do), so we have to tread a little lighter and do less dumb shit.
The gender-neutral bathroom paradox actually has complex roots with big implications.
If cliché phrases hold any water, knowledge might be power and ignorance might be bliss. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that powerful people are rarely afforded the luxury to be happy, and truly happy people probably wield little power.
(Now you might be thinking that correlation does not imply causation, and you’d be right, but for the sake of the argument try not being a knowledgable and therefore miserable prick. Just this once. K, thanks.)
Some real-life examples:
“Be careful of the questions you ask, you might not like the answer.” Knowledge ≠ happiness.
“You are a very very dumb human dumb dumb. Now pack up your shit, you’re fired” Ignorance ≠ power.
We can hope that since there are varying degrees of knowledge and happiness, there has to be some sort of intellectual sweet spot one could possess that balances the right amount of power with just the right amount of happiness. Or “pappiness.”
Pappy (adj.), Possessing the knowledge to have some real power, while still being dumb enough to be happy with your life.
Pappiness (n), The state of being pappy.
Perhaps this is why the older people get the less happy many seem. As we age, those who learn tend to have more knowledge and gain more power, yet it comes at the cost of time with loved ones, the world losing some of it’s mystique and charm, and knowing unfortunate truths.
On the other hand, those who learn nothing as they age might be blissfully stupid, but can’t understand the intricacies that make the world around them great from their burger-flipping vantage point.
In the case of the gender-neutral bathroom, I’m obviously not talking about whether or not there should be gender-neutral bathrooms, because of course there should be, I’m only talking about the little bit of happiness we lose with the knowledge of how things really are. There was something fun about this lavish lavatory lore that is no longer a part of us.
Thus the pursuit of pappiness continues.
I wrote this while pooping.
Drawing by @momopflan