Letter: It's a matter of cleanliness, not gender

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There are so many contradictory and erroneous claims in John Balentine’s Nov. 17 column (“Women suffer when bathrooms are unisex”) that it would take far more than 250 words to address them. So I’ll focus on just one of his more disingenuous conclusions: women want clean bathrooms, men are slobs, therefore inclusive bathrooms are unfair to women since they have to put up with men’s lack of cleanliness and responsibility.

As usual for someone who is quite comfortable in abandoning the principle of accountability – in this case following a basic principle taught to children by parents, teachers, and others: you make a mess, you clean it up – Balentine lets men off the hook by surmising that for one reason or another (heredity, conditioning, acts of will) men are slobs, and we should not expect them to clean up their messes. Perhaps he can explain how he has overcome his genes, upbringing, or willfulness, to “appreciate a tidy bathroom” and support a campaign to get at least the men around him to be accountable for their bathroom misbehavior.

I was a kid growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s, a time when anyone picking up their dog’s poop would have been laughed out of the neighborhood. Now cleaning up after your dog is standard behavior in cities across the country. Why not wiping your drips and putting down the toilet seat?

Steve Schnapp
Phippsburg

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