I would very much like not to be represented by an upwards-pointing triangle anymore. Every day, nature calls and I look for a place to piss. I would prefer a bush but it is customary, if possible, to do it in a small cubicle, next to other small cubicles, in a room with a sign on the door of either an upwards-pointy triangle, or a downwards-pointy one. Each time, I hesitate. Every day, several times a day, I have a moment of insecurity and confusion:
Which one is supposed to be me again?
Oh yes, that upwards one.
I genuinely cannot believe that these symbols are still the standard images in the west for differentiating between male and female toilets. Women no longer have to wear dresses or skirts – I almost never wear a dress (sometimes I put one on at home but rarely make it out of the door) – and we are beginning to acknowledge gender beyond the binary…can we not have a new picture? How about a hole and a stick? (Whilst searching the internet for alternative toilet signs I found these posted on a blog as the subject of a rant)
My relationship to gender is an ambivalent one; I say I am a woman because I have been told that this is the case, I have the anatomy the books classify as female, every month I bleed for this title, men shout things at me in the streets because of it, I was forced to wear a skirt at school until I was 14 because of it. But I wonder, who is this woman I am supposed to be? Every time I see those triangles, I feel the gap between me and who I am told to be, or who I am mistaken for. Every day I am be trained to identify with a mould that I do not fit. Every day I am alienated and incorrect. I wonder what this small and constant gender dissociation does to my sense of self and confidence.