I go to a STEM-focused university somewhere in the states. Being STEM-focused, about only 20% of the student population is female. As a result, there are no female-only dorms or floors. I was always in a co-ed dorm. Students are required to live on campus for 1-2 years due to scholarship status. I had to live in the dorms for 2 years, but thankfully no longer. Either way, I still was impacted. During my freshman year after winter break, signs went up in all bathrooms that pretty much said "does someone look like they belong (as in transgender people)? They do belong! Don't stare at them or question them, because that's offensive!" It came off as rather threatening, honestly. I was rather annoyed with these signs, but I didn't have any actual issues until my sophomore year. Sophomore year, one of the RAs on my floor was a transgender identified male, he identified as a woman. So of course, he shared the women's restroom and showers with us. Fortunately, in this building the showers were in separate little rooms with locks. However, this RA would always knock on the door to these showers and then would immediately open it before listening for a response. Even if he heard the shower going! Many women did not lock their doors, so I knew multiple who were victims of this happening. However unfortunately, the other female students still treated him as a "woman," even though he walked in on them showering. After hearing this happen to some friends, I was quite scared to go into the showers and bathrooms. I always locked the doors, but he was an RA, so he could theoretically open it if he wanted because he had keys. Overall, it was an unsafe situation. I no longer live in the dorms, but I have a feeling it will get worse. I feel horrible for all future women who have to live in dorms.
#unitedstates #dormitorybathrooms #universitycampus #showers #sexualharassment