Queering bathrooms: gender, sexuality and the hygenic imagination

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Sheila Cavanagh
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
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Toronto, ON

The intersection of public washrooms and gender has become increasingly politicized in recent years: queer and trans folk have been harassed for allegedly using the 'wrong' washroom, while widespread campaigns have advocated for more gender-neutral facilities. Cavanagh explores how public toilets demarcate the masculine and the feminine and condition ideas of gender and sexuality. Based on 100 interviews with GLBT and/or intersex peoples in major North American cities, the author delves into the ways that queer and trans communities challenge the rigid gendering and heteronormative composition of public washrooms. She argues that the cultural politics of excretion is intimately related to the regulation of gender and sexuality and asserts that although toilets are not typically considered within traditional scholarly bounds, they form a crucial part of our modern understanding of sex and gender.

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ISBN 9781442610736 (paper)
ISBN 9781442641549 (cloth)
304 Pages, paper $29.95, cloth $70.00 Contains glossary, notes, bibliography, and index