When I first saw the ''Call for Papers -- Toilet Papers: The Gendered Construction of Public Toilets" posted on an academic website, my beeswax detector went off. There can't really be two professors planning to publish a book working from ''the premise that public toilets, far from being banal or simply functional, are highly charged spaces, shaped by notions of propriety, hygiene and the binary gender division" . . . can there?
Here is some more rhetoric from the book proposal: ''Indeed, public toilets are among the very few openly segregated spaces in contemporary Western culture, and the physical differences between 'gentlemen' and 'ladies' remains central to (and is further naturalized by) their design. As such, they provide a fertile ground for critical work interrogating how conventional assumptions about the body, sexuality, privacy, and technology can be formed in public space and inscribed through design."
I think this is an excellent subject for scholarship, actually, but I will strenuously object if it leads to political action in the form of trying to abolish separate bathrooms for women.