Bathroom Politics: Preserving the Sanctity of the ‘Ladies’ Room’

Tucson Progressive

Mad Men Joan's bathroom perfume sceneIn the 1950s the Ladies’ Room was a place of refuge, a wall-papered lounge with a couch, polished mirrors, fresh flowers, and often an attendant armed with fresh towels, perfume, and mints. As men have always suspected, we didn’t go there just to use the facilities; the Ladies’ Room was a safe gathering place.

We went there to talk, to primp,  to smoke, to cry, to adjust a poor wardrobe choice, to sneak away from a bad dinner date, or just to sneak away. The Ladies’ Room was a place where women could be women–a place with no men watching, commenting, judging.

The Politicization of Bathrooms

In the early 1970s, at the height of the feminist era, “Ladies” Rooms came under fire. We feminists were not “ladies” who needed fainting couches in restrooms because we didn’t have the fortitude to work an 8-hour day without a nap or a good cry. “Ladies”…

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Breathe Through Anxiety

It happened again.
It takes a few hours to get up and go in the morning. Waking up with a racing heart , fuzzy thinking , migraines ,  and numbness will slow a person down. I refrain from speaking when my tongue & face become tingly-tight  due to the fear of slurring . I can not feel emotionally when these attacks happen. Waiting it out by playing games on my phone , coloring in my dairy, or doing breathing exercises is all I can do until the anxiety passes.
When someone tries to give me any physical embrace I freeze . Instant awkwardness . I have to remind myself to breathe again.
The attacks come and go as they please.
” Just get over it .”
” Tough it out. ”
These statements do not work or even help in my brokenness . Any mental pressure or a sense of being rushed can make the symptoms much worse. I have to take my time in everything to avoid overload ( shutdown ). I have to learn to remember to breathe .

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