The stereotypical image of a teenage girl, for most people, consists of the following: she is disgusted by burps and farts, she likes to follow proper etiquette, and she considers acquiring neatness in outer presentation a top priority. Hence, girls are perceived as the gender of cleanliness; boys are the ones who roughhouse and play in the mud. Our society is plagued with these stereotypes and expectations for each gender, and sadly, it is almost impossible to change its mind. Living in this world, it is something we, as girls, accept without agreement—however, any girl that has been into a public bathroom understands cleanliness to be the furthest from the truth.
There have been numerous occasions in the HHS morning, when the boys have had an open bathroom, and the girls were locked out. With crossed legs, we are forced to use the locker room toilets of filth; that is, only when the locker room is open. The locker room, before school, continues to be locked as we wait outside frustrated and annoyed with the fact that the boys can enter and leave as freely as they would like. With a quick jump to the thought of inequality, we all forget to think of being locked out as a possible part of a cause and effect situation. Emotions swirl and swivel to conduct a storm of blame in which we unleash on anybody but ourselves. Do we ever stop and consider that maybe we put ourselves in such a situation?
Think about how many times a scene of an unflushed toilet and improper disposal of feminine products have struck us with a sense of discomfort. Remember the times we have quickly run out of a stall and left the mess for the school custodian. The fact that other girls are fine with leaving a stall in such a condition always continues to shocks us even though we are the ones leaving the mess. For the sake of everyone else, we expect each girl to clean up when her business is complete, especially considering we are the supposed gender of cleanliness. Collectively, we create messes. Yes, collectively, we create messes we do not pick up. It is because of this fact that our facilities are constantly shut.
With a cause and effect situation we are dissatisfied with, the time has come for a new cause to be established. We need to show respect for others. The history of our gender includes shaming and labeling, rumors and competition. The possibility of breaking this chain remains a mystery. However, we can try to lessen the pain. One simple way to alleviate war between girls involves little ounces of respect. The solution to our issue starts with each one of us. If we don’t want to come into a stall with an unbearable mess, we should not leave one. Leave each stall conscious of other people and fight off the laziness clean up.
Show some respect and perform these activities with acknowledgement. We all deal with the same inconveniences, and it only becomes unfair when we neglect to recognize our gender as a team. Considering we all rely on the same facilities, we all should equally take care of them. With a better environment, maybe the respect level among us will rise. Maybe if more respect is shown in little factors, respect in the big factors will come more easily. We should all attempt to improve our school bathrooms in hope that one day we will never be locked out. Before complaining, remember that improvement starts with us.