GendHer inequality

May 5, 2016 2:16 PM

Whether we participate in individual sports, team sports or take Kineseology classes, Laney’s women face surprise locker room closures.

Women who take classes or participate in team sports don’t have to worry much about getting locked out. Instructors have keys to let them in and lock up when everyone’s finished.

After I learned about those keys it was still difficult. I am an older disabled student. It takes time for me to get myself together, so I always felt pressure to get the lead out to accommodate the instructor’s schedule.

After a lovely nighttime swim in a warm pool, steam rising from the water, clear night sky, that feeling of weightless unencumbered freedom, getting out of the water was unpleasant in the least. You get smacked in the face the moment you hit night air. We’d shuffle as fast as we could to the distant locker room and pull, furiously, on locked doors. We’d turn around and shuffle, shivering, back to the pool to try to rinse pool water off at the outdoor showers. Finally, we’d smash ourselves into the single-stall WC nearby and wait to change clothes in the compartment.

Fortunately for me, being older has the perk of being invisible. As other swimmers were smashing into each other, I could stand at the busy door, strip down, sponge bathe, towel dry and don attire without even turning a head.

It is especially important that swimmers have access; they need an opportunity to wash off all of the chlorine, chemicals and bacteria from the pool.

The physical conditions of the locker room is shameful. The health department might take issue with black mold, peeling paint, stagnant water pools and broken dryers. No way would these stagnant pools, also conspicuous at the lockers, pass inspection.

You had better be wearing flip-flops and not touch anything when using the women’s locker room. At the very least, bring with you some anti-bacterial lotion.

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