Public toilets are places where individual identity is put to the test through experiences of fear, anxiety, shame, and embarrassment, yet also places where we shore up, confirm, and check the status of our gendered identities. In these highly gendered and sex-segregated places, people of various and varied identities come together and separately conduct their 'business' through socially contingent toileting habits and behaviors. Based on empirical research with men, women, gender non-conforming, and trans individuals who have a range of sexual identities, Little Vast Rooms of Undoing attempts to understand a nearly universal aspect of daily life in the contemporary West. Through a meditation on socially dictated practices and their associated emotions, it argues that experiences within public toilets expose the fissures of individual identity construction and understanding and opening the possibilities for a more relational and cohesive experience of the embodied self.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield International