Smart to remove the wall?

October 10, 2018

“I suggest that the wall, at such prices, should be thought of not only as security, but also as productive infrastructure – as the very backbone of a borderland ecosystem… The wall was not really a single object but a system…”

Ronald Rael, ‘Boundary Line Infrastructure’


From the article Ronald Real wrote, we should see how the border works in different ways. On the one hand, the border destroys the environment, economy, society near by and also makes a part of the area between political boundary and security barrier lose its productive value. But on the other hand, the new border could also provide towns lack of infrastructure a chance to be sustainable and healthy cities. The border fence in its current form is inflexible and ancient – the wall as a simple means of security. But with flexible tools, the border infrastructure could also be achieved in many different imaginary ways.

In my study case, the border between gender is quite clear in public toilet. We all know that the dividing between genders will let people with neo-gender in an awkward position. It will also reduce the waiting time for women. But we could not say that the wall between female and male toilets works only in a bad way. The wall is also a system, hurting some people and protecting some people in the same way.

Without dividing genders, people will go to the same toilet. Maybe it will let the bad guys take advantage of. One of the main concerns is that unisex toilet will lead to a rise in sexual assaults. Except the toilets for public, building gender neutral toilets in school also has many difficulties. Kids are still too young to show respect to other kids with neo gender. So that, the kids with neo gender will always be bullies.

In one word, when we think the wall only as a simple border between female and male toilets, the wall itself is only simple means of division. Then the wall may have many disadvantages. But when we think the wall as a protection to some people, the wall becomes a system. Avoiding sexual harassment and bully from other kids gives the wall different and essential meaning. So from my point of view, just abolishing the wall is not a smart movement. Helping people should not take hurting people as cost. The gender neutral toilet needs more consideration, like how to divide gender properly, or how to provide a safer area for all.


Xiaowei Wei_Task3


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