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Etsy's latest move is an awesome and simple bit of office inclusivity.

'We believe that gender is not binary and that individuals should use the restroom that feels most comfortable for them.'

There are some really weird, outdated laws on the books in states across the country.

These types of lists pop up year after year. For example, did you know that in a number of states, it's illegal to sell cars on a Sunday? Or that in Massachusetts, you can be fined for singing the national anthem as dance music or in a medley?

Well, there's another law many states have on the books, and it has to do with how businesses should label their bathrooms by gender. But, in 2015, the law doesn't quite reflect reality for many people. And as we as a society become more aware of the fact that gender isn't as binary as bathroom doors might make it seem, well, what's a company to do?


Here's one company's creative solution:

Etsy made restrooms at their office gender-neutral. Or, well, as gender-neutral as the law allows.

An Etsy engineer named Sara posted this picture to Twitter.


That's cool, right? The fact is that not everybody neatly fits into "man" or "woman." Some people are a mix of both, neither, or something entirely altogether. When it comes to public restrooms, that can make things rough. The same goes for transgender people even within the gender binary.

"At Etsy, we continually examine our internal culture and practices, with a focus on fostering an inclusive, comfortable environment for everyone," Etsy vice president of people, workplace, and sustainability Brian Christman told Upworthy in an email.

"With this in mind, we’ve updated restrooms at our DUMBO headquarters to increase privacy and make them more accessible to all people, including transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. We believe that gender is not binary and that individuals should use the restroom that feels most comfortable for them."


Image from Etsy, used with permission.

So it's pretty obvious how Etsy's bathroom signs can be helpful for trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming folks, but what's this about state laws? And how does this story tie into ridiculous laws about dyeing ducks different colors or being unable to seek public office if you've ever participated in a duel?

In most states, it's required that businesses have separate restrooms for both men and women.

Here's how the law in New York — where Etsy is headquartered — reads:

"Separate toilet facilities shall be provided for each sex. All toilet facilities shall be provided with soap, paper towels or electrical hand drying units, and covered waste receptacles. Suitable sanitary napkin receptacles shall be provided in toilet facilities used by females."

OK, got it. Businesses have to provide separate facilities with soap, paper towels, and covered trash cans, and sanitary napkin disposal for the women's room.

And where do these types of laws even come from? The 19th century.

In a great article titled "Sex-Segregated Public Restrooms Are an Outdated Relic of Victorian Paternalism," Ted Trautman gives a quick rundown of where the idea of sex-segregated restrooms even comes from and why they exist. After all, in your house, do you have separate men's and women's restrooms? Probably not.

"Sex segregation was seen by regulators at the time as 'a kind of cure-all' for the era's social anxiety about working women," Trautman writes.

"Women's growing presence in the factory workforce, and in public life more generally, triggered a paternalistic impulse to 'protect' women from the full force of the world outside their homes, which manifested itself architecturally in a bizarro parallel world of spaces for women adjacent to but separate from men's — ladies' reading rooms at libraries, parlors at department stores, separate entrances at post offices and banks, and their own car on trains, intentionally placed at the very end so that male passengers could chivalrously bear the brunt in the event of a collision."

So, in 1887, Massachusetts became the first state to require businesses to have sex-segregated restrooms.


Ah, the good ol' 19th century factory! This is quite literally the model of sex-segregated restrooms. Women operating looms in the winding room of a Lancashire cotton mill. Photo by James Valentine/Getty Images.

And while women-only entrances to post offices and banks, separate reading rooms at libraries, and women-only train cars have become a thing of the past, the whole separate bathroom issue remains to this day.

What's so ridiculous about this law? Well, for one, it's inefficient.

Think about all the times you've seen the line for a women's restroom wrap around down a hallway while the men's room remains line-free. New York City realized this was a problem and decided the solution was ... to require places to build more women's rooms.

Like, this is what happened when more women started getting elected to Congress. As it turns out, the building was made for dudes. Lots and lots of dudes.


But really, if there's a situation where, let's say eight women and two men need to use the restroom, which of these layouts is more efficient?

This one, the one we're most familiar with, where three women are left waiting in line even though there are three perfectly available stalls to use in the men's room?

Or this one that takes up the same amount of space, but which all 10 people can use, do what they have to do, and go about their day?

Obviously, the all-gender restroom is the more efficient option.

But whoa whoa whoa, you may be thinking, "I don't want to share a bathroom with the men in my office!" or "I don't want to share a bathroom with the women in my office! I want some privacy!"

And you should get it! In an ideal world, restrooms would all be single-stall. I mean, who really wants to do ... you know ... next to someone else, anyway? But that's kind of the world we live in.

Breathe easy because it's unlikely all-gender restrooms will come to replace the standard men's and women's rooms anytime soon. Instead, as you'll see with more regularity, lots of places offer up men's, women's, and all gender restrooms. This way, people have a choice (and trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people have the option of using that if they so choose).

For example:

An increasing number of places are moving forward with adopting inclusive restrooms. Especially colleges.

The names vary — gender-neutral, unisex, all gender, gender-inclusive — but the purpose remains the same: restrooms able to be used by anyone of any gender.


Illinois State University has all-gender restrooms. There are still men's and women's restrooms found across campus, but they recently decided to swap the names of the "family restrooms" with more straight-forward language. The same goes for Columbia University, Barnard College, and a growing number of campuses across the country.

In a move as simple as adding a sign to their restroom doors, Etsy is taking a stand for inclusivity and progress.

Yes, it's that easy. To the overwhelming majority of their employees and office visitors, the change will have zero effect on how they navigate the office. But for a few, it'll make a huge, positive impact on their stress and ability to navigate the work day.

"We believe that gender is not binary and that individuals should use the restroom that feels most comfortable for them."

While laws in many places may require there to be separate restrooms labeled "men's" and "women's," that doesn't mean it's impossible to make the world a more inclusive place. It really can be as simple as a sign letting transgender and gender nonconforming individuals know that yes, they are welcome here.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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