It can take some time for long-lived institutions to adapt to changing social norms, but sometimes a crass joke is a crass joke no matter when it’s made. As trans people fight for their rights and representation, attempts to represent gender in binary terms have come under question.
Twitter user @transguykeith shared a photo from a pizza place that divided the bathrooms with pizza representations.
What kind of cis bullshit again pic.twitter.com/670z2U2Xr9— trans Bangtan agenda 🚂 (@transguykeith) February 10, 2019
The left side shows the women’s room with a pie missing a slice. The men’s side has a single lonely slice.
The implication is… not exactly subtle.
I'm not a pizza though.— Damien the Gamer Man (@doomioon) February 11, 2019
This erases my vers self 😤— trans Bangtan agenda 🚂 (@transguykeith) February 11, 2019
This division perfectly illustrates the fundamental problem with a binary definition of sex and gender. Plenty of trans women have a “pizza slice” and trans men can be a mostly whole pie. Even putting aside how would you even classify a non-binary person with this, where do intersex people fall on this?
The point of these symbols isn’t just cis normative either. The idea that the single slice completes the rest of the pie comes off as very heteronormative and sexist as well.
It evokes the beloved Shel Silverstein fable The Missing Piece, where a similarly Pac-Man-shaped creature goes in search of the triangle slice that will complete it. Yet, even there, when the protagonist finds the piece to complete it, all is not joy. In the sequel, the completed circle cannot sing, cannot taste, cannot stop to appreciate a beetle.
You can try and argue that this wasn’t meant to be that deep.
However, with the way it’s presented, you can’t not find the deeper meaning of a slice that completes a pie when they are directly comparing it to genitals.
It seems like a stupidly cheesy metaphor that wasn't that grate in the first place. Probably someone trying to be saucy and failed.— AverageJez (@Averagejez) February 11, 2019
But seriously, why don't more places do like the local Hy-Vee and just have a bunch of solo bathrooms?
Ah, the two genders, lots of pizza and just a slice. https://t.co/YdrtEF5rgP— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) February 11, 2019
Pacman and pizza slice— trans Bangtan agenda 🚂 (@transguykeith) February 10, 2019
I’d rather just have two gender neutral bathrooms— Bre 🏳️🌈💖💜💙 (@anoticingsenpa1) February 11, 2019
Trans rights are in the news lately with states attempting to regulate who can go in what restroom with so-called “Bathroom Bills.” These pieces of legislation criminalize a person using a restroom that is designated for a gender different from the person’s birth sex.
These bills basically criminalize trans and non-binary people from using a bathroom that makes them feel comfortable. North Carolina came under fire for passing such a bill that they had to partially repeal to allow the NBA All-Star game to take place in the state.
Maybe we’re over thinking this. Maybe this is for something completely different. It could be these bathrooms are for how much pizza you’ve eaten.
“Full pie” and “Mslice.”
I do not think that it was the actual meaning of this pic lol 😀— 🍭🌭🎸Lilli Lollipop🎸🌭🍭 (@XLilliLollipopX) February 11, 2019
That's what she said— Katy Montgomerie (@KatyMontgomerie) February 11, 2019
👏😂— ⛥D Rose Shines⛦ (@DRoseShines1) February 12, 2019
I wouldn’t mind my dates like this. https://t.co/7MEEJqwz3Q— The Dandy Gun (@dandy_gun) February 11, 2019
Upon further investigation, The Daily Dot found that the photo was originally posted to r/Funny on Reddit. While many there approved of its message, there were still comments that felt the genital comparison was absurd. Comments ranged from “Cool idea, bad execution” to “Transphobic.”
One comment by socalpimp said,
“It’s offensive, sometimes I feel like a slice and sometimes I feel like a pizza with a slice missing.”
Let’s just do better.