Showers and Violation
A reader writes:
I'm a little confused. The position espoused by the reader seems to miss a glaring point. How is a scenario where a homosexual man showers with heterosexual men materially different from one where a hetero male showers with a group of lesbians? In the latter case there's probably little chance of sexual congress (hetero fantasies notwithstanding) and I believe most conscientious men could probably get through such a shower without becoming overtly aroused but that's not the point. Any sexual pleasure derived from the women's naked bodies is a violation in the sense that there is no consent on the part of the lesbians. The fact that I'm able to control my physical response, in my opinion, does not mitigate the violation.
I can see how the reader feels. The practical response is that it is perfectly feasible to separate men from women in terms of things like public restrooms, communal showers, etc. In school contexts, it is neither practical nor conscionable to ask gay men/boys to shower in a separate place, or to vet groups of men/boys as gay or straight. Most public gyms have an option for private stalls if some hetero men feel terrified of being "violated" by someone else's imagination. But it seems to me that if no one touches you or harasses you, you're not violated. You're insecure. Get over it.