Why is integration such a big deal? The stakes are higher than you might think: It's about opportunity as much as convenience. While plenty of sociological research has suggested that our muted, passive interactions with most strangers in restrooms are governed by strict yet unspoken behavior codes, Mary Anne Case, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, has found that a significant amount of active networking takes place in men's rooms. She argues that equality will never be achieved while sex-segregated restrooms persist, citing John Kerry's admission on The Daily Show that a surprising number of men took the opportunity to introduce themselves in the bathroom during his 2004 presidential campaign. California's Bohemian Grove—a members-only retreat known as the epitome of boys' clubs—excluded women in part because their presence would impinge upon the male clientele's "hallowed freedom to pee" when and where they wanted at the facility's campground. It took a lawsuit to set the club straight.
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