By Rob O’Halloran

You have probably noticed the new ‘Gender Neutral restrooms’ which were recently installed into the DIT campus on Aungier Street, and there is no denying that this is a progressive and popular move. Why should we not share the same bathroom? It is a toilet for feck’s sake, yet it is not a ‘restroom’. What even is a restroom?

I suppose it sounds nicer, and as college students in particular will agree, rest is a wonderful thing. It is the latest example of a forward thinking, western and liberal culture among our generation. This culture has been acted on by the Student Union and they’ve been happy to take their deserved plaudits. However, it is also the latest example of Ireland slowly losing its unique culture as it succumbs to that of the dominant North America, in this globalised western world.

Having spent the summer listening to Canadians ask for the ‘washroom’, I am probably over-reacting. Yet why do we have to incorporate their clean and vague terminology? When have you ever heard an Irish person call it anything other than a bathroom, or a toilet? Provided they are not using other colloquial slang.  Our accents have been infiltrated. Try find a girl from south-east Dublin who doesn’t incorporate the word ‘like’ meaninglessly into her vocabulary. We all know THAT guy who has the ‘too much TV’ American accent.

Many great things have come from the United States (Kanye West, Domino’s Pizza) so keep in mind that this is not a xenophobic rant. It is just a concern that every day Ireland, and in particular Dublin is becoming ‘America lite’. We already have enough Starbucks cafés. Five Guys was the talk of the town this time last year, and sure it is only the guts of twenty quid for a bacon cheeseburger meal. At least we have ‘Black Friday’, we’ll make the money back then.

What would your grandparents think? Poor old Gramps, and Grandma, as they’re lucky enough not to be remembered as. A proud and nationalistic generation, watching their ‘terrible beauty’ decompose and conform.

Embrace your Irish pride. It’s the reason the nation comes to a standstill when the football is on, we all know it’s not the standard of play. There’s no fun in diluting it and there’s no joy in losing it. The last thing we need is somebody coming along in twenty years from now promising to ‘Make Ireland Great Again’.

Categories: Features

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‘Restrooms’ and Americanisation

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