Accepted Paper:

Casting a Feminist Eye on Public Infrastructure  

Author:

Sarah Fox (University of Washington)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on feminist histories of activism in the Pacific Northwest and fieldwork in the Seattle Park Districts, we examine the infrastructure of public restroom maintenance and the distribution of hygiene resources.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on feminist histories of activism in the Pacific Northwest and fieldwork in the Seattle Park Districts, we examine public restroom infrastructure and the distribution of hygiene resources. We discuss subtle differences to "customer convenience" across public restrooms, or "comfort stations," in public parks and community centers. When grassroots organizations begin to upend these systems through the collection and distribution of menstrual hygiene projects and by calling for gender-neutral restrooms, they also reorient whose resources are 'cared for' by the state. This discussion of public services and care serves as a foundation for collaborative field interventions examining the local maintenance practices on public infrastructure meant to redefine the infrastructure of access for people with limited resources, and highlight what Marilyn Strathern (2005) calls partial connections, or the partnerships constituted across difference. 

Panel T100
Feminist Technoscience Studies in Unexpected Places: (Intra)Activism and Social Justice