Dignity Demands It

May 27, 2021 | Better Public Restrooms

by Tim Pyle, Executive Director

Word cloud: dignity, freedom, peace, justice . . .It must have been on live TV, perhaps a sporting event, when I saw it. I’m one of those people who will do anything to avoid watching commercials. The fact that I was actually watching a commercial is noteworthy. But the deep and measured buttery baritone voice-over grabbed me right away:

“Dignity . . . this thing you can neither see nor measure, but that demands the return of small moments in attempts to steal.”

The company and product are irrelevant as the conviction of the sentiment didn’t quite stack up to what they were hawking – but that word . . .DIGNITY . . . it stayed with me. Isn’t that all the American Restroom Association is advocating for? Dignity for the parents of young children for never know when the call of nature will come. Dignity for the adult child of an aging parent who needs assistance in the restroom. Dignity for a transgender or nonbinary person who simply needs to do something we all need to do without all the fraught societal baggage. Dignity for the person with no place to call home. Dignity for the student who has to “hold it” to avoid school restrooms.

Each time someone is humiliated due to a restroom situation is a theft of that person’s dignity. We demand that back.

The commercial ends with a wonderfully simple and powerful message – it’s the reason the ARA exists for the American people – because “Dignity Demands It.” Join us in our quest.

(Click the word cloud graphic to see the entire commercial for Abbott Laboratories.) Image credit: Gerd Altmann through

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