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The sexual politics of toilets.
March 24, 2010 10:49 AM   Subscribe


 
That article needed a purpose: it seemed strung together with anecdotes with no compelling direction...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I skimmed it, I admit, but it appears to be the very definition of TL;DR. 3100 words ranging from toilet design in the US to waste taboos to the history of sanitation and hygiene to lack of public toilets in New York to women as toilet cleaners back to public toilets and differences between male and female toilets in theatres and Congress to Simone de Beauvoir and Lacanian analysis to female urinals to privacy to the conclusion that women like to retain their mystery and that Arthur Miller's mom though Marilyn Monroe peed like a horse.

I'm still not sure what the point was, but Sally Feldman needs an editor or thesis statement under which to organize her thoughts.
posted by barnacles at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sitzpinkel, and the German toilet.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:02 AM on March 24, 2010


Guys, doncha just hate it when yer lady friend leaves the seat down?
posted by DU at 11:03 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


"they quote the African American legal scholar Taunya Lovell Banks: “We must realize that continuing inequality at the toilet reflects this male-dominated society’s hostility to our presence outside of the home.”

LOL!
posted by zeoslap at 11:04 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The sexual politics of toilets.

Wow, that was really disjointed. :(

All that work, and she doesn't even mention transgender public restroom facilities?
posted by zarq at 11:05 AM on March 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


tl, had to p
posted by pyramid termite at 11:07 AM on March 24, 2010


"Public conveniences are the final battleground in the sex wars, the ultimate declaration of discrimination."

Oh, give it a frickin' rest, would'ya?

First, watch the throughput at any crowded public restroom. Easily 3-4 males make it through per female. Problem #1.

And second, males have an easier time finding an available pot to piss in precisely because we consider the "pot" optional. Line at the bathroom too long? Hey, alley wall will will work just as well. So will that tree. That storm drain. The middle of the road for that matter, at 2am with no one around.

This doesn't reflect "discrimination" so much as biological inequality. Take it up with God, ladies.
posted by pla at 11:11 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, ok, I got bored. Does she ever explain that 'inequality at the toilet' quote? Because I thought it was funny and absurd too.
posted by graventy at 11:11 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thread needs some Fruit Chan.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:11 AM on March 24, 2010


Oh, and for the record, Women can pee standing up. So if anyone has discriminated here... Look in the mirror.
posted by pla at 11:15 AM on March 24, 2010


graventy, she's mentions racial, social and gender inequalities, and blames men. :)
posted by zarq at 11:17 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


This doesn't reflect "discrimination" so much as biological inequality.

Surely what you're describing has to do with socialization, not biology?
posted by thomas j wise at 11:18 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and for the record, Women can pee standing up. So if anyone has discriminated here... Look in the mirror.

Did you read the article? Because it mentions pretty much everything you've pointed out as lacking in the article.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:18 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The author points a finger at men, claiming that the Patriarchy segregates bathrooms, and questions why bathrooms should need to be segregated in the first place. Never once does she expound on this idea, nor acknowledge that for as many men there are who'd be uncomfortable with mixed-sex bathrooms, there are many more women who'd be uncomfortable.

Think of the stereotypical reactions alone: A woman enters a men's room: "Hey, you're in the wrong place, lady!" versus a man entering a women's room: "EEK! A PERVERT!"

Yes, these are stereotypical, not all women (or men) are the same, but since the whole article runs in anecdotes as currency, I feel fine relating that anecdotally speaking, it seems as though there are more women than men who'd oppose such a plan.
posted by explosion at 11:22 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meh.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:25 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Summary for the TL:DR crowd:

* People don't like to talk about waste, but waste management is very important, especially in regards to keeping drinking water clean.

* Public restrooms aren't as common as they should be, and moreso for women's bathrooms.

* By not providing public bathrooms for women, the notion of the woman staying at home is reinforced (if you don't know if you can find a restroom while going out with family and friends or shopping, you're less likely to venture out)

* More often it is women who deal with the waste of others, either in helping the young and elderly in bathrooms, or in cleaning toilets (the example in the article was India)

* Women often have to deal with extra complexities when going to the bathroom, be it simply needing to sit down, dealing with extra layers of clothing, shopping bags, or other people in their care

* "urinary segregation" is/should/may not be necessary, especially as "stand-peeing" is not allowed in certain places (example: you can ten-dollar German-made alarm that you attach to a toilet seat. When the seat is lifted, the transgressor is admonished that “stand-peeing is not allowed.”)

* Tangent to the last point: female urinals are an option, with provision of some sort of disposable prosthetic penis made of cardboard that enables women to stand up to pee

* Both men and women enjoy privacy when going to the bathroom (Marilyn Monroe doesn't pee like a horse, she just left the tap on to cover her bathroom sounds).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on March 24, 2010


Shitting in the woods is still refreshingly free to those of all genders and none though (I realise disable access can be an issue).
posted by Abiezer at 11:29 AM on March 24, 2010


explosion: "Think of the stereotypical reactions alone: A woman enters a men's room: "Hey, you're in the wrong place, lady!" versus a man entering a women's room: "EEK! A PERVERT!""

this seems to mean that exclaiming "EEK! A PERVERT" is a way of perpetuating the patriarchy.
posted by idiopath at 11:31 AM on March 24, 2010


I present the Sanistand. Which comes with it's own set of instructions.
posted by Danf at 11:34 AM on March 24, 2010


I don't know about the conclusion that women always clean up around toilets. Every janitor I've seen in the U.S. in the last 20 years is male. Then she undercuts her point about unisex bathrooms by saying that women just like a little more privacy. Seemed like she was straining to prove a thesis, but forgot what her thesis was before she finished the article.
posted by msalt at 11:56 AM on March 24, 2010


When the seat is lifted, the transgressor is admonished that “stand-peeing is not allowed.”

STEHPINKELN IST VERBOTEN

Though I see that "Standpinkeln" is also in use.
posted by kenko at 11:59 AM on March 24, 2010


shakespeherian : Did you read the article? Because it mentions pretty much everything you've pointed out as lacking in the article.

Yes, I did. And it "mentions" my points only to give the appearance of having considered them, then dismissing them for apparently no reason.

For example, on urinals she says:
But not everyone would agree. Female urinals may be offered as a solution to restroom congestion, remarks Rose George, but “they are usually offered as a solution by men who won’t have to use them.”
What exactly does that mean? If they simply don't work as well as male urinals, say so and address the real problem. If they need better "privacy panels" (US urinals tend to have these, European ones don't), say so and address the real problem. But calling them flawed simply because the architect won't have to use them? Sorry, no. Not a reason.

And she continues:
And one commentator who is enraged by the very idea of them is Clara Greed. She hates female urinals because the concept is short-sighted. “Women would not take as long if their public toilets were better designed. There would be fewer queues if there were more public toilets.”
"Better designed?" You sit or squat and let it fly, not much room for improvement (though yes, the Japanese do have some true works-of-art in the realm of toiletcraft, they still work the same basic way). This quote does, however, get to the author's real intent - We call this "discrimination" because, rather than encouraging any sort of solution that works with existing (or even slightly modified) infrastructure, we should simply have more toilets for women than for men. Disparity, the great equalizer.

I could pretty much go on paragraph-by-paragraph ripping her points apart as nothing but a demand for reverse discrimination, but for brevity will refrain from doing so.

I will grant that perhaps we very well should teach females to pee standing up from a young age... But they can learn it as an adult, too, and I have zero tolerance for self-imposed handicaps (outside friendly sporting competitions).

If I missed the intended humor in your link, then I will gladly apologize, and go re-read it with an eye for social satire; I don't, however, think she means it as deliberately funny.


thomas j wise : Surely what you're describing has to do with socialization, not biology?

Insofar as someone can "discriminate" against herself, sure, some of what TFA mentions reduces to self-imposed social restrictions. Most of it amounts to defending the idea that we need more toilets for women because in this case "equality" means discrimination. And that pretty much says it all, right there.


kenko : When the seat is lifted, the transgressor is admonished that “stand-peeing is not allowed.”

Heh, silly Germans. Okay, no lifting the seat, but don't complain when I pee on it. :D
posted by pla at 12:05 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked the article, but I wish she'd addressed the class issues more, especially when it comes to access to public restrooms. I live in New York, and it seems like the real barrier to having public bathrooms here is cleaning and maintenance, given the sheer volume of people who would be using them. And that goes double for women's facilities, where you'd need to pay someone to restock the paper supplies and clean the stalls on a regular basis. When I use the publicly accessible bathroom at Penn Station or the Port Authority Bus Terminal, I frequently see homeless guys essentially bathing themselves in the sinks (despite signs to the contrary), and you can basically forget about there being any hand soap or paper towels (or functioning hand-dryers). I can't even imagine how unpleasant the women's restrooms are. San Francisco, I think, had some kind of self-cleaning public stalls with a time limit to keep people from camping out and bathing in there; I don't know how that's worked out for them.

The bottom line here, I think, is that to have a dignified (and sanitary) public restroom experience, you need cleanliness, and that means someone's got to pay to keep it clean. So you end up with coffee shops, restaurants, clothing stores, etc. being the de facto quasi-public facilities, and they often have either an explicit "restroom for paying customers only" policy or just an unofficial "you can use our bathroom if you don't look homeless" policy. The message to people (especially women), then, is less that they should stay at home and more that they should consider meeting their basic bodily needs as another part of the consumer society--that they have to pay to live in public.
posted by albrecht at 12:08 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised she doesn't mention that it is entirely possible for a woman to learn how to pee successfully in a standing position without the use of a fake cardboard penis. Because it is.

I wasn't as offended by this article as some of the above comment-makers, but what did bother me was the constant reference to shopping. As though when women leave the house, we become immediately overburdened with shopping bags. Dudes shop too. They still pee fine.
posted by millipede at 12:09 PM on March 24, 2010


Where's this bathroom where I can pee in a tuba?
posted by electroboy at 12:11 PM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sounds like she just doesn't want to wait in line anymore.
posted by four panels at 12:17 PM on March 24, 2010


Disparity, the great equalizer.

I'm confused. Earlier you said that, when observing public restroom, 3-4 men go through for even woman who goes through. The article states that, for various reasons (layers of clothing, purses, etc) women take longer to pee than men. Isn't this an excellent example of so-called equality creating a disparity, whereas a purposeful disparity in the opposite direction would engender equality? Or do you not think that longer queues for women is a problem?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:19 PM on March 24, 2010


Last weekend I was standing in a long line for the ladies' room. The men's room was empty so I just went on it. While I was indisposed, a guy came up and knocked on the door. One of the women in line for the ladies' room told him "There's a girl in there," to which he replied "That's not very ladylike."

Why? Because he didn't want to think of the fact that a woman's heavenly private bits make waste just like his do? Or because he didn't want to have to wait in line with teh wimmenz. Both toilets were the same (the men's didn't have a urinal) and both were one-seaters.

A few night before this the same scenario unfolded at a bar where I was hanging with friends, but the men's room had both a urinal and a toilet, separated by partitions. I helped myself to the men's room, and a male friend needed to use the urinal. I told him to come on in. "I don't mind if you don't mind."

Then again I'm probably more comfortable with my body and its various flaws and functions than most. As the book says, everyone poops.
posted by Brittanie at 12:24 PM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Where's this bathroom where I can pee in a tuba?

Not exactly tubas, but I just found reiterations of this when looking for a tuba urinal. Surprisingly, I didn't find this on Urinal.net (SFW - just pictures of urinals from around the world).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on March 24, 2010


albrecht : they should consider meeting their basic bodily needs as another part of the consumer society

Well written, I can sympathize with your POV, but still can't understand why you let your bodies hold you hostage like that - One more perk about peeing while standing up? You don't have to touch anything. I've used bathrooms so vile that I held my breath from the moment I walked in to the moment I left, yet still had no trouble hosing down the porcelain funnel. The only real thing you need to ask - Will washing your hands there make them more, or less, dirty?


Brittanie : I helped myself to the men's room, and a male friend needed to use the urinal. I told him to come on in. "I don't mind if you don't mind."

Good for you! THIS describes equality.

We need more of you, and fewer people talking about shopping bags.
posted by pla at 12:28 PM on March 24, 2010


I'd like to offer two points of obfuscation:

Ally McBeal and The Unisex Bathroom + Urinals with Views
posted by xod at 12:45 PM on March 24, 2010


Much as I would like to, I doubt I could pee standing up without a lot of practice. The answer isn't female urinals -- at least, it's not the answer until we've somehow raised a new generation of girls who were trained how to pee while standing and not getting urine all over their clothes. Women's public bathrooms simply need to have more toilets than Men's do. I don't see how this solution is reverse-discrimination, or why it should bother or concern men at all.
posted by chowflap at 12:47 PM on March 24, 2010


I live in New York, and it seems like the real barrier to having public bathrooms here is cleaning and maintenance, given the sheer volume of people who would be using them.

Yep.

The history of the pay public toilet in NYC, to 2001.

Then....

1/08: NYC introduces Self-Cleaning Toilets: Greetings, Earthlings. Your New Restroom Is Ready.

12/08: New York Replaces Self-Cleaning Toilets with “a quality deluxe manual restroom experience.”
posted by zarq at 12:55 PM on March 24, 2010


One more perk about peeing while standing up? You don't have to touch anything.

Well, you do have to touch your genitals, which, for me anyway, means washing my hands afterwards. But if your point is that peeing standing up is easier from a sanitation perspective, I agree, and that's part of what makes public restrooms unfairly discriminatory against women. It's comparatively much cheaper to maintain a men's room to a minimum standard of cleanliness. Add in the other problems the author mentioned (like carrying a purse/shopping bag or dealing with a small child) and you've got a serious gender imbalance.

Another thing I think is interesting is the recent proliferation of the "family" restrooms, which I guess are intended mostly for parents with children of the opposite gender and/or infants. It's just a little confusing to me that we've decided to settle an obvious accessibility and queueing theory problem by creating yet a third category of bathroom that hardly ever gets used. Certainly it must be more efficient to just design bathrooms in such a way that they can be used simultaneously by people of any gender combination (or even--gasp!--no clearly decidable gender).
posted by albrecht at 1:15 PM on March 24, 2010


Oh, and another data point: the public bathrooms in BART stations that have been closed since 9/11 for "security reasons" but that, by being closed, are coincidentally (1) saving the city money, and (2) encouraging travelers to patronize nearby businesses.
posted by albrecht at 1:20 PM on March 24, 2010


Potty Parity must demand flexible facilities. E.G. At the recent NCAA Mens tourney in Providence RI several ladies' rooms were turned into mens' because the total number of men was about 80:1 over women.
posted by Gungho at 1:32 PM on March 24, 2010


Certainly it must be more efficient to just design bathrooms in such a way that they can be used simultaneously by people of any gender combination

I'm not so sure. It might be more difficult to design bathrooms for unisex use. Your standard bathroom provides minimal privacy, presumably based on the assumption that the normal standards of privacy can be relaxed around people of the same gender. You'd probably have to make small, closet-like spaces for each user. Maybe something like the toilet-lid sink or prison toilets could make each stall self contained.
posted by electroboy at 1:37 PM on March 24, 2010


I use public restrooms A LOT! I'm pretty good at finding facilities anywhere I need them. Also, as I cruise around town, I make mental notes of places that would do, should I need a toilet urgently. Sit or Squat is an application that helps you find a clean public toilet wherever you might need one.

I remember when nearly everywhere had pay toilets and these are not times I wish to re-live. The Boardwalk at Santa Cruz, The Emporium in San Francisco, it didn't matter. If you were a chick and you had to pee, it cost you a dime, the same price as a candy bar (for those who might want a point of reference.)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:37 PM on March 24, 2010


We had unisex bathrooms in college. Didn't seem like a big deal, the only bathroom problems were more generic college issues (drunk people making a mess, drunk people throwing up --- both behaviors exhibited by men and women). I guess college is (at least where I went) more of a closed experience, so you tend to know people (less fear of "strangers" in the bathroom).
posted by wildcrdj at 1:41 PM on March 24, 2010


(and I mean unisex Ally McBeal style, not those 1-person-at-a-time "unisex" bathrooms)
posted by wildcrdj at 1:41 PM on March 24, 2010


I hope the women were at the women's NCAA games.
posted by Cranberry at 1:41 PM on March 24, 2010


One of the women in line for the ladies' room told him "There's a girl in there," to which he replied "That's not very ladylike."

Why? Because he didn't want to think of the fact that a woman's heavenly private bits make waste just like his do?


In all fairness, you did violate the social code by cutting in line. I'm surprised the other women waiting didn't get mad at you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:42 PM on March 24, 2010


Hmmm. The article is a little confusing. It mentions a large number of people in the world may not have the facilities they would like, and then presumes that the global North bathroom habits of women is a universal requirement.

Having travelling in the developing world I can tell you that women and girls have no trouble peeing in public (in the right context) and girls learn at a young age how to stand and aim the stream between the grates into the gutter. Trust me, in many places you don't want to sit, be you boy or girl.

Not that I was surprised; I did my time as a tree-planter for a summer, and many girls learned the trick out of necessity.

I'm not supporting bone-headed notions of "ha ha just joking" men's room bullshit design, but there is nothing wrong, per se, with a women's room with properly designed urinals. It is not necessarily part of some sort of sexist agenda (though could be made into one, just like anything else.) Just because most women in the global North have not learned the technique does not mean it ain't a good idea for other reasons.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:43 PM on March 24, 2010


What's the point of claiming that women can achieve pee-equality by using a device that allows us to pee standing up? We still don't have anywhere to pee standing up in our bathrooms. (It would be rude to use the sinks, which are too high anyway.)

And all this peeing-standing-up stuff never seems to address that women would still have to wipe, lest they get their panties soggy. Our equipment is shaped a bit differently; it's not solely modesty that keeps us from happily pissing against a wall at 2 am.
posted by desuetude at 1:51 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmm.. I wonder if I could buy a prison toilet. There's a small space in my house under the stairs that's just begging for a tiny bathroom.
posted by electroboy at 1:51 PM on March 24, 2010


I'm sure any former MoFites will remember this classic.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 2:04 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It seems to me that one major issue comes as a direct result of the adoption of pants by both women and men, which is fairly recent.

Although it's common to think of skirts and other un-legged clothing as a holdover from patriarchal societies (not unfairly — many militantly patriarchal societies enforce gender-specific clothing choices), from a purely 'human-interface-design' aspect, skirts do seem to be much better designed for ease of waste elimination when worn by women.

I mean, a woman wearing a skirt (and nothing under it) can hike 'em up and do her business just as fast — if not faster — than most guys can unzip and do theirs. And it probably would be pretty easy to build a women's urinal (something like the "handicapped" urinals that are like narrow, protruding toilet bowls) if you were working under the assumption that the female users were wearing some sort of skirt/kilt-like clothing, rather than something that necessitates dropping trou. Pants aren't a great design (for elimination; they're arguably superior for other purposes) if you don't have a penis to take advantage of the fly with.

Of course, pants have other advantages (including, not least of which, their cultural status as an indicator of power), but there's a tradeoff going on there which might be a big contributor to restroom inequality.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:43 PM on March 24, 2010


In all fairness, you did violate the social code by cutting in line. I'm surprised the other women waiting didn't get mad at you.

Other women in line were vocally considering using the XY room. I'm the only one who actually did.
posted by Brittanie at 2:44 PM on March 24, 2010


Both toilets were the same (the men's didn't have a urinal) and both were one-seaters.

I simply do not see sex indicators on single occupancy bathrooms. I find the idea that anyone would line up in front of one when the other is unoccupied bizarre.

The one that I'd been ignoring most often recently removed the signs. There's still a little cute urinal in the men's room though.
posted by Wood at 2:46 PM on March 24, 2010


Why? Because he didn't want to think of the fact that a woman's heavenly private bits make waste just like his do? Or because he didn't want to have to wait in line with teh wimmenz. Both toilets were the same (the men's didn't have a urinal) and both were one-seaters.
posted by Brittanie at 5:44 PM on March 24 [+] [!]


Welll ... let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time I was at a wedding where there was a men's room and a women's room, each of which had a single toilet. At some point in the night, I decided to go use the facilities. Unfortunately, so did practically everybody else.

After a great deal of waiting which only served to increase the urgency of my mission, I was the next guy in line. The men's room door opened. A man stepped out ... and the next woman in line darted in, gave us all a triumphant look, and went inside.

Now I am as kind and generous and giving as the next guy, but -- two things:

* I really, really, really, really, had to pee.

* She took forreverrrrr in there. I mean, all the guys were 'Target acquired! Bombs away! And done!' And then suddenly, BAM! Occupado for the next ten minutes.
posted by Comrade_robot at 3:13 PM on March 24, 2010


Strange, strange article. I've always considered toilets one of the places where gender differences were handled reasonably, most of the time. As long as I can use the men's if the women's line is long and there's no line in the men's, I'm all good.
posted by medea42 at 3:32 PM on March 24, 2010


Comrade_robot, I would *never* dart in line. The men's room was totally unoccupied and there was no line for it until after I was halfway through my bidness in there.

And I don't primp, so I'm a quick pee.
posted by Brittanie at 3:52 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not so sure. It might be more difficult to design bathrooms for unisex use. Your standard bathroom provides minimal privacy, presumably based on the assumption that the normal standards of privacy can be relaxed around people of the same gender. You'd probably have to make small, closet-like spaces for each user. Maybe something like the toilet-lid sink or prison toilets could make each stall self contained.

Speaking from a UK and Ireland perspective, nearly all public toilets here are similar to this. An open and shared space sink area alongside several cubicles for toilets. Is this not the case in the USA?

Admittedly, there are nearly always urinals in male 'bathrooms', but I've seen this dealt with in France where they have something like the picture above and a separated urinal area so urinal users aren't scaring anyone or getting all modest.
posted by knapah at 3:53 PM on March 24, 2010


And when I say 'similar to this', I don't mean in cleanliness or decor...
posted by knapah at 3:53 PM on March 24, 2010


Her public restrooms thing baffles me. I live in the US, and I've never, ever been in a situation where there has existed a men's bathroom and only a men's bathroom. It's either been both men's and ladies' or gender-neutral. Are there places where there are segregated bathrooms only for men, or do they simply have the advantage for being able to pee on walls and thus do not always require an actual "room" and can make do with a secluded alley?

Potty Parity must demand flexible facilities. E.G. At the recent NCAA Mens tourney in Providence RI several ladies' rooms were turned into mens' because the total number of men was about 80:1 over women.

Said tourney also turned one grapefruitmoon completely bats because it was NON STOP LIVE MUSIC for four days in the Irish Pub downstairs from my apartment, but that has nothing to do with toilets. Other than I wanted to stick my head in one for some PEACE AND QUIET.

posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:55 PM on March 24, 2010


I've never, ever been in a situation where there has existed a men's bathroom and only a men's bathroom.

Certain engineering school buildings where I attended college only had men's restrooms on the first floor. To get to the ladies' you had to go to the other end of the building and take the stairs to the second floor, and then walk the entire length of the building back to reach what had very obviously once been another men's restroom, with the urinals taken out and replaced with a couch probably sometime in the mid-70's.

I would be overjoyed to hear of the engineering school having overcrowding issues with the ladies' room.
posted by casarkos at 6:27 PM on March 24, 2010


I've never, ever been in a situation where there has existed a men's bathroom and only a men's bathroom.

You don't spend as much time as I have in old-school gay bars?
posted by desuetude at 6:38 PM on March 24, 2010


Oh, anyway, even if we did have appropriate facilities in women's rooms for woman-type-urinals AND women were interested in using them, it's still a skirts-only thing. 'Cause I'm not super-modest, but I'm not baring my ass to the room.
posted by desuetude at 6:40 PM on March 24, 2010


One of the women in line for the ladies' room told him "There's a girl in there," to which he replied "That's not very ladylike."

Sounds like a joke? But I wasn't there.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:45 PM on March 24, 2010


Pia: Ok, so where do I find a guide to standpeeing that actually works? My practice attempts have been abysmal so far. And where do you practice, anyway? The shower??
posted by Omnomnom at 1:25 AM on March 25, 2010


Pla accually posted a guide to peeing standing up. Interestingly, one of the steps suggests the we ladies "untangle your labia", so I'm left to assume that either whoever wrote this article has never encountered lady parts, or it was written by someone with horrific personal hygiene.
posted by fermezporte at 4:30 AM on March 25, 2010


You don't spend as much time as I have in old-school gay bars?

True dat. I'm too young to be old school and too unable to consume alcoholic beverages to spend mass quantities of time in bars of any sort.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:51 AM on March 25, 2010


Is this not the case in the USA?

Usually more like this. The dividers don't go all the way to the floor, and the urinals are usually in plain view.
posted by electroboy at 6:16 AM on March 25, 2010


fermezporte: I think they were using "untangle" as a colorful term for "use fingers to completely separate". Meaning you don't want the stream hitting any other anatomy after leaving the urethral opening. Don't ask me how I know this, but both of the methods posted there do work with practice (and yeah in the shower with the water running is probably the best place to practice).
posted by idiopath at 7:46 AM on March 25, 2010


Omnomnom : Ok, so where do I find a guide to standpeeing that actually works?

Well, I posted one, though I've seen others online that go into much greater detail, including some with pics.

My practice attempts have been abysmal so far. And where do you practice, anyway? The shower??

Sounds like a very good place to practice indeed! most of us shower at least once a day, so just wait 'till you have to pee, then aim for the drain.


fermezporte : Interestingly, one of the steps suggests the we ladies "untangle your labia"

Many porn starlets actually have their labia majora trimmed. Perhaps the author took some liberties with that word, but suffice it to say, not all women have the outline of a peach down there; some more resemble a butterfly, and although I particularly loathe the expression, I had one lady friend who... um... helped me understand the origin of the phrase "roast beef curtains".
posted by pla at 7:50 AM on March 25, 2010


Standpeeing is a nifty skill for the shower and the woods, but honestly, this is not a good solution for women most of the time -- it takes more juggling and balance. Even the female urinals and stand-pee devices don't address the issue very well of how to get said device cupped around ladyparts.

In order to stand pee, I still have to either hike my skirt up and hold it up, or pull down pants, then pull down stockings/tights (if wearing a skirt in cooler temperatures), and underwear, then position fingers around labia so that I can aim, but then where am I aiming? Into what? Without peeing on myself? Sitting down and peeing into a toilet is way faster and easier.

That said, if there are single-occupancy restrooms, I'll use either. (The only problem with this is that often, the dudes do not lock the door. What's with that?) Most of the bars where I live have given up on signs on the door for single-occupancy restrooms anyway.
posted by desuetude at 8:11 AM on March 25, 2010


Unisex restrooms worked for the Battlestar Galactica, we should give them a test run in the States.
posted by The Fly at 8:27 PM on March 25, 2010


I favorited solely based on the title. Sue me.
posted by DZack at 11:10 PM on March 25, 2010


Oops, missed that link. Thanks!
posted by Omnomnom at 3:52 AM on March 26, 2010


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