Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lady P

I swear, I wasn't looking for this, but there it was... bathrooms have invaded my life. Meet the Lady P -- a urinal for women.
Piss and go. Yeah, right.


TeacherPatti said...

Oh my goodness gracious! What will they think of next...?

biscodo said...

HEY! Wait just a frickin' frackin' second!

On exactly what fucking planet to you think I'm going to let you get away with "... Yeah, right"?! You think you're going to just drop that one there and everyone will just let it slide?

I seem to recall someone lecturing me on how 2nd wave feminist battles included equal rights IN the bathroom/washroom/restroom (as well as outside of it). About how the facilities of public buildings/accomodations must take into account the longer time that women need to spend managing their garments and genitalia with sit-down toilets, and how the existence of the zip-pee-zip-go urinals in men's facilities (but with no women's equivalent) were a fundamental inequality of the plumbing for the two sexes (and yes, you must give in that there are the TWO sexes of bathrooms, not an infinitely finely blended continuum of gender-notioned toileting facilities).

Well, here's the fem-urinal. Public-urinary-equality is within your grasp. Why do you not seize upon it?
Here's a thought: It's because, like so many -isms, the idea of an actual resolution scares the shit out of the -ists. The -ists have personally invested so much of themselves in the fight that they will refuse to give it up even if it's not necessary anymore. They have chosen The Process over The Results, believe motion and action are the same thing, and have confused the map with the terrain.

Yes, it's just toileting plumbing and not the cornerstone of 2nd, 3rd or higher-order -wave feminism, but if you trivialize the possibility of actually levelling the eliminatory playing field, what other aspects of -isms can be similarly... eliminated? (pun intended)

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

Rather than "equality" you seem to actually be focusing on "sameness." Providing women the "same" facilities will not solve the problem. Urinals were designed for men -- for their clothing, habits, and biological plumbing.

While clothing and habits for women could certainly change (though there are plenty who would take issue with women needing to change in order to accommodate the designs of men...), some key biological factors probably won't change.

My “yeah, right” was shorthand for this. The Lady J seems unworkable – even after I read the directions for how it is supposed to be used (and yes I had to read… I wasn’t sure if one was supposed to face in or out!). I’m open to new solutions, but I also, frankly, don’t understand why folks are so damn twitchy about building more bathroom facilities for women other than that as a society we too often mistake sameness for equality. My 8 year old’s favorite complaint these days is “that’s not fair!” I expect more from adult society. What is fair here? Wait times? Square footage? The number of holes?

It is not lost on me that the signs on bathrooms in public space reinforce a kind of segregation. The move toward “family bathrooms” and “unisex bathrooms” (though why they are not called “omnisex” or just “public bathroom” is lost on me) is the way to go, perhaps. Would you pee in a urinal in an “omnisex” multi-hole bathroom? Women can learn the etiquette of urinals, ya know. You guys count on each other to not look or crowd. Women generally know these things (even if they lack knowledge of some of the nuances of good urinal manners that would come from a touch of lived experience).

To bring this long reply to a graceful conclusion, I am open to different ideas for how we might accommodate human needs in public spaces. I’m not wedded to sex segregated facilities, privacy (though changing a tampon in an open room with others about might take a bit of getting used to!), traditional toilets, etc. Ditch ‘em. Start over. Go further. My scoff at the Lady P was really about the rather LAME attempt to offer new accommodations. Men have urinals, so if we make one for women the facilities issue will be solved? Nope. Try again and get outside the box this time.

Hmmm…. I seem to have come full circle. It must be time to stop.