Friday, 12 June 2009

A Big Question about Big and Important Matters

So it struck me last night when I was at a restaurant that had two identical toilets - one for the ladies, the other for the gentleman. Do we actually need sex-segregated toilets anymore?

Sure when we are talking about big numbers of people, like at airports or shopping malls, but when there are just a whole bunch of individual cubicles and a sink anyway do we need to separate the girl pee and the boy pee?

Thoughts kindly!

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered that myself

Anonymous said...

Course we do. In the same space of one toilet, you can fit 3 urinals for men. A much more efficient use of space.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm perhaps male bonding time is being threatened. While on this topic, have you noticed how men's toilets are usually positioned the closest!

stargazer said...

your assumption is that public toilets are used only for the purposes of going to the toilet. but they're also used, for example, for putting on make-up or for adjusting clothing (perhaps even changing clothes) & other stuff like that. i think i'd prefer women's space to be doing those things, and others might feel the same way.

A Nonny Moose said...

ur in mah brainz.

How about this: for a woman's safety, it would certainly raise questions if a stranger followed a woman into the ladies loo. Not so much if they're co-ed.

It's sad we still need safe places, but a public toilet is somewhere I feel ok about escaping to to get away from unwanted attention.

The ex-expat said...

Well used to same-sex toilets in the big K including urinals for the boys which were always by the door.

Anna said...

The idea of widdling in close proximity to other people terrifies me.

A Nonny Moose said...

Anna: Hehe :) Peeing, not so much. But number twos in public makes me anxious. I really don't want people to hear my botty burps.

Kelly said...

We had a unisex in my office in London on the ground floor. On the occasions I ever came out of a cubicle to see a man washing his hands, or vice versa, there was always a moment of "oh Christ, I'm in the wrong loos" panic. written on both our faces for a sec. Also, it smelled decidedly less pleasant than the ladies-only loos on the upper floors. I can only surmise that boys often miss.

hungrymama said...

Mothers out in sole charge of sons and fathers with daughters would find unisex loos hugely useful. My seven-year-old is big enough that it's starting to feel a bit inappropriate taking him into the ladies sometimes but small enough that I fret about him going to the gents alone.

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone,sometimes everything just gets too dam serious! Botty burps!! Good point re sole charge parents though. So much for The Womens Room!

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, in the US, it's only a guide, as discriminating on gender is illegal. So a man can quite legitimately walk in to a women's toilet and vice-versa. Is it the same here in NZ?

Anita said...

For me it mostly depends on whether we're talking about stalls or individual rooms.

Speaking as someone who can be clumsy with food and more often than she would like needs to go into the toilets to get a spill of her shirt, if it's going to be a room with separate stalls but shared basins I much prefer a separate women's room so that I can clean and dry my shirt without male gaze.

If it's separate rooms then unisex is fine providing they're all equipped with sanitary disposal bins and are regularly cleaned. There are a couple of cafes in Wgtn with unisex loos which often smell really dodgy by lunchtime, and one I'm aware of which only has sanitary bins in one of the two toilets.

Cactus Kate said...

You are joking?

Have you been in a loo after a man?

It never ceases to amaze me how so few of them manage to aim straight when they piss. Especially after 100 drinks.

AWicken said...

Well, from my venue security days I reckon that men do miss (it can get complicated sometimes), but women for some reason win the competition "random bits of loo paper lying on the floor at the end of the evening".

I guess unisex toilets would be some sort of synergistic combination of the two that can be shovelled clean.

Anonymous said...

women for some reason win the competition "random bits of loo paper lying on the floor at the end of the evening".


I find that comment really sexist. Could a moderate please remove it pleased?

Julie said...

I guess I was thinking also of the times when you go to a big function and there's a massive queue for the ladies while the gentlemen are largely just using the urinal and thus no queue for the actual toilets themselves.

Good point about the Powder Room aspect of toilets for women.

Parent rooms generally welcome all now, and I've seen ones that specifically say "fathers welcome" which is great. But many facilities don't have these yet.

And most recent Anon, if you want us to take your request seriously perhaps you'd like to explain why you think that is sexist. (In my house it is the little boy who is most responsible for bits of toilet paper on the floor, and he can't even use it yet).

Anonymous said...

I find it sexist because it promotes a negative stereotype about women. I'm sure the poster could point to all sorts of 'evidence' from his personal experience but that doesn't make it any more hurtful.

Julie said...

Ye gads if you think asserting based on personal experiece that women's loos have more bits of toilet paper left on the ground is somehow spreading a negative stereotype about women then I hate to think what you would make of Kiwiblog's comment sections!

I prescribe a chill pill. Any further moderation discussions to email as per our comment policy please.

Anonymous said...

Men should have seperate toilets because we can use urinals. It is more efficient (more space, less flushing therefore better for the environment and saves the cubicles for No 2s).

If we have unisex toilets we need to do away with urinals for obvious reasons. This would create unacceptable bladder relief delays for both sexes.

There was a unisex toilet in a bar downtown a few years ago and the social dynamics were awful. It is just embarrassing.

There is also an unwritten code of conduct at music festivals etc. where as a man you should avoid using portaloos and go for the porta-urinals where possible. I have actually had a woman ask my intentions while waiting in line and then politely suggest I use the porta-urinal instead. Her suggestion made sense and I complied.

With a bit of common sense and cooperation we can all do our business in peace.

Anonymous said...

For me unisex toilets are much sought after. Having a space to pee that is not gendered is really important.

I'm a transguy who has yet to go through any sort of medical treatment, and may never, and I find it particularly difficult to use either mens or womens loos - as both present different varieties of danger.

That's one of many of my gripes against segregated toilets.