On Women’s Public Restrooms

womens restroom

Ladies, we need to talk about an important issue: our public restrooms are awful.

*Disclaimer: if you can’t handle the idea of women using the bathroom, either grow up or just stop reading right now.

First of all, they’re way too small. Clearly, whoever gets put in charge of designing public restrooms is never a woman, because otherwise the men’s room would be smaller and the women’s would be larger. I know that a bunch of men are going to say that this would be unfair and that men need to pee as much as women do, but those men are wrong. First, men’s rooms have stalls and urinals, which automatically creates more, uh, options. Sometimes there is one less stall in the men’s room to accommodate a couple more urinals, but overall if you compare the amount of stalls in the ladies’ room to the amount of stalls and urinals in the men’s room, the men have the advantage. We can’t stand up to pee, so we have to use the stalls. Unfair. Second, because we can’t stand to pee, it takes us way longer to use the bathroom. There’s also extra work involved in public restrooms, because no one wants to actually sit on the seat. Finally, women are more likely to have small children with them in the restroom. This means that one trip to the bathroom is more like two or three. Even when the kids don’t have to go, those women still have to manage small children as they try to pee. If you think that’s a quick and perfectly easy task, I dare you to try it. Anyway, considering all that, why are women’s restrooms the same size as men’s?

Second of all, women’s public restrooms are disgusting. Seriously ladies, we need to do something about this. The size thing might be more or less out of our control, but this one is on us. For the love of all that is holy, use the bins next to the toilet. Make sure all of the paper you use goes in the toilet or the bins. If it falls on the floor and you can’t stand the idea of touching it, just use some extra paper to pick it up. I know that you may feel that it’s someone’s job to clean that up, but a) you can at least do something to make that person’s job less icky, and b) some of us will have to use that stall before someone cleans it. Also, if you can’t hover without peeing all over the seat, just decorate and sit down. I’m begging you to do the rest of us a favour. If you can’t bear the idea of sitting on a public restroom toilet, even with layers of toilet paper in between, at least wipe the seat off when you’re done.

I’m not joking about this last point. People keep telling me that men’s rooms are grosser, but I have yet to see that in Germany. I’m not talking about bar bathrooms (those will be gross no matter who uses them); I’m talking about restaurants, shopping centres, etc. The men’s rooms are almost always cleaner than the women’s (or, at least the stalls are). If you’re wondering how I know this, I’ll refer you back to point number one. If there’s a line for the women’s room and I see the men’s room is totally empty, there’s no way I’m waiting in that line. I couldn’t care less whether or not the stick figure plastered on the door is wearing a skirt.

Of course, we could just do away with gendered bathrooms all together and solve at least half of this pressing issue. But, I realize that this is too radical an idea for a lot of people, so we’ll talk about that again in 10-15 years. In the meantime, someone please design bathrooms better and ladies, for the love of the seven gods, clean up after yourselves.

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