The other day I queued for about 15 minutes to use the loo in Brighton station. A few days before that, I queued for a similar amount of time to have a wee at a National Trust house we were visiting. Most days I queue for the toilet in my office. I have queued in cinemas, theatres, football stadiums, concert venues, airports, shops, pubs, clubs…you get the picture. I don’t know how long I’ve spent queuing for the loo in total, but I’m guessing it’s a lot. Days, probably. Possibly even weeks. So I was wondering this – why aren’t there ever enough loos for women?
I get that we need more space. I understand we take longer to pee than a man. But so what? Why does that mean we have to queue? At the National Trust house we visited, about 90 per cent of the visitors were women and children. There were two women’s toilets. The queue, not surprisingly, was enormous.
The answer seems simple to me – we need more loos. I’m sure someone more mathematically inclined than me could work out a formula involving the number of women and how many toilets they need – probably someone already has. It’s just a bit tricky to fit all those cubicles in, and the women don’t mind queuing anyway, do they? It’s not like they’re busy, or that they have places to go, or work to do, or small, jiggly children hanging off their arms…
Like the fact that the default setting on air conditioning units is comfortable for men and too cold for women, a lack of toilets is a sign that the world is designed to be easy for our brothers. If it’s not so easy for us, well, so what? We just have to put up with it. We are an after-thought.
Sure there are more important things to worry about when it comes to sexism – the pay gap, rape, FGM – but the little things matter too. Just look at what a stir toilets are causing in the trans community right now.
Are toilets worth fighting for? I think so. What do you think?