Saturday, 2 September 2017

"Let Them Eat Cake" - Could It Be Any More Obvious That a Man Designed These Toilets?

We would argue that most of us, however competent and organised we would like to appear in the eyes of the world, spend most of our lives lurching mindlessly in whatever direction we happen to be pushed by circumstances, eagerly grasping whatever alcoholic beverage is available come Friday night. However, even though we're happy, at the Privy Counsel, to take each day as it comes and live and let live, we appreciate the importance of some kind of guidelines to steer us straight. As regular readers will be aware, we defined two mottoes to live by a couple of years ago: PEOPLE SHOULD FUCK OFF MORE and FEMINISM NEEDS TO BE MORE MILITANT. These have stood us in good stead.

Last night, the beverage available happened to be the good kind of champagne, which was pleasant to a high degree, but more importantly, we formulated a new Privy Counsel rule of life! The third rule, now added to the canon, is ALWAYS GO TO THE TOILET TWICE.

"Hang on, hang on," you may be saying to yourself now, sitting up on your chaise-longue and agitatedly waving your tweed-clad arms about. "I'm perfectly happy going to the toilet just once. Why would I go twice just because some random toilet blogger with a record of showing poor judgement tells me to?" Your concerns, if this is you, are legitimate, and your logic infallible. However, hear us out - there is reason to our madness!

Say you're in a fancy seafood restaurant. For instance, to just grab an example at random, at Johan P in Malmö. Let's say you're throwing the good kind of champagne down your throat with chutzpah, and enjoying the feeling of it being Friday night and you not having to get up at the arse end of dawn the next day. Say you go to the toilet, and enjoy the fancy décor and well-appointed handwashing facilities. Say you snap a couple of pictures, feel pleased with your efforts, and go back to the table to continue guzzling champagne. Say someone with more life experience and less impaired reasoning skills points out that the toilet is, when you think about it, a unisex one. Say you laugh this statement off, arguing that you had a perfectly pleasant time during your visit to the toilet, entirely unharassed by bearded hipsters.

However, let's say that you, being trained in scientific methodology and critical thinking - even if your judgement has been temporarily clouded by vast amounts of the good kind of champagne - go back in some time later, for the sake of scientific enquiry and journalistic integrity. Let's say that, while washing your hands, no fewer than three persons of the male sex squeeze awkwardly past you.



In this case, the males in question were not so much bearded hipsters as bloated middle-aged men in unflattering trousers, but the tenet still stands. Only someone with very poor imagination would design a venue where a woman has to wash her hands in an enclosed space with random men twice her size, and not expect her to feel nervous and uncomfortable. We say this not because we dislike men, but because the statistics speak for themselves.

The majority of all reported sex crimes are committed by men, against women. When we say "the majority", we don't mean "something like two thirds", or even "something like three quarters", but "something like 98 %". Let that sink in. Now ponder the fact that sexual predators are opportunists, who harass, grope, and assault women when circumstances allow, and you will see that unisex toilets are a TERRIBLE IDEA.

To all restaurateurs out there who are considering putting in new toilets, we implore you: HARDEN THE FUCK UP AND GIVE THE WOMEN THEIR OWN FUCKING TOILET. Women-only spaces exist not because women are irrational creatures who insist on having several expensive square metres to themselves, but because toilets and changing rooms are not neutral spaces, and because the world is not safe for women.

Let us summarise our argument: Sex is biological reality. Gender is a social construct. No matter how dedicated we are to the struggle of crushing the patriarchy and pulverising gender norms, pretending that gender doesn't exist doesn't solve the problem of sexist abuse. Hence, until we're equal, and one sex isn't constantly subjected to sexual violence by the other sex, let there be segregated toilets.

Also, when writing a toilet review, ALWAYS GO TO THE TOILET TWICE. The first time may not show you every facet or even faucet (especially if you're off your head on the good kind of champagne).

Having ranted for a suitable amount of time, let us enjoy some photos from the well-equipped, but uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, toilets at Johan P:

We have no complaints about the toilet except that it has no coat hook. Could it be any more obvious that a man designed these toilets? The equivalent of Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" is the male toilet designer's "Let them put their handbags on the floor". No person in their right mind wants to put their handbag on a toilet floor - BLOODY WELL GIVE WOMEN COAT HOOKS!

This is all very well, but we still don't understand why sinks must look like cattle troughs.

The soap and hand lotion was very nice, and smelled of lavender and thyme!

Another aspect of Johan P is the acoustics in the restaurant are terrible. There are times when you would give your right arm not to be forced to listen to the person next to you, but there are also times when you would quite like to hear what your company is saying, and Johan P is not a good place for hearing whatever conversational pyrotechnics may be going off around you. The question of acoustics technically falls outside the range of our blog, but we thought it worth mentioning. (Let us also note, however, in the interest of fairness, that the champagne at Johan P is excellent and the moules frites are to die for.) Speaking of acoustics, we have some exciting toilets from Audiologist Friend, and also from Australian Friend and Jonny (who counts as a friend for administrative reasons), in our vast cavern of an archive - something for you all to look forward to!

Now, for a Festive Video. This one appeals to us for several reasons.

Festive Video - Shannon McNally, Lonesome, Ornery and Mean

Related Reading

Lest we lose hope: An excellent example of a toilet designed by women, for women:
Caitlin Moran Really Does Make Everything Better

If you enjoy looking at pictures of sinks that look like cattle troughs (pervert!), this is for you:
The Hours and Minutes Ticking Away

A post in which we complain about the horrors of unisex toilets and sinks in the shape of cattle troughs, simultaneously:
Stockholm Central Station: The Trauma Is So Great We Are Brought To Quoting Cicero

A rant about the horrors of suddenly finding oneself washing one's hands in the company of fifteen bearded hipster dudes, all smiling awkwardly:
Hungover Ranting: Festschrift to Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend

All posts featuring unisex toilets

All posts featuring Malmö

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