Potty parity

Choose your spot

Potty parity illus 1Women take twice as long to urinate in public toilets as men. It’s not their fault: having to deal with more cumbersome clothes, menstruation and sometimes small children, they easily use up 90 seconds, while men are done in half the time. But architects usually design equal numbers of toilet stalls for each gender, when women should have double. That explains the queues.

Women take twice as long to urinate in public toilets as men.

In the USA, the “potty parity” movement, founded by lawyer John Banzhaf, campaigns to redress the imbalance. In the US Capitol, for example, where laws are made, congressmen caught short while voting have access to a washroom a few meters from the debating floor equipped with six stalls, four urinals, gilt mirrors, a fireplace and television. Congresswomen have to cross either a tourist-filled hall, or a long corridor past several secretaries, before reaching a facility only accessible with a code. Though a Women’s Restroom Equity Bill was debated in 2010, it has yet to become law.


From the pages of COLORS #82 - Shit.