Blog: Better Public Restrooms
Potty Parity – What is That?
Your humble author is a man. Full disclosure. Using the restroom at a large event is no picnic for me, but that is another story. This story is about the disparity of the availability of public restrooms as traditionally defined as “men’s” and “women’s” restrooms. (Again, gender-neutral and family/caregiver restrooms is a story for another day, as well.) When venues are built, builders typically do two things. First, they farm the design of the restrooms off to the newest and least experienced architects. Second, they tell the architects to do the minimum that the code requires. Building codes have for decades specified equal distribution of toilet facilities. Unfortunately, due to biological, and some might say, the design of women’s clothing as expected by social conventions or just the ease of use of urinals for men, it simply takes women three times as long to use the restroom. The math just doesn’t add up – need doesn’t not equal availability. So, “Potty Parity” is a movement to balance out the availability of restrooms. Until this situation is balanced out, lines at the women’s room will continue to be a fact of American life.
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