Public Washroom SHE Building
Sadly, I have spent about 5 years on the 5th and 6th floors of the Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre building (SHE if you will) at a certain university in downtown Toronto that is not UofT. It’s a relatively new building with all the ‘technology’ and windowless class rooms you can want in a modern day learning environment. On the 5th floor of the building, women started complaining about the long lineups for the women’s washroom. They complained how unfair it was because there are more women on that floor than men. This is true because most of the floor belongs to the early education program which consists almost entirely of female students and the token homosexual male student. The women argued that there should be a higher proportion of stalls for women because of the higher proportion of women on the floor. A few years back the decision was finally made to convert the only men’s washroom on the 5th floor into a second women’s washroom. I honestly don’t know why the solution to reducing lineups at the women’s washroom was to take the men’s washroom away, but it happened! From that day onward, any males on the 5th floor of the SHE building if for some reason required the privilege of using the facilities would have to use the single toilet washroom which is otherwise reserved for disabled people. I’m not sure if the reasoning behind that decision had anything to do with women’s belief that men have some kind of cognitive impairment, but the decision was made. It was also decided that this single toilet washroom retrofitted for people with disabilities that could also be shared if required by males, became open to female as well, in case they might require the privacy that only a single stall washroom can provide. If men have any problem with this, they are free to walk up to 6th floor and use the facilities there. It should be noted that on the 6th floor, the men’s and women’s washroom doors are facing each other. To describe to you the washroom on the 6th floor, if you should be fortunate to climb all the steps and make it there in time, if both doors to the men’s and women’s washroom happen to be open at the same time, people in the women’s washroom have a clear and direct view of anyone standing and using the urinals at the time. The washrooms do not seem to have been designed with a kind of barrier or second set of doors to impede the view of those relieving themselves at urinals. I’m not sure if the GabyN’Fish toilet expert has any comment about this situation or perhaps might at least provide some insight to enlighten me on the complexities and reasoning that went into this design and washroom politic.
For this story I have created a new symbol which represents the sexist ideology of the university.