Sunday, January 22, 2006

Up With Equality, Down With Toilet Seats

There's a new movement designed to improve life in our great country, and it's a bunch of crap. Literally. They call it potty parity, and the basic premise is that there should be at least twice as many restroom "outlets" for women as there are for men.

The movement (pun intended) is based on the scientific fact that, on average, women take twice as much time in the bathroom as men. Thus, given the same number of toilets, women often end up waiting in line while men can just zoom in and out. Potty parity would work sort of like a handicap in golf - given that women usually take more time/strokes to reach the hole, we'll adjust the number of toilets/strokes taken to help off-set their inability to perform to par.

Because let's face it, that's really what this is about: Men have set a bathroom standard that women just can't live up to - at least as far as speed is concerned (sanitation, scent, and general cleanliness are entirely different matters). For starters, a trip to the bathroom is just less complicated for men. There's no monkeying around with sitting or wiping or stockings or (shudder) feminine hygiene issues. It's just zip, stream, zip. And sometimes flush. And once in a while, wash.

Plus, men require less space then women. The average square footage devoted to a urinal is approximately a third or less of what it takes to put in a stall. So in addition to being faster, men can have three "outlets" where women can have only one. Heck, on the toilet space-time continuum, we're just running away with this thing.

And while there are all sorts of reasons why women are slower, ultimately it just comes down to genetic superiority. Y-chromosome equals speedy urination. And speedy urination means I'm done five minutes before my X-chromosomed spouse, who's waiting in that ridiculous line stretching out of the women's bathroom. So really, anything that decreases her bathroom time also decreases the time I spend waiting for her to get out of the bathroom. Maybe I should be all for this potty parity movement.

But this isn't one bandwagon I'll be hopping on anytime soon. Because it seems that those supporting the idea might be taking it just a little too far. According to the Yahoo! story, John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washinton's law school and the self-proclaimed "father of potty parity" says, "I'm pushing the idea of filing federal complaints, in other words, making a federal case out of potty parity. [Ignoring potty parity] constitutes a form of sex discrimination ... and violates the constitutional tenet of equal protection."

Huh? This is the battle that some of our finest legal minds are waging? They want to sue so that women can have more toilets then men? Is this really where we should be focusing our energies? And where do they propose to get all these extra toilets? If they take them out of the men's room then there'll be less urinals and men will also be facing those long lines (and if we figure a 3 to 1 ratio that's a lot less urinals). Plus just imagine what that reduction would do to the urinal cake companies! As go the urinal cakes, there goes the country - down the drain!

I'm also forced to wonder what could be next? Surely these same people would demand that there be wider parking spaces for women drivers? Or that math classes come with two different gendered grading scales? Or should we mandate that men have automatic GPS systems, in effect forcing them to stop and ask for directions? Or that men carry a purse filled with all the things they and their children need?

Or maybe, instead of suing so that women have more toilets, we could just require that men sit when they go to the bathroom. Only then will we finally break through the porcelain ceiling.

There's blood in my mouth 'cause I've been biting my tongue all week


joel. said...

Bravo! I'll drink—and subsequently urinate (quickly, even)—to that!

the marvelous patric said...

this brings up an idea i have....

you know what i hate in men's bathrooms? the communal trough! just a long metal box on the wall and cram in as many guys as you can! talk about no dignity! i love to pee! i don't need 30 other guys crammed next to me next to a long metal box, shoving me and making me miss as i write my name! it's not right!

i think real potty parity would be in there was a urinal for women! let's face it, women get to go in, have a seat, relax a little, and just let it go! men have to stand next a long metal box crowded by all sorts of guys! i propose some sort of hose/suction mechanism for women to stand and pee! i think up the skirt and SLORP! that would speed things up! kinda like astronauts!

Alan said...

Jill Stevens said...

Are there ANY men who support this Bill? Sadly it seems not :(. I bet if you were the ones waiting 15-20 minutes to pee while the ladies room was empty you'd be crying it's discrimination too or some kind of female leftist feminist conspirascy. Here's the thing that really bugs me though. It has taken literally decades to even get people to address this problem and only took one complaint from men to have them get more restrooms. So unfair. But men rule the world and do a bad job of it so women always get the short end of the stick :P. Fact is we take longer so need more potties, case closed fellas! If that means a slightly longer wait at the men's room, tough, wait a little. We've waited all these years now it's your turn!