photo mens and womens bathroom


When I heard about Soraya Chemaly’s article, recently published in Time magazine, entitled “The Everyday Sexism of Women Waiting in Public Toilet Lines,” I really thought it was a joke.

Nope. She’s absolutely serious. She believes long lines for women’s restrooms are the result of a history that favors men’s bodies. This is laughable. She sums up her premise with the following:

“Women aren’t standing in lines because we bond over toilet paper pattern or because we’re narcissistic and vain. We’re standing in line because our bodies, like those of trans and queer people, have been historically shamed, ignored, and deemed unworthy of care and acknowledgement. We shouldn’t have to wait or postpone having these needs fairly met in public space.”

After reading her article more than once, I’m really not sure what she wants other than not to have to wait on line to pee in a public toilet. She talks about surface equality vs. genuine equality, whatever that means, and that even though some facilities are equal in physical space, they still favor men’s bodies, experiences and needs. Is this woman for real?

With everything going on in the world, she honestly believes the war on women extends to public toilets in America. At the Seattle Opera, there are 12 women’s stalls and two stalls and three urinals in the men’s room. Does it make her happier that men are now waiting on line?

I think what she’s looking for is single-stall designs for everyone, like those nasty ones on airplanes. She thinks they’re less discriminatory.

But if men are still going to stand to pee while in one of these stalls, and women are still going to wear “more binding and cumbersome clothes” and will still sit, then won’t the line for these gender-neutral stalls still be long?

My husband told me he can’t remember using a public urinal when there wasn’t a puddle on the floor. So, in Miss Chemaly’s universe, not only would women have to share a stall with men, we’ll also have to lower the seat with our hand and sit with our shoes in a puddle of urine.

Miss Chemaly obviously has far too much time on her hands if this is what she thinks deserves consideration.

If she wants to know about the real war on women, let’s consider Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death in Sudan because she was considered to be a Muslim because her father was Muslim. She had the audacity to marry a Christian and was charged with adultery because such a marriage is illegal in Sudan. After her emigration to the United States in August, I doubt she has ever considered herself a victim while waiting on line to use a public bathroom.

If Miss Chemaly is so concerned about real victims, she should expose the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for the barbarians that they are. A Yazidi mother in Iraq reported that all three of her daughters had been raped by ISIS fighters and then committed suicide by jumping off a mountain.

A human rights lawyer, Samira Salih ad-Nuaimi, was tortured and murdered in September by ISIS because she abandoned Islam.

As a woman, I’m far more concerned about the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria or the thousands of clitorectomies performed on young girls.

The world is going up in smoke and Miss Chemaly prefers to cry wolf about something so insignificant as the inconvenience of standing in line to use a bathroom, claiming “that women are socialized to quietly deal with physical discomfort, pain and a casual disregard for their bodily needs.” Woe is me!

Get a grip, lady. Plan ahead as I do. Use a public facility that’s empty when you don’t really need to. Never pass up an opportunity for a potty break — great advice from a very wise woman I know — Mrs. G.!

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.




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