The Setting- Rest stop somewhere along 95 in Maryland

The Scene- At least fifty women on line to go to rest room. No line for men’s.

The Comments: This isn’t right. Why aren’t there more facilities for women than there are for men?

My Question: Should a state or federally funded facility be obliged to make women’s facilities larger than men’s, or in fairness and equality, should both facilities receive the exact same amount of funding and be the exact same size.

In theory, I understand the practicality of having a larger women’s room. But is it fair to do something for one sex that isn’t being done for the other? In something privately owned, the owners can do whatever they want as far as size and such. Many places are now choosing stand alone rest rooms to be used by either sex, with all people waiting on the same line. But in a publicly funded facility, like the rest room at a rest stop, what is the right thing to do?

Should a women’s rest room be larger simply because women take longer to use the bathroom?

Discuss:

66 thoughts on “Is It Fair

  1. Well here’s the thing, in the past data proved that most rest stops needed extra women’s facilities. Mainly because more used the rest room. Or that’s what we told. Men could drive and not stop by using a water bottle or stopping by the side of the road in an emergency because of how they are built. BUT here’s the real trivia snd history for you. In 1960 when my family drove down to Florida there were segregated rest rooms up and down the east coast . So when rest stops were integrated they gave the extra rest rooms that were previously designated to Blacks to women. That’s why there are more stalls for women. Racism is the reason.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes…but this is a a somewhat recently renovated facility, where the assumption would be that both the men’s and women’s are the same size. The complaint is that women should have bigger rest rooms

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Stand up for your right to sit down”

    That was a slogan chanted by women in Illinois who tried to get more toilets in new buildings. This was probably 30 years ago. I remember the slogan, don’t know what happened with the law though.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The problem is, what’s the right amount if stalls in a facility? We were at dinner Friday. One restroom for all. Though the place is small, ( my guess is 40 diners) my husband and I each waited at least 8 minutes to use it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I recall there was some kind of [logical] parity that the woman were using to make their case of more stalls for woman. It’s been too long for me to remember the deets.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I really don’t think that the men care if their bathroom is smaller, and the women’s larger. It wouldl save them from having to wait on their wives and girlfriends! Or like another reader suggested, have an extra unisex bathroom. That could help cut down the women’s line. Whatever the business decides I do think they need to do the best they can to make their guests comfortable and not having to wait in a long line goes a long way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not so much caring as precedent. If a woman’s room is larger or more money is spent simply because one is for women is it doing something on the basis of sex, thereby saying that they can’t be equal?

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      1. And thats where this whole equal rights thing can go too far. You could probably do a whole post on that. LOL! I am not saying that I am not for equality but there are things that just … well…they can’t be made equal as easily.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL, the Maryland House & Chesapeake House rest areas are operated by the Maryland Transit Authority – good luck complaining to them. As for your thoughts, the country operates on “parity” and the illusion of what’s fair. I would have no problem with a smaller facility, but as my wife likes to complain about, “women go into the stall and take forever, I heard them doing everything except what one should on a toilet. WTH are they doing?”

    I’m not opposed to unisex facilities except this country is prudish, and there are way too many pervs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what takes so long…my daughter and I went to the Kennedy center. She was behind me on line. There were about 5 stalls.I came out and my daughter took my stall…that’s how long it can take…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Women often take longer because they menstruate. I’m generalizing here, but I think that’s the point.
    More stalls should be provided for the convenience of menstruating women.
    Bathroom stalls are designed, in large part, by human beings who don’t menstruate.
    That, I believe, is how we got ourselves into this situation in the first place.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is a good point. Also, can’t there be a lot more urinals than toilet stalls in the same amount of floor space? so equal restroom size should not be the concern, but rather equal number of “receptacles”

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Asking if it’s “fair” for women to be given an advantage not given to men makes my head spin. For centuries, men have claimed every right and every advantage and kept women in an inferior position—many are still doing it and legislating it today (take a look at today’s Supreme Court docket). The question isn’t what’s “fair,” but what makes sense and what’s just.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. define what makes sense? If women are 50% of the population should their rest facilities in publicly funded buildings be larger strictly because they are women?

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      1. If women’s restrooms are lined up with 50 people waiting, while men’s restrooms have no lines, then yes, it makes sense to expand the women’s facilities. We learned decades ago that “separate but equal” isn’t equal. Besides, where’s the “fair” in one group having to wait while the other doesn’t. What makes sense is to accommodate not just the numbers, but the needs and circumstances of the population.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s a stretch to compare this to segregation. If you want to make that comparison, then the logical next step would be one gender neutral restroom with no urinals and only stalls, where everyone waits on the exact same line and uses the exact same facility. What if a high school said they were building a larger boys locker room than girls because they are boys and “bigger”?

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      3. What about a particular sports stadium where attendance stats show that the spectators are 85% male and 15% female, or a conference center that puts on conferences attended mostly by women? Do they need potty parity? How about potty parity where common sense is also applied? I’ve been to conference centers that look at the gender makeup of their attendees and relabel the restrooms to better accommodate the percentages. To me, that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Citi field the new bathrooms are exactly the same size even though it’s about 5:1 more men. Would it be stereotyping to assume that sports stadiums have more male guests than female.abd that’s private industry. I’m talking specifically about publicly funded facilities like rest stops. Privately owned companies can do whatever they want. Things paid by tax payer dollars require different considerations

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  7. A few years ago I was amused by the fact that the mens line was actually longer than the women’s at the Mountain Winery right after they remodeled. I’m not sure how many receptacles were in each restroom. We joked that the men should “share” but I guess that’s not a thing they do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There used to be a case made for the reasonable person argument. But now, I see a lot of things that don’t make sense to me, and there’s lots of things I don’t consider reasonable. You can’t define common sense, and that’s where the problem starts

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I believe women’s restrooms need more stalls than men. It’s common sense. Also, at the park by our beach vacation the state built car charging facilities. This is at a park in a town of 1,700 people that everyone walks to the park and there are literally no cars in the parking lot.

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  9. In Florida, we have “potty parity” meaning if the men’s room has 2 stalls & 2 urinals, then the ladies room has to have 4 stalls. Unisex rooms are on the rise for many reasons including transgender. As for me, if I’m in a place that has one stall/ room for each gender, I have no hesitation in going into the men’s. Never had a problem…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. Meaning it is often normal for their to be lag between systems (policies, rules, laws, etc) and culture. And the inverse is true. When there is clear evidence that a new way of doing things is needed, in this case larger restrooms for those that self-identify as women, and then more gender-neutral restrooms for those that thusly self-identified, policies need to catch up. Supply larger bathrooms and more bathrooms to fill the need….

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree that life isn’t fair and equality is an illusion. But we keep trying to make it so…this is sort of my way of showing you that things can’t always be legislated and nothing is ever going to be fair and equal, but to treat people truly equally, the exact same thing must be done for all. We can’t have it both ways

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Public restrooms in the US in general are are a joke in the first place. Why on Earth have we decided that one of the most taboo things we do as humans (as in people really don’t like or want to talk about the bodily functions involved in what goes on in a restroom), is also done in a way that feels the most uncomfortable with a forced sharing of the experience with the way public restrooms are designed.

    That is the biggest issue here. We have these semi-open spaces that we are forced to share with others. Instead, why don’t we have individual rooms (even if they are tiny), not horrible stalls, that anyone can use and are closed off to others? That would eliminate the entire issue of who as a right to use which room. And if you had a room or two designated as a generic baby changing station or room, you also help out those dads that need to take care of their babies and aren’t always able to because men’s rooms are still way behind the times on having those spaces available to them.

    In your example, since there wasn’t a line for the men’s room, if there had been the same total number of spaces available to either men or women, the chances of a line at all might have been down to nothing or at least greatly reduced. If we just did a better job of designing these spaces in the first place, there would be no question of which gender should get more space because the entirety of the space is open to everyone. Except in a way that you don’t have to stare at your neighbor’s feet, or have someone peek through the crack in the door as they walk by, or hear that your neighbor isn’t having a great day digestively all while you are trying to pee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am 100% for gender neutral individual stalls in all establishments. With doors that clearly show whether or not they are occupied. You should try to find a public bathroom in NYC…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry about the testing…I typed a comment, but when I hit post, I got a “sorry, but this comment couldn’t be posted notice! Not sure why. All I said was that there seems to be much longer lines in the women’s rooms than the men’s and that once I attended a concert where the audience was mostly women and we took over a few of the men’s rooms. Now I’m wondering if this comment will be posted!

    Liked by 1 person

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