Tag Archives: gender neutral toilets

11 June 2017 in Toilets | Stories from India, the USA, the UK and Australia

First up, Australia, and one of this blog’s trustworthy repeat stories – the crazy things that people flush down their toilets. News.com.au ran a story about a plumber in Darwin and the things he’s found blocking toilets, which include: “dead cats, dirty underwear, sex toys, chain mail butcher’s gloves and soiled nappies”. Apparently, children frequently get embarrassed about having accidents in their underwear and flush them to hide the evidence and this frequently causes the plumber to have to be called.

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Chris Murphy, the Darwin plumber interviewed for this story, with the live cat he rescued from a toilet – photo from NT News by Glenn Campbell

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And now to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in the UK, where the Sunday Express reports on the controversy around a secondary school’s decision to provide gender neutral/unisex bathrooms for their students in an attempt to be inclusive of students of all modes of gender expression.

Apparently parents (especially of female students) are objecting to the change, principally using the argument that girls will be too afraid of bullying to use the toilets with boys present while they’re menstruating and that each cubicle would have to be fitted with individual tampon machines so that girls could procure these without the boys seeing. If that really is the main argument, then it would appear that the boys’ parents need to do a better job of educating their children about menstruation, but I suspect that that isn’t the only reason behind the objections.

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We’re still in the UK, where Wigan Today reports that a website “Cruising Gays” which lists cruising spots for gay men (places where men can look for other men to have anonymous sex) has ranked the toilets at Wigan Wallgate railway station as the best for anonymous hook-ups in the region. Congratulations?

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A racism row has been reported on CBS’s Dallas-Fort Worth site about the small town of Paris Texas, where signs proclaiming “Negro Toilets” with explanatory notes about the Civil Rights Act, which were erected next to the site of what were formerly racially segregated toilets have been removed. Apparently, the were erected in an effort to educate about the racist past, but the wording has served to offend and reinforce and so they have been removed.

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The offending signs. Photo from CBS DFW, by Brenda Cherry

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Finally, to India, where a court row about two toilets in Bangalore has been resolved after 36 years according to the Bangalore Mirror. The two toilets were built in 1981 by one family. The woman next door claimed that the toilets blocked her right of way between the two houses and demanded that they be demolished so she could access the laneway between the houses. The court rejected her argument, stating that she could not establish that she had a right of way there. However, they also ordered that the toilets be demolished anyway, as they were  taking support from the complainant’s house.  So everyone’s a loser!

Spray, don’t wipe; no toilet, no wedding; and a church toilet for all

The first story today isn’t really news, but I enjoyed it, so here we are. Global Indonesian Voices includes a story today about why Indonesians just don’t like pooing in Europe or America because there is no sprayer attached to the loo and they are expected to use “dry toilet paper to clean away fecal matter”, which apparently grosses them out and doesn’t leave them feeling clean.

The story discusses different traditions around arse-cleaning, and in one of my favourite paragraphs I’ve ever read, explains the differences’ source in weather and history. “As human are creatures of habit, a habit that had been embedded for eons will be definitely hard to change—the using of water for Indonesians is deeply ingrained.It’s very unlikely for the Northerners to bring their bottom down into the icy water. The Southerners, on the other hand, could enjoy indulging themselves to the feel of flowing water brushed against the glutes.”

Brush your glutes with flowing water today, go on. Live a little.

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The campaign to end open defecation in India won religious support this weekend. The Times of India reports that maulvis and muftis (muslim officials) in the provinces of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab will now refuse to solemnise marriages in houses with no toilet. Reading about this necessary campaign day after day does make me feel sorry for communities who have change inflicted on them like this. There seems to be a lot more stick than carrot involved in India’s great toilet revolution.

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And finally, to Liverpool, where The Echo is reporting on a church renovation. The Anglican St Brides apparently prides itself on its inclusivity and welcomes LGBTQIA members. To this end, the new “unisex toilets will ensure inclusivity for visitors of all abilities and gender identities”.

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The planned exterior of St. Bride’s Church – photo from The Liverpool Echo

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Comfort toilets, gender-neutral toilets to get their day in the Supreme Court and an impractical urinal

One of the things I love about writing this blog is the amount of exposure I get to local newspapers. Today’s Reading Eagle includes an “Ask the Plumber” column about comfort toilets. The elderly and people of limited mobility sometimes have toilets installed that are a few inches taller and easier to sit on than typical toilets. The Reading Eagle’s resident plumber is pleased to inform you that no special piping is needed for these toilets.

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Yahoo News reports that  the battle for access to appropriate toilets for transgender people is set to get its day in the US Supreme Court. The case of Gavin Grimm, who is a 17-year-old transgender man who wishes to be allowed to use the boys’ bathroom in his high school in Virginia. The case is set to be heard on March 28th.

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Finally today, a photo of an impractical and uncomfortable-looking  public toilet from the “You Had One Job” Pinterest page.

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Photo from Pinterest

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Swiss cinema toilets, overflowing train toilets, Steven Gerrard and a regressive petition

In Zurich, you can go to the toilet while at the cinema while not missing any of the movie. There are screens set into the bathroom floors in front of the toilets so you don’t have to miss a minute while you poo!

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Cinema toilets – photo from 9GAG

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The Pune Mirror reports on what sounds like a horrendous train journey where travellers had to go from Pune to Chandrigarh (1853 kms) with a toilet that was overflowing so badly that urine was flowing across the floor of the toilets. Apparently, the problem arose because of passengers trying to flush all kinds of rubbish down the toilets and no action was taken by railway staff to remedy the problem for the whole journey.

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The urine-covered floor of the train – from the Pune Mirror

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I know nothing about football. Like nothing. But The Sun reports that Steven Gerrard could possibly be named Liverpool manager, a remarkable piece of progress considering he started out cleaning the club’s staff toilets. I can’t find any corroborating evidence for this elsewhere – Wikipedia says that he started out as a youth player, but who am I to question The Sun? Steven Gerrard started out as a humble toilet cleaner.

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A petition to ban gender-neutral toilets in schools in the UK claims that boys and girls in schools with gender-neutral toilets are afraid to use them and that it’s becoming a health issue. The petition only has 528 signatures, and it needs 10,000 in order to bring about a government response, so it’s unlikely to go anywhere, which is good.

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If you enjoy Today in Toilets, please consider donating to my Patreon.