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Old 01-19-2006, 09:23 AM   #1
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Potty Parity

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20060119...E0BHNlYwN0bWE-

The battleground for women's rights is expanding from the boardroom to the bathroom, and a serious legislative initiative nicknamed "potty parity" is giving new meaning to the term "separate but equal."

The new push, which is quietly making its way into construction standards around the world, says restrooms should provide two to three times as many "outlets" for women as for men. In that sense, "potty parity" bills offer women more than parity: It may finally trim the long lines for women's rooms at theaters, stadiums, and highway rest stops...


Perhaps surprisingly, the voice behind many recent legal initiatives on this issue in the United States is decidedly masculine. John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the self-anointed "father of potty parity," estimates that about a dozen states and local jurisdictions across the country have passed laws requiring higher ratios of women's to men's toilets in new construction projects. During the previous month, legislatures in such far-flung locales as Hong Kong and Singapore have also signed on to versions of potty parity.

"I'm pushing the idea of filing federal complaints, in other words, making a federal case out of potty parity," Professor Banzhaf says. He argues that to ignore potty parity "constitutes a form of sex discrimination ... and violates the constitutional tenet of equal protection."

Banzhaf and his law student acolytes have seen a great deal of success and remarkably little resistance since they began working on the issue in the early 1990s. He and his team have had plenty of practice in other legal arenas: Banzhaf has worked on major cases against tobacco firms and fast-food restaurants, even going so far as to throw the book at "discriminatory" nightclubs that provide free drinks to women on ladies' nights.

The Women's Restroom Equity Bill, unanimously approved by the New York City Council last May, requires public facilities to uphold a 2-to-1 ratio of women's to men's toilets. The measure, which replaced a 1984 law requiring a 1-to-1 ratio, applies to all new public structures as well as renovations costing more than 50 percent of the value of the building.

"It would have only been a woman who would have embraced this issue, because men don't suffer those same types of struggles around this," says Councilwoman Yvette Clarke (D) of Brooklyn, chief sponsor of the legislation. "There's a conditioning that happens to young women and children because people just accept [waiting in line for the bathroom] as just the way it is."
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:31 AM   #2
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2:1 ratio seems more fair considering women will usually have the younger children along (and also use the restroom for diaper changes or breast feeding) and women need to use restrooms more often when on their periods. However, I wouldn't really equate this issue to "suffering" or "discriminitory". Sure I've had to wait in line to use restrooms, but I can't remember the last time it was a big deal to me. After learning (yes, it takes multiple tries to get it right) to use some of the "toilet" facilities in Africa, I will NEVER complain about having to wait in line!
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:35 AM   #3
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They'll be a lot of opposition to this from building owners. The formula to calculate how many "outlets" are required, gets enough criticism already.
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:39 AM   #4
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This wouldn't be necessary and lines would be shorter if women didn't make going to the bathroom a social event by going in groups.
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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This is a problem when you try to legislate equality by formula. You can arrive at different conclusions of "equality" based on the metric used. For example, is equality achieved when male/female bathrooms have: (i) equal number of square feet, (ii) equal number of toilets, or (iii) suficient facilities to equalize waiting times?? With each metric you get a different result.

Also mentioned in the article was the concept of "free drinks to women on ladies' nights". Again, depending on the metric, free drinks could enhance equality (promote attendance by women in otherwise male dominated nightclub) or diminish equality (men pay, women don't).
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:28 AM   #6
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California has had a law like this for years applying to new buildings. It's wonderful to actually have the time to pee during intermission.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:50 PM   #7
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I fly in and out of San Diego a lot and in the terminal I frequent the women's bathroom has like 4 stalls and at any given time there are about 15 women waiting in a line that extends outside the door and actually blocks the entrance to the men's room nextdoor that never has a line. That's the one time it really bugs me because making a quick run to the bathroom before your flight is generally not possible.

2:1
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I fly in and out of San Diego a lot and in the terminal I frequent the women's bathroom has like 4 stalls and at any given time there are about 15 women waiting in a line that extends outside the door and actually blocks the entrance to the men's room nextdoor that never has a line. That's the one time it really bugs me because making a quick run to the bathroom before your flight is generally not possible.

2:1



the San Diego men's room is just as tiny.

but that's neither here nor there, just thought i'd share ...
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
This is a problem when you try to legislate equality by formula. You can arrive at different conclusions of "equality" based on the metric used. For example, is equality achieved when male/female bathrooms have: (i) equal number of square feet, (ii) equal number of toilets, or (iii) suficient facilities to equalize waiting times?? With each metric you get a different result.
Of all the things to play the empiricist on!

P.S. I vote for (iii).
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:36 PM   #10
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Several years ago, I went to see the old Pope when he visited LA. Long story short, many many women were lined up to use the can at the local McDonald's. We decided to start using the men's room as well. It was so delightful to make the male cop go all the way to the back of the line and wait like the rest of us.
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

the San Diego men's room is just as tiny.

but that's neither here nor there, just thought i'd share ...
Yes I'm sure it is--the whole terminal is very small and crowded, I often can't even find a chair--but I have never seen a line coming out of the men's room while I have almost never not seen a line for the women's room. That was my only point--that yes, women's bathrooms need to be bigger with more stalls.

*wondering if I've ever sat next to Irvine at the San Diego airport*
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:40 PM   #12
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speaking of bathrooms

Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl



*wondering if I've ever sat next to Irvine at the San Diego airport*
could have inducted each other into the mile high club

or not
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:15 PM   #13
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Re: speaking of bathrooms

Quote:
Originally posted by deep


could have inducted each other into the mile high club

or not
What makes you so sure we're not already members?




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Old 01-19-2006, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
*wondering if I've ever sat next to Irvine at the San Diego airport*


have you ever sat next to a man who looked kind of like a combination of the following:



the distinctive features and perfectly messy hairstyle of ...





with the innocent old soul eyes of ...





plus the pysique of ...





all topped (ahem) off with that elusive je-ne-sais-quoi sexiness of ...




???



if so, please introduce me.







in reality, only been through San Diego a couple of times. love it there, though, and will be back in early September.
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

Also mentioned in the article was the concept of "free drinks to women on ladies' nights".
That was just done to make women have to stand in line to use the restroom m=even more. It's an evil plot I tell you!
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