Friday, May 25, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Rose Russell

What women want: more toilets

I won't be a frequent visitor to the new downtown baseball stadium to see the Mud Hens play, not that anybody will miss me.

I don't especially care for baseball, or football, or basketball, or golf - you get the picture. Some of you might wonder whether I really am American because I could live without sports, what with that apple pie and baseball thing and all.

It's just that I can't quite figure out why young boys and grown men - really, I know girls benefit from sports, too, but still it's largely male dominated - enjoy hitting a ball with an elongated piece of wood or metal; dunking a big ball into a bottomless net; hitting a little white ball across the landscape, or kicking the oddest-shaped-looking thing that also is called a ball across a field.

Of course I've been to various ball games, though none of them makes a whole lot of sense to me.

But I may be dragged by my family or my colleagues to a baseball game in the new downtown stadium.

If and whenever I am and there is a crowd in attendance, I hope not to have to stand in line too long to use the restroom facilities.

Women know what I mean.

Men who attend ball games and concerts at arenas and similarly hulking venues with their wives, girlfriends, sisters, or daughters do, too.

And ditto for the new arena, whenever - and wherever - it is constructed. Nevertheless, a new arena is important for Toledo, even if I won't attend events there regularly.

But again, if I do, I want to be able to get in and out of the ladies' room, and the only way to do that is for it to have plenty of toilets.

One can admire that the Chicago City Council may alleviate women's plight by increasing the number of toilets for women at large public gatherings, as the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Windy City's city council is considering a proposal that would increase the number of toilets required for women at new or substantially renovated “public places of assembly.” Such places include arenas, theaters, malls, and churches, nightclubs, and large restaurants.

Chicago women are delighted about the proposal. They should be. Women everywhere would be pleased for their hometown - hint, hint - to consider and enact similar measures.

“I wonder if men had to wait in long lines whether they would have solved this problem sooner,” a retired Chicago teacher said.

Of course men would have solved the problem long ago. See how quickly they get in and out of the bathroom at sporting events?

But the restaurateurs in Chicago are not happy about the proposal. They argue that they shouldn't be grouped with facilities that accommodate hundreds and thousands of people. They are right. Women hardly, if ever, complain about long lines in restaurant restrooms.

But we complain about long lines outside female facilities at stadiums and arenas. Just watch to see little girls dance around and adult women wiggle while standing in line waiting for their turn at an event where hundreds or thousands are in attendance.

In fact, when desperate, one way women get relief is to have the husband make sure the men's room is clear, and post him to guard the men's room door while we use those facilities.

Please. Don't tell me that I'm the only female who has ever had to resort to that. Women will be very unhappy if they find that will be the strategy they must resort to on their few trips to the new Mud Hens' stadium or to the new arena.

Perhaps Chicago will set the example - hint, hint, Toledo - and pass its proposal to increase the number of public restrooms for women.

While they're at it, they should make sure the “water closets” are large enough to allow women to maneuver around in.

It's bad enough having to wait in long lines to use the bathroom. It's that much worse not being able to move about in the stalls with a reasonable amount of comfort.

An Orchard Lake, Mich. man on a trip to Chicago told the newspaper that it would be helpful to have more toilets in women's restrooms “because they have a little more to do.”

Indeed we do.

Rose Russell is a Blade associate editor.

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