Firstly, it’s ‘International Women’s Day!’ in tribute to which we’re looking at… Unisex/Gender Neutral Toilets vs Alternatives ie Women’s Urinals. I appreciate that virus’ may be front of mind at the moment, but hygiene and sanitation are very closely linked, having been the cause of millions of deaths and diseases over the centuries. I have long pondered, and previously written about, how a solution (or solutions) could be found to save ladies from queuing for public conveniences, and save water, and make it an acceptable, even a pleasant, experience etc. I thought I’d had an improbable ‘eureka’ moment given the experts out there, and when I suggested to my wife that we needed to come up with an attractive and functional ‘women’s urinal‘. I rambled on for some time, then drew an illustration of what I was thinking and then… figuring this could be a game-changer, started double checking on google and other media to see what is out there right now or how any previous ideas had been received. Now it’s all become a lot clearer and so a brief overview of what appears to be happening, or not… As an addendum, we just spotted an article in the Evening Standard by Lezlie Lowe, published 5th June 2020, entitled, ‘As lockdown eases we need to talk about toilets.’ Well worth reading as she’s researched the subject far more than we, and do buy her book too, ‘No Place To Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs.’
It seems that although U/GN toilets have sprung up here and there, the majority of women (2/3rds according to a recent GreenFlushTechnology survey) do not want to share with men, for reasons those exact women will know without me explaining. One also has to consider religion too, where gender neutral loos are strictly verboten. So, if within the current space, the mix was able to be no 1s & no 2s separately and together (and accommodate disability) then theoretically the no 1s become a 90 second stop, and that added option speeds up the whole process and reduces queuing time. Another plus is, that with certain companies out there, you can get waterless and odourless urinals, as we’ve discussed in posts before. There are a number of personal care products that could be used too, which I’ll get back to later. But really what we’re seeking is to fix the problem in all public toilets, offices, theatres and other such venues where this is an issue, and a classic example is concerts and those well known and historically awful portable loos!
The emergence, and hopefully acceptance of attractive, well thought out, functional and friendly women’s urinals really does appear to be a way forward though ideally women should simply have more toilets vs men. Certainly in preference to sharing with the blokes and all that comes to mind in that regard. It’s a serious consideration, and to attract interest from the pioneers it’s thrown up some less ‘industrial or off putting‘ terms, with brand names about the subject of ‘SheWee’ including; Lapee, Madame Pee [the best so far], Ms Whizz [nb. rather to the point] Pollee by UiWe Christian Pagh, and another of the originators of the idea Marian Loth‘s, Lady P which she designed 22 years ago! In a recent conversation with Marian she replied, ‘Thank you Mark for your message, it has been 22 years ago that I designed Lady P, it still can happen, and I still believe in it, good luck, best Marian.’ All that goes before we get into the [Amazon] list of personal care solutions and accessories… such as GoGirl, PeeBuddy & Tinkle Belle.
You can click on all or any of the above links to discover or learn more. We like a) Madame Pee and b) Lapee best so far, a) has a better solution for inside and b) for the outside (events etc.) However, the disposable pack is an option too, ‘ Dada Dada‘ – the female urination funnel with surprising results.’ Joan Thatiah writes about it in Daily Nation but not sure that many women would be comfortable using it if they had another option available.
Continuing with the women’s urinal idea, what needs to be incorporated in the designs are; privacy, waterless and odourless systems, toilet paper & bin, handbag hook, attractive and comfortable urinal (albeit the majority prefer to hover) anti splash, attractive design and surroundings, hygienic (eco-friendly / biodegradable) spray or wipes for surfaces and ideally a way to stop your clothes touching the floor. Have we missed anything, and would that scenario be an option for you? We’d love your feedback!
Assuming you’ve all heard of PooPourri by now, the pre poop spray to keep the odours away, and what companies such as Urimat and Uridan do for mens urinals (which are similar solutions to the odour + the added benefit of not using water) could easily be part of the women’s urinal designs too. So surely the answer must be closer than the nearest public toilet! We’ll keep on this topic and ensure any updates get passed on and flagged up. Our end game is to make a difference and we hope help towards resolving an age old problem which in these times should be addressed asap. Do read the recent article [Oct 2019] from Clara Greed via Rose George’s brilliant blog and this one in WIRED by Natasha Bernal. Also, we’d recommend a couple more articles 1. from the BBC back in 2017 ‘Would you use a women’s urinal?‘ 2. ‘Out in 90 seconds…‘ from the South China Morning Post, and 3. ‘Why Cities Need to Install Female Urinals‘ from HuffPost.
Finally, just to bring that soothing, luxurious feeling back into the subject, we love how onehundredrestrooms based in Amsterdam are ‘working towards a new standard in public restrooms‘. Maybe adding the perfect female urinal could just be the icing on the cake!? We’ll be back next week with ‘The DailyPoo!‘
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