Saturday, February 11, 2006

Parity for Women

After a couple of hours of intense badminton, I was in the men's locker room along with a few friends, getting ready to hit the showers when this woman, a lady who looked around 24-ish, entered. All the guys momentarily froze as the woman, who appeared to be lost in her own thoughts, continued walking. Then she suddenly stopped, looked up, and then after a pause, murmured sheephishly, "I am in the wrong locker room, ain't I?"

One jock sauntered over and replied, "Depends on whose point of view."

She laughed nervously before backtracking and exiting the room. I have never seen a woman walk in a reverse direction so fast before. Afterwards we were laughing and joking about it.

Women can do, and get away with doing, certain things. If a guy had entered the women's locker room "in error", he could be spending the night in jail.

Few of my friends are completing teacher's training courses to be able to teach in Ontario's schools. As part of their training, many of them had to spend hours 'on the job', as substitute teachers or assistant teachers. One of the things they tell me is that many male teachers are shy of taking playground duties where young kids are involved. If a young girl falls down and hurts herself, they don't want to be in a situation where they would have to help her up (and if she is injured help in first aid) and later be accused of improper contact. Some overzealous parents have at times accused many a teacher of such an act when all he may have been doing was give the student a hug (actions that a female teacher can do to her young wards without nary a thought). One cannot blame the parents, with incidents of perverts taking up teaching to be around young kids getting huge media attention in recent times, they err on the side of caution.

When talking about parity between genders, after achieving suffrage, fighting job discrimination, obtaining maternity leave, it seems Canadian women have always had one complaint. Toilets. Yes, it appears some washrooms (particularly men's) are more equal than others.

Stall tactic brings potty parity for women

Canada has always headed the progressive moment, and it appears there is a 2-for-1 rule here - which implies for every 1 stall for men, there has to be 2 stalls for women. Potty parity has arrived and it's sweeping the nation. From Toronto to Fredericton, equal access to washrooms in public buildings is being legislated, and where it's not being legislated, a new generation of builders and architects is recommending their clients build it in. All because, apparently, women take longer to go (75 seconds to 41 seconds).

And how did women protest the so-called 'inequality of washrooms' so far? Why, they went to the men's ofcourse.

Which brings me back to my first story. Maybe our gym should soon be looking to enlargen the women's locker rooms soon.



Aisha said...

lol @ the story fo the woman. You're right there's a double standard on a particualr gender walking in on the bathroom.. but considering we are on the rotten end of many deals... it's still not equal :)

Masti-boy said...

75 seconds vs 41 seconds

WOW. Is that door to door time or actual event time?

mezba said...

Time is I guess for the person 'to go'.
That would be entering the stall and exiting.

Zainub said...

Agree completely with Aisha!

Here in Pakistan, some times they completely forget to build bathrooms for ladies, or in some places anyway, Like in one of the enclosures of the National Stadium, here in Karachi.

One of my school mates was so pissed off at finding there was no ladies bathroom in her enclosure that she headed straight into the men's, gave the men there a big lecture about what a great injustice this was, used the tap for doing wadu, and then stormed off.