Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Temporary relief?


TWO Victorian public lavatories for women are being given Grade II listed status to ‘in recognition of their role in helping release women from the home’. 

Historic England said they were important in breaking the bondage faced by women who were not provided with the same facilities as men, and were forced to stay close to home by the ‘urinary leash’.

Debbie Mays of Historic England said: ‘The appearance of toilets like these (at Berwick upon-Tweed and Seaburn, Tyne and Wear) represented the gradual opening up of a world of new leisure and work opportunities previously unavailable to women.’

It is good to hear of other, more plausible reasons for women’s ‘bondage’ apart from nasty husbands and enormous families – tyrannical men and the ‘tyranny of the womb’ – but will Historic England allow these women’s toilets to be used by males who identify as females? If so, a ‘world of new leisure and work opportunities’ may be abruptly closed, and these magnificent Victorian edifices will have offered women only temporary refuge and relief.

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Ann Farmer
Ann Farmer
Ann Farmer is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Movement (Catholic University of America, 2008).

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