KEMI Badenoch, Conservative leadership hopeful and one-time Equalities Minister, announced before the Government imploded that all new public buildings must have separate male and female toilets.
So far, so sensible. Alas, private businesses are going ahead with unisex toilets. Where gender neutral loos have been installed to great fanfare, such as the refurbished Lloyd’s Building in London and various West End theatres, the queues to the women’s toilets always get longer.
My recent experiences in two unisex loos in an otherwise blameless English cathedral city raised the question of how long women are going to tolerate this offensive male takeover of their once safe female space.
The noisome and dirty reality of these hastily relabelled ‘unisex loos frankly falls into the ‘too much information’ category to describe. Suffice it to say that anyone who has suffered the descent of teenage boys on to their homes for the weekend will have a good idea of what’s in store for those up for braving these new choiceless domains.
The fact is that few women are prepared for men walking into or coming out of the loo door, nor for the mess, sound and smells that goes with this ‘sharing’ imposition. It’s as disturbing and threatening as it is embarrassing.
The question is if enough women complain sufficiently vocally, consistently and persistently about the mess men leave behind for women to navigate, is there a chance the good old Ladies’ Powder Room might be reprieved?