Restroom Lines: Why Women Shouldn't Have To Wait

   By drodriguez  May 12, 2010

Women who work in federal buildings may rest a little easier soon if the "Potty Parity Act" passes through the legislature.  The bill is designed to require the number of toilets in a federal building to at least equal the number of male restrooms.  Many of the federal buildings constructed before 1980 lack an equal number of women's restrooms. 

 The Washington Post recently reported about the "Potty Parity" bill that is now going before the House.  Representative of the bill, Edolphus Towns, explained the problem during testimony.  Towns said, "I am certain that every woman in this room has frequently experienced the inconvenience, as well as the discomfort, caused by an insufficient number of women's restroom facilities."

Over the years more and more women have entered the workforce, but  a good deal of federal and office buildings have failed to keep up with the increase of women employees by adding extra restrooms.  People who support the bill have argued that lack of women's restrooms is not only an inconvenience, it can also lead to health problems.  Abdominal pains, cystitis, and urinary tract infections are just a few of the issues that can occur or be aggravated by waiting in long restroom lines daily. 

Architecture professor, Kathryn Anthony, argues that being forced to wait in long restroom lines is also a form of gender bias.  Though the bill only calls for the equal number of restrooms, some argue that the number of women's restrooms should exceed the number of men's rooms in all commercial buildings.  The reasoning is that women need access to restrooms more frequently and for longer amounts of time than men due to physiological reasons like menstruation and pregnancy.

Rep. Darrell Issa, co-sponsor of the bill, has admitted that the bill should take into consideration that fact that some federal buildings, like the Pentagon, are filled predominantly with male employees and may not need to add restrooms for women.

What do you think of the "Potty Parity Act"?

Do you think that being forced to wait in long restroom lines is a form of gender bias?  Should there be more restrooms for women in all buildings because we need to access them more frequently?

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LilyLex by LilyLex | New York, NY
Jul 14, 2010

AWESOME! Us women go way more then men. & more restroom would be wonderful, but our next mission is keeping them clean. I hate nasty bathrooms, makes me wanna wait till i get home.

nadinenreyes by nadinenreyes | RIVERSIDE, CA
Jun 18, 2010

That is funny. I also think it's women's excuse to check themselves out again, ha ha! In my organization or meetings that I attend, there's usually an extra restroom for women. They just add the "WO" to "MEN." My husband also complained there was a full isle of women's bags in a department store, different sizes and colors, but nothing for him. He just had to go from store to store and ahhh.. finally found a simple, black luggage at Staples!

jh0816 by jh0816 | DULUTH, GA
Jun 12, 2010

This reminds me of a teacher we had in elementary school who got in trouble for being a witch about not letting kids go to the bathroom. That can cause big health problems!

beingtazim by beingtazim | North Vancouver, OU
May 28, 2010

women have smaller bladders, remember!

magpie75 by magpie75 | Fullerton, CA
May 27, 2010

My workplace has an equal number of stalls in the men's and women's bathrooms. But the ration of women to men in the building is about 8 to 1. What should be done for this type of situation?

yanks4me by yanks4me | CLERMONT, FL
May 26, 2010

I think we should always have more bathrooms.It does take us longer to do our "business",and we always have the kids with us! We have to change diapers,maneuver strollers,and they always seem to make the stalls were we have to squeeze in! They need to make huge bathrooms for women-with big enough stalls.

julecoc by julecoc | Ada, OK
May 24, 2010

I think there should always be more women bathrooms than men's- for the shear fact it takes us longer to do our business LOL. though I am not sure that this should be regulated by the government... it should just be common sense when drafting the construction of a building.

Krysta by Krysta | Lima, NY
May 24, 2010

I can not think of any where i have been in my life except on a navy base as a kid that there were not equal numbers of ladies rooms. I can not imagian being/working in a building where there were more mens rooms. When I was growing up on military bases we used to check to see that the mens "head" was empty and then we would take turnes while somone "stood guard". In college we had CoEd rest rooms in the dorms and it was weird to see feet pointed the other direction but other than that it was never an issue.......MY QUESTION why do we need the government to dictate restroom issues?????

ChefAnga by ChefAnga | Fallbrook, CA
May 20, 2010

I can not believe that something so trivial would go before the House of Representatives! It seems like overkill. Does it really need to be passed in a bill?

LoopyLooop by LoopyLooop | New York, NY
May 20, 2010

New buildings do have equal bathrooms, but not old buildings. I've been in old city government buildings that have small ladies rooms stashed in corners, while there are multiple mens room, much closer to central areas. Time to update the toilets and bring them into the 21st century, along with everything else!

Macrina by Macrina | Albany, OR
May 19, 2010

Perhaps a reasonable solution would be to equalize the number of female and male restrooms, and add more family/unisex restrooms to deal with the children issue.

Orchid25 by Orchid25 | RINGGOLD, GA
May 19, 2010

I didn't know about places having less female restrooms. Everywhere I have worked has had the same ammount. But yes I agree there should be the same ammount or even more female restrooms. I know I would hate to wait in line while being pregnant, also female restrooms in public places can get too busy because not only is it women, it's their children too. Usually the female brings the child (either boy or girl) into the female restroom while the man does not so there definitely needs to be more restrooms for the female.

dmelton0516 by dmelton0516 | cuyahoga falls, OH
May 19, 2010

I would agree the stalls need to become larger and more place should be required to have more restrooms in general. Places were there are alot of people you could stand in line for a long time, and when you get in there the toilet is dirty and there isnt any soap they also needs to be takin care of

supermommy828 by supermommy828 | plainfield, IL
May 19, 2010

i think this this is well overdue! women sometimes need more time in the restroom to do their business. and also perhaps more larger size stalls (like handicapped) for potty training children or children that can't go in by themselves yet

mommy2all by mommy2all | Longwood, FL
May 19, 2010

Everywhere you go the men's room line is pretty much non-existent and the ladies' room line is wrapped around the building especially at public events. I have dared to enter the men's room with my husband as my bodyguard in desperate situations!