Monday, April 10, 2006

Female Urinals?

I had always heard rumors about urinals in the women's restrooms in the basement of the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M. It wasn't until my senior year that the rumors were confirmed by my friend Brittany who had never used those particular restrooms but was eager to investigate them for me. Of course the rumor that I heard was not only that there were urinals, but that they were specially designed female urinals. Without getting too graphic, Brittany told me that these urinals could probably be used as such. I thought that was pretty progressive for a school that is typically saddled with being resistant to changing times. I suppose that I should have applied Occam's Razor before jumping to my conclusions and made the connection with the not too distant all-male history of the university. But for the better part of eight years, I have believed that the urinals in the MSC were put there but forward thinking administrators. Why shouldn't I? I had an eyewitness who couldn't come up with a better explanation herself.

That all changed today when I read this story from the San Francisco Chronicle about this very topic. Of course the truth of the matter is that all of the oldest universities in the country were chartered for males and so the plumbing was installed with that in mind. It is merely economics and not progressive thinking that has resulted in urinals in women's restrooms at Texas A&M as well as many other schools. Apparently it just costs too much to remove the urinals. Although the argument of economics does seem rather silly, it also makes sense in institutions that claim to always be underfunded and looking for more money to educate their students and maintain their campuses. I can see how removing a few dormant urinals would be a back burner renovation. Of course, it would be a very important issue to me if I were forced to wait in the stereotypical long lines while the unused urinals were taking up valuable plumbing. In fact, I'd be pretty pissed off!

2 comments:

Bubba's Sis said...

Pissed off - har har!

I'm still trying to figure out how a woman would use a urinal....

katielady said...

I, too, have seen the female urinals, but at Kyle Field. It was in a stall, and was not a typical 'wall urinal' as is common in the men's room, but stuck out from the wall like a toilet, but with this crazy long piece sticking out and no seat. I guess the idea is to pull your pants down and squat, which is what most women do anyway (which drives me crazy, but that's another topic for another post). So I wouldn't say they are taking up valuable plumbing, but it WAS a stall that most women in that particular bathroom were avoiding.