A group of college girls stormed a bathroom in Guangzhou’s Yuexiu Park yesterday, to Occupy a male toilet in the name of gender equality and shorter wait times for female toilets. Female co-eds carried signs saying “Greater ‘convenience’ for women, greater equality between the sexes”, a line which references the Chinese euphemism for relieving oneself.
The demonstration was reportedly organized by Li Maizi, the pseudonym of a Beijinger currently studying in Xi’an, who was in Guangzhou to attend a conference. Some girls milled about outside the male bathroom at Yuexiu Park, while others lined up next to men in order to go number 1 and 2 for the sake of their sisters around China.
Baidu Beat has the scoop on the potty protest:
In the letter Li Maizi addressed to all men, Li went on to explain that while the number of stalls available for men and women are equal in most public bathrooms, men are often blessed with having the same number of additional urinals. Therefore, women’s bathrooms usually have only half of the men’s lavatory capacity.
She also pointed out in the letter that women take more than twice the amount of time on average to “finish their business” compared to male counterparts due to physiological differences.
Li strongly believes that the country should immediately introduce a new nation-wide legislation to dictate at least 1:2 bathroom stall construction ratio for men and women, and commission more non-gender specific bathrooms close to lavatories that cannot be refurbished.
The protest leaders’ next stop is to occupy the toilet halls of power in Beijing. Though it’s a relatively minor issue, it’s encouraging to see Chinese students shedding the apolitical and apathetic label by demonstrating and organizing the sort of campus actions that are the norm in colleges elsewhere in the world. The Toil for Toilet Equality begins!