Local News

Potty Parity May Make Its Way to New Public Buildings

Posted March 20, 2007

At lunchtime at Mitch's Tavern, there's plenty of good food and drink to go around. But sometimes, that can lead to some long lines at the women’s restroom.

“I don't know if it's discrimination to say that women take up more time in a restroom,” said owner Mitch Hazouri. “I don't know what they're doing, but they take up more time.”

“It's a drag to have to stand in line that long,” said customer Andrea Atkin.

That’s the reason for a new state bill that would require new public buildings or public places undergoing major renovation to have twice as many stalls for women as men.

“There are huge lines of women a lot of times waiting to get in the restroom, and the guys just walk in and out,” said Sen. Janet Cowell, D-Wake. “I stood in a line 50 women deep that took about 35 minutes to get through, and that was the moment I was going to file this bill.”

The State Fairgrounds exhibition space is flush with new johns for Janes. Fair Manager Wesley Wyatt said the new Martin Building has 32 women’s stalls, compared to nine stalls for men.

“What we have done has made sense for us,” Wyatt said.

Hazouri said he understands the motivation behind the legislation.

“Women frequently dictate where one goes out to eat and where one goes for entertainment, so it's good to satisfy them,” he said.

The bill now goes to a Senate committee and then possibly to the full General Assembly later in the year.

If the bill becomes a ladies-room law, Mitch's Tavern would just roll on with its two toilets in the women's restroom. But places planning renovation might have to add stalls for girls, and that could wash away owners’ bottom lines.

“Personally, I think you should just go unisex,” said customer Judy Austin. “Then I don't think it would be a problem at all.”

Several states already have bathroom equity laws, including California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.


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  • 07_Bama_Resi Mar 23, 2007

    I'm a female & laughed very hard at this! Are you kidding me. YES, indeed, it sucks major jiney to have to stand in line at the state fair, but the bushes work just as well for me (: This IS a major waste of money. We need to be spending this money on getting the immigrants out of the state who cause all this other commotion (: have a nice day

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go Mar 21, 2007

    Oh to be a man. You guys just don't know how lucky you are!

    Trust me, it ain't all that. We have to deal with women, remember?


  • Roach Mar 21, 2007

    Oh to be a man. You guys just don't know how lucky you are!

  • imsosteep Mar 21, 2007

    If woman would quit doing make-up and gossiping in the restroom they would need this. What a waste of money. Woman need to grow up and quit belly aching about everything.

  • wraltv Mar 21, 2007

    This is the most ass-inine thing I have ever heard!!!

    Of course men can get in and out faster...did she ever take an anatomy class or maybe better yet, realize that men don't sit down, pull stockings down, and all the "other" womanly things that men don't have to deal with?

    And she is a public official? Get over yourself and get depends!!! Learn something form the space program...Miss Nowak did!!

  • Heelzrule Mar 21, 2007

    I'm with you Keith!!

  • E-Diva Mar 21, 2007

    If a place is privately owned, the owners should be in control of all decisions about their business.... this is like the smoking ban. If an establishment wants to let people smoke, they should be allowed to. If they only want one women's bathroom, they should only have one. If their customers don't like it, they can taje their business elsewhere.

  • innocent bystander Mar 21, 2007

    The NC General Assembly is presented with hundreds of much more important bills to consider each session, and they do not need to waste their time and our tax dollars deliberating trivial garbage legislation like this. Maybe if members would refrain from introducing "cutesy" legislation like this, they could finish their work on time instead of running the session into the Fall and costing taxpayers extra thousands of dollars to pay for their per diem and other compensation. Ladies, if you want more potty stalls then complain loudly directly to the business owners. They will listen to you.

  • Wildman Mar 21, 2007

    keith...I'm with you on this

  • BIG YAWN Mar 21, 2007

    McSorrley's Ale in NYC uses a unisex restroom. It's the oldest ale house in NY. It was opened well before women's rights came along. At the time women weren't allowed in his establishment. As soon as women's rights were passed, Mr. McSorrely didn't have a choice but to let them in however, he refused to spend the money to make a seperate restroom for women. To this day it is still a unisex restroom. Men stand at a trough along the wall when you walk in and the women use the stalls if one is open. The women usually come in in twos, one watches while the other does her business. It works!

    As far as not washing your hands because you don't pee on them, come on! You handle Mr. Johnson then grab a door knob or shake someone's hands? That's nasty. Wash your nasty cheese mitts!