Glastonbury 2022: Women’s urinals are the queue-free

Glastonbury 2022: Women’s urinals are the queue-free future of festival

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 8th July 2022

 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 I have involuntary interest in ladies’ toilets. No, it’s not because I am a pervert. It is because I am a married man, married to a beautiful woman who has given birth to two babies. This act consequently has weakened her bladder control and wherever we go, shopping, concerts, movies, walk in the country, theatre, you name it I end up waiting outside the ladies toilet for her. We love walking but all walks have to be planned with a toilet at the start, in the middle and at the finish.

I estimate I spend at least 2 hours a week outside Ladies Toilets. That’s 104 hours a year. As we’ve known one another over 50 years that is probably 5,408 hours. Assuming I have 12 waking hours a day that is 450 waking days of my life. That is 1 whole year and 85 days.

Yes, I do know a bit about hanging around ladies’ loos.

I once thought I had come up with the perfect answer and bought my dear wife a ‘She Wee’ for Christmas. The answer to everything I thought.

Bad design! Not the answer I thought it was. In fact the worst decision I ever made, and I’ve made a lot of bad ones.

So, I saw this item about Glastonbury Loos and it really interested me. See what you think…

Glastonbury 2022: Women’s urinals are the queue-free future of festival toilets

Sarah Carson

It was the first night of Glastonbury 2022 and about 20 women were squatting in the grass in a men’s urinal (bottom facing the wall) in protest against the hellish queue for the portaloos.

“It’s like a scene from a Hieronymus Bosch painting” says my friend Ben, blinking and bemused, after nipping in for a quick slash to find the space invaded. Other men are doubling back at the sight to check they haven’t taken a wrong turning. I wonder how often Bosch’s women lost their balance and were left with urine running down their legs. I can’t see much grass growing in this Garden of Earthly Delights once we’re all finished with it.

Any woman who has been to a festival or, in fact, any big live event knows the injustice of the toilet queue. Men are in and out in seconds; women miss songs, lose their friends, sacrifice their chances of being able to get a drink at the bar and all just because it’s a bit more of a faff for us to answer when nature calls. Half the night is spent strategising when the best time is to take your 40-minute trip, seeking out the shortest lines, debating whether or not to ”break the seal” and which drinks are the riskiest diuretics.

There is, it turns out, another way. Hazel McShane and Amber Probyn, frustrated from years of queues and looking for innovative dissertation projects in their masters year at Bristol University have founded the UK’s first female urinal which was in operation at Glastonbury this year (2022) for the first time. It does not involve any kind of funnel contraption and you don’t have to get your bum out in public (McShane points this out as a weakness of other existing solutions). It’s just, as the Peequal (get it?) branding goes, “squat and go”.

On Saturday lunchtime, I neck an iced latte in preparation (and desperation) and head up to the bogs by the Pyramid Stage – one of two sites (the other is by the Stone Circle) where the urinals are set up this year. Some girl power messaging and suggestive floral graffiti on the wall lets me know I’m going in the right direction. “Is it your first time here?” a woman in a Water Aid jacket greets me. “Skirt up, pants down, feet on the feet and it’s pees not poos” she says, businesslike. “You’d be surprised,” she adds.

In front of me are what look like eight giant potties. These are bright, geometric, doorless units you step up onto, pop behind a screen and squat hover over a hole in the ground (angled to minimise splashback for women squatting at different angles and heights), which is plumbed into Glastonbury’s long drop waste system.

The elevation is the most unnerving thing about it. It feels a bit like you’re on stage and can see the heads of all the other women in the other modules across from me doing the same – I’ve always wondered about what the dynamic is like between men who catch each other’s eye in the urinals. I feel a bit sheepish, a little bit of women’s solidarity, definitely glad in the bright unforgiven daylight I’m hidden from the neck down (apart from when one woman walks in on me).

I’m in and out in under 40 seconds, I haven’t had to touch anything (there’s a bag for your paper and sanitary products and a place to clean reusable ones) and it looks and smells considerably more hygienic than any other stand-up toilets I’ve been forced to use. I made myself ill on long drives as a child from my refusal to use the holes in the floor at French motorway services. I can’t believe, decades later I’d be doing it through choice. But the verdict’s in: I’m beating the queues, and maybe the patriarchy! Women’s urinals are the future.

TOP TEN OF THE DAY

The Top 10: MPs better known for other things

John Rentoul – Independent

Keir Starmer was director of public prosecutions and Boris Johnson was a ‘Daily Telegraph’ columnist, but some MPs’ other jobs were even more famous

  1. Geoffrey Chaucer. MP for Kent in 1386, a member of the Wonderful Parliament of Richard II.

 

  1. Dick Whittington. Better known as a mayor but was also MP for the City of London in 1416.

 

  1. Francis Bacon. MP for Bossiney, Cornwall; Melcombe, Dorset; Taunton; Liverpool; Middlesex; Ipswich; and Cambridge University; between 1581 and 1614, the Addled Parliament.

 

  1. Francis Drake. MP for Camelford, Cornwall, and then Bossiney (succeeding Francis Bacon) and later Plymouth, between 1581 and 1593.

 

  1. John Donne. MP for Brackley, Northants, 1601 and for Taunton, 1614, another member of the Addled Parliament.

 

  1. Samuel Pepys. MP for Castle Rising, Norfolk, and then Harwich, between 1673 and 1689.

 

  1. Christopher Wren. MP for Plympton Erle, New Windsor (although his election was twice declared void in a dispute over the franchise) and then Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, between 1685 and 1702.

 

  1. John Stuart Mill. Liberal MP for City of Westminster, 1865-68.

 

  1. Isaac Newton. MP for the University of Cambridge, 1689-90 and 1701-02.

 

  1. Hilaire Belloc. Liberal MP for Salford, 1906-10.

 

No room, therefore, for John Buchan, Unionist MP for the Combined Scottish Universities, 1927-35, who was quite well known as a politician (he was also governor general of Canada). Nor for William Huskisson, MP for Morpeth, Liskeard, Harwich, Chichester and Liverpool, from 1796: a cabinet minister better known for being the first person killed in a train accident, hit by Stephenson’s Rocket in 1830.

I ruled out the Duke of Wellington, who is unusual in that he is better known as the victor of Waterloo than he is as prime minister, let alone as an MP. As Arthur Wellesley he was Tory MP for Rye and then Newport in 1806 and 1807. As prime minister, though, he was in the House of Lords.

And I excluded living former MPs, such as Jeffrey Archer (Con, Louth, 1969-74), Sebastian Coe (Con, Falmouth, 1992-97), Glenda Jackson (Lab, Hampstead, 1992-2010) and Martin Bell (Ind, Tatton 1997-2001).

There is always one. This week it is Mark Ramsbottom, who nominated Baldrick, who was rewarded for being Prince George’s dogsbody by being the MP for the rotten borough of Dunny-on-the-Wold. Nominations for Ed Balls and Boris Johnson were also not accepted.

REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” ―Lou Holtz

HAPPINESS IS…

Happiness is…being free to wee when you need to

GRANDAD’S ONE+ LINER JOKE OF THE DAY

The graduate with a science degree asks, “Why does it work?”                                                                                                                

The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?”                                                                                                                     

The graduate with an accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?”                                                                                                               

The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?”                                                                                                                     

LOVE IS…

Love is…having a hand to squeeze.

PEARLS OF WISDOM

Don’t make decisions when you’re angry

TURN…TURN…TURN!

A time queue and wee in a traditional toilet…A time to use a “She Wee”,

 

 

 

 

©2022 Phil M Robinson