THE HAGUE – Fed up with the shortage of public toilets for women, Dutch women took the matter to the streets Saturday in a protest aimed at showing the impossibility of using urinals that are exclusively designed for men.
“Women from across the country are invited to demonstrate the (im)possibilities of urinating in a public urinal built for men,” said the organizers of the Netherlands First National Public Urinal Urinating Day — nicknamed “Power to the Peepee.”
By midafternoon, more than 160 largely discreet images had been posted on Instagram under the hashtag #zeikwijf — a Dutch word meaning “a woman who urinates” — many showing protesters attempting ambitious gymnastic poses to get the angle right.
While admitting the protest would be somewhat tongue in cheek, organizers have a serious message, saying they want to prove “that it isn’t possible for women to urinate in a decent, hygienic and dignified manner in a public urinal designed for me.”
The aim of the protest is to draw attention to the lack of public toilet facilities for women, with the images to be sent to Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch minister for education, culture and science, alongside a petition titled “Urination Equality in the Netherlands.”
In an example of the problem, organizers say there are 35 permanent public urinals in central Amsterdam — but just three public toilets suitable for women.
The protest was organized by a woman called Geerte Piening, who was found guilty earlier in the week of public urination in a place where there was no toilet for women for kilometers around.
Fining her €90 ($108), the judge said she could have used a public urinal, saying, “It may not be pleasant, but it is possible.”