Stalled in the Ladies Room Line

Did anyone else Woohoo! at the big news about the new women’s WCs in NYC? Grand Central Station just opened a new ladies room, twice the size of the men’s. There isn’t a woman alive who hasn’t moaned, at least a million times, “Why are there always long lines at every ladies room while men breeze in and out?” And yet, it took till 2008 for someone to FINALLY listen (even though the NY mayor and city council mandated a 2 to 1 ratio for certain public restrooms as early as 2005!). 

According to The New York Times, the new digs aren’t just instant access, they’re gorgeous with “Botticino marble walls, seamless terrazzo flooring, Stony Creek granite partitions and mirrors with scalloped edges.” The article quotes commuter Lisa Kovitz, who vells, “It’s, like, amazing…You could hear angels singing, it was so nice.”  

The restroom gender wars are no joke for the 14 million incontinent women who suffer (and wait) in silence. We’ve researched this for Ortho Pharmaceutical’s drug Ditropan, and when she’s in a hurry to go, she needs answers, not laughs. But the gags won’t quit. 

Once during an onstage speech, a man asked me, “Why do women go together to the bathroom and then stay so long?” I answered, “Because they are complimenting each other!” What woman hasn’t picked up a quick beauty tip while sharing a mirror with a stranger: “Where do you get your hair cut?” “Oh, it’s a mess today, but if you live nearby, try Sharon at ‘Styles Are Us’”.  In that safe, anonymous cave, we commiserate and suck up compliments that family and friends sometimes scrimp on. (I’ve heard that men aren’t nearly so chatty in their space.)   

When I was a judge on ABC’s reality show “American Inventor,” contestant Sharon Clemens presented the Rest Room Door Clip, a simple way to compensate for the repeated nightmare of public stalls with broken locks. The other judges, all men, doubted that being surprised while toilet-bound was that big a deal.   

Women have different needs than men in plenty of categories. Women say what they want. Why aren’t more people listening?

Just Ask a Woman

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