June 06, 2020
If parks and open spaces are beacons of nature’s abundant beauty, their toilets are always an unworldly hideous mess. Blue-lit, mud-strewn and barely plumbed, they’re a means to a very necessary ending. Most people prefer to use the loos at pubs or nearby cafes, with all their fancy mod-cons, like toilet paper, doors that lock and dry toilet seats. Indeed, some councils, such as my own, have long relied on private toilets to fill the u-bends in their own provision.
Public Toilets Are An Equalities Issue. Why Dont We Care?
During lockdown, though, cafes are closed, pubs are shuttered and public facilities have been entirely bolted shut, boarded up and clo….no. No, they haven’t. From May 13, English councils have been allowed by the government to open their public toilets.Related... Is It Okay To Pee In A Park During Lockdown? You Can Meet In The Garden, But What Happens When You Need The Loo? The caveat was that the councils provided stricter cleaning regimens and enforced two-metre queues. That isn’t happening, though, because too many local authorities can’t see sense. The Local Government Association (LGA), which acts on behalf of all councils, makes no promises either. “People should not assume toilets will be open and plan their outdoor activities accordingly,” a spokesperson told The Times.
And I wonder if the LGA has equalities impact-assessed this indecision? Or weighed up the public health issue a lack of toilets presents? Or even taken into account the needs of councils’ lowest-paid workers? 
Toilet provision is a feminist issue. Due to menstruation, bladder issues brought on by pregnancy and childbirth and, really simply, the way we wee, Women require more toilet access than men. Lack of adequate toilet provision in the past meant women couldn’t leave their homes for long, something which campaigners in the Victorian era called the “urinary leash”. Its effects live on, thanks to architects and town planners forgetting women’s needs.
This is also an issue for disabled people, 250,000 of whom cannot use standard accessible toilets. Disabled women have undergone medically unnecessary surgery simply to be able to leave their homes. And as Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, a wheelchair user who is incontinent, put it in a Lords debate in February: “I am in a vulnerable position when I catheterise myself. I need to wash my hands before and straight afterwards; it is even more difficult when I have my period.” Flaws in the accessible toilet scheme mean that anyone with a disabled-access-only key can enter, regardless of whether the toilet is vacant or engaged.Unlimited time outdoors is one of the few pleasures we have right now and the public – all of the public – deserves this time.And this was before lockdown. Women are now facing the brunt of the lockdown’s economic impacts. Disabled people have now been treated to the insensitivity of a suggestion that their disability could de-prioritise them for potential Covid-19 treatment. And now both groups share the indignity of being cut off from the outside world.
As ever, though, women’s and minorities’ concerns are the majority’s issue. Any implication that most people aren’t bothered by the lack of toilets is a load of crap. Everyone wees and poos, and if they can’t find a urinal or toilet to do it in, they’ll either have to head home or make do with what’s there.
Some are more up for heading home. Anecdotally, I’ve not seen one woman go public in her ablutions this lockdown. From personal experience, when I’ve been caught short on country walks and festival sites, stage fright ensues; the bleak embarrassment of showing your entire bum to a tree’s judgmental bark is enough to put anyone off. It’s also worth remembering that when catcalling is on the rise, what risk might onlookers present to half-nude women? Sexual predators get off on this stuff.
As for all the men emptying their bladders and shaking off the hose in full sight of any and all passersby, I don’t want to think, for one second, that the majority actually enjoy debasing themselves and BREAKING indecent exposure laws in the process. I’d also prefer to live in a world where using the nooks and crannies of our parks as number-2 drop-off points is beyond any human desire. Yet, that’s our world now. In the new normal, residents next to areas of otherwise natural beauty shouldn’t have to put up with an influx of daytrippers’ waste. But what else was going to happen when the public was given the paradoxical command? Go outdoors as much as you like, we’re told, but don’t count on the toilets being open. 
One almost-impressive workaround, fly-weeing, is where a bottle is used to decant a man’s urine. These were once the preserve of low-paid Uber drivers on non-stop shifts around unfamiliar cities, or festival revellers too drunk to negotiate staticky portaloos in the dead of night. Now these last-ditch, chucked-in-a-ditch options punctuate the streets closest to our parks, to be cleaned up by low-paid council workers. I’d wager that, between these hot bottles of yellow waste and the mounds of faeces in the parks, these workers would rather be spraying down toilet locks and enforcing queues. 
Councils refusing to re-open public toilets – and acquisitioning the private ones they’ve outsourced their responsibilities to – is an equalities issue. It’s also becoming a public health issue. Unlimited time outdoors is one of the few pleasures we have right now and the public – all of the public – deserves this time. Our green parks and open spaces deserve to grow unpestered by booze-soaked manure and, most importantly, those who have the unenviable task of cleaning up all the muck and dross deserve better. Sophie Wilkinson is a freelance journalist.Related... Yes, Coronavirus-Related Fraud Is A Thing. Steer Clear. Why People Love Ikea Enough To Queue. And Queue. And Queue. Is It Okay To Pee In A Park During Lockdown?
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on How He Crafted the Music of Season 2
July 03, 2020
xgJUmZgGHUI
Kieran Culkin & Dan Levy - Actors on Actors - Full Conversation
July 03, 2020
x1U65peRmGo
Emmys 2020: Issa Rae, Linda Cardellini Among Possible Contenders for Lead Comedy Actress
July 03, 2020
DnMulYkHAGs
Can Lea Michele’s ‘mean girl’ behavior be forgiven? | Page Six Celebrity News
July 03, 2020
Sp-hyaacIB0
Will the 'Ellen DeGeneres Show' be canceled? | Page Six Celebrity News
July 01, 2020
w6fF_hmLmw4
Candace Cameron Bure wants these ‘Full House’ quotes to live on | Page Six Celebrity News
July 02, 2020
PRF4fuEHuSM
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez IDs 'Keys to Castle' for Real Police Reform
July 06, 2020
oLHjH9BFsIw
Beverly Hills 4th of July Party a Breeding Ground for Coronavirus
July 05, 2020
jHPVAU82grw
Parade of Trucks with Trump, Confederate Flags Blaze Down L.A. Streets | TMZ
July 04, 2020
e9t3VLZ9-2w
Kanye West Announces Presidential Run | E! News
July 05, 2020
3LvC9OKO_P4
Jada's Affair?, Charlize Ther-Wrong Name & Housewives Hitman - "Nightly Pop" 07/02/20 | E! News
July 02, 2020
ZcwG2INSVRI
Chance's Relationship Fail, $1K Haircut & Jen's Advice - "Nightly Pop" 07/02/20 | E! News
July 03, 2020
mPSzAABN4yI
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Roma
05
Jul
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Barcelona
05
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Southampton - Manchester City
05
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Aston Villa
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Bologna
05
Jul
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Real Madrid
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Brescia - Verona
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Genoa
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - Spal
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
05
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Atalanta
05
Jul
SPAIN: La Liga
Osasuna - Getafe
04
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Watford
04
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Arsenal
04
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
04
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Bournemouth
04
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Torino
03
Jul
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Mallorca
02
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
02
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - Tottenham Hotspur
02
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Udinese
02
Jul
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Getafe
02
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Napoli
01
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - AC Milan
01
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Chelsea
01
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Norwich City
01
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Brescia
30
Jun
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Atletico Madrid
30
Jun
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Manchester United
30
Jun
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Juventus
28
Jun
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Roma
28
Jun
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Inter Milan
28
Jun
SPAIN: La Liga
Espanyol - Real Madrid
28
Jun
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Spal
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.