It was with great disappointment last night that I looked into the first floor men’s washroom in Jackson Hall. I am a woman and have used the women’s washroom there quite regularly without giving the men’s room a second thought, but I was suddenly curious to see it after hearing that one of the four urinals had been boarded up. Last night I peeked inside, after knocking with some trepidation. What I saw when I opened the door removed all my trepidation and replaced it with seething anger.
The women’s washroom in Jackson Hall contains one toilet, one sink, and one operational soap-dispenser. The men’s washroom? It contains a sink, a soap-dispenser, two toilets, and three operational urinals.
This was not an optical illusion. Oh no. This washroom was distinctly larger, distinctly more decadent. Pastel colours and clever lighting can work wonders, but those two design tricks alone could not have resulted in the palatial atmosphere of this washroom. It was much larger, both in square footage and in concept, and far more magnificently furnished.
The percentage of female engineering students has dropped in recent years from 30% to 20%. Could this be the result of a pro-male, pro-male-washroom agenda? When the ratio of women to men was 1:2, on the first floor of Jackson there were three times as many facilities for each male in the engineering faculty as there were facilities for each woman. Are the women of the engineering faculty supposed to board ourselves up, like just another faulty urinal? We cannot take this sitting down.
I demand that Queen’s amend this situation. They’re removing the top two floors of Gordon Hall to “return it to its original architectural splendour,” but they can’t be bothered to rectify this obvious gender discrepancy. It seems like people are more interested in talking about gender issues than they are in resolving them. When are we going to stop holding forum after forum, and actually put our ideas to good use?
Eileen French, Sci ’08
RE: “Men need to give sex toys a chance” (Journal, Feb. 17, 2006).
In the most recent edition of Letters to the Editors, Mr. Davis claimed that the reason for an under-representation of male masturbatory devices in the SHRC was embarrassment and intimidation. I would like to provide an alternate explanation. Mr. Davis referred to sex toys “with potential beyond the palm of their hand,” and this alludes to a definite advantage that males have over females within the masturbatory realm that Mr. Davis didn’t take into consideration. You see, if you’re a man and you want to imitate the physical coupling normally reserved for marriage or the ’60s, you put your hand in your skivvies and yank. If you’re a woman and you want to do the same, you have to go to a grocery store or the SHRC. Perhaps Mr. Davis has never had a vagina, and therefore does not understand how difficult it is to satisfyingly climax without phallic aide. G-spot stimulators and mechanical bunnies are more popular and sell more than fake blue jelly lips because we’d otherwise have to keep our sex toys in the vegetable crisper or the gun rack. Men keep their sex toys at the end of their forearms.
Ranjeet Kaur, ArtSci ’07