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Women’s Bathroom Issues II

The lovely Nicole C. (she must be lovely – she’s Canadian) wasn’t very impressed with the other page on women’s bathroom issues, so she submitted her own thoughts on the subject…

In as much as your team is composed exclusively of men, it is understandable that your section on women’s bathroom ettiquette left something to be desired. I found that your current section on women’s bathrooms is something of a mis-characterization of these extremely strange places. The idea that ALL women’s bathrooms are veritable sorority houses of female bonding and playfulness is patently false (though this author recognizes that, because she is Canadian, there may be cultural differences between women’s bathrooms in the U.S and Canada). Granted, unrestricted socializing, preening, and bonding with strangers may be permitted in public bathrooms found at nightclubs and bars, where large volumes of intoxicated, giggly young women tend to converge and paint themselves up like prostitutes before the mirrors. However, in the majority of women’s public bathrooms where alcohol is not a factor, social interactions (although not forbidden) are somewhat more restricted, and other etiquette details must be observed at all costs.

Here is some advanced information on the state of women’s bathroom etiquette:

#1: Talking/socializing in the bathroom: Talking in the women’s bathrooms is more tricky than one would initially believe, and it is goverened by a number of regulations. Talking to women who are currently in a stall, or talking WHILE one and one’s conversation partner are BOTH in stalls, should NOT be done unless both are very close friends. Talking to strangers or acquaintances while they are in the stalls is cause for extreme discomfort. Talking by the mirrors is permitted; however, occupants attempting to use the stalls often find this chatter unnerving, and so it should be kept to a respectful minimum when the bathroom has additional occupants, particularly strangers. In fact, strangers should not be engaged in or subjected to bathroom conversation of any sort unless they initiate it.

#2: It is totally unacceptable, under any circumstances, to use the women’s public bathroom to perform a #2 function unless that bathroom is confirmed to be COMPLETELY EMPTY. If one must perform this function in a public washroom (it is preferable to wait until you can secure a private bathroom), it is best to enter the stall furthest from the entrance and wait until all noises have completely ceased for about 20-30 seconds. Once empty, the function must be performed with maximum expediency, and the flush-in-progress and double flush techniques must both be used to eliminate any potential noise emissions, odour, or evidence that a #2 maneuvre has ever taken place. Always remember, WOMEN DO NOT POOP, FART, OR OTHERWISE PRODUCE UN-WOMANLY SMELLS OR SOUNDS. Anyone violating this gender-wide delusion risks ostracization by her peers. That being said, if one witnesses another woman breaking this rule, the VERY chivalrous thing to do is to graciously leave the area silently and immediately, whilst attempting to stifle one’s horrified giggling.

#3: Stall occupation rules in women’s bathrooms are very similar to the MPPNBA urinal regulations, UNLESS the person occupying the adjacent stall is one’s very close friend, and both have entered the bathroom together. Even in this case, choosing an adjacent stall should be done with extreme caution. Otherwise, one should always select a stall which is as far away from any other occupied stalls as possible. Choosing adjacent stalls is only acceptable if there are very few stalls available (3 or less), or if the bathroom is extremely crowded and line-ups are threatening to form.

#4: Applying make-up & hair products while talking loudly to a conversation partner is sometimes done, but often the person(s) doing so are unaware of exactly how much the occupants of the stalls hate her/them at that moment. Using the bathroom is not particularly easy or pleasant whilst in the presence of giggling little skanks who are noisily making fun of an unknown target. If one is at all concerned with etiquette and public image, one must not behave in this manner. Makeup and hair should be done at home or in the car, and the bathroom mirrors reserved for quick touch-ups ONLY. While performing said maintenance, be as quick as possible, attempt not to disturb the other occupants, and try to avoid loud, unnecessary chatter unless the bathroom is unoccupied (in which case you may proceed to chatter and apply makeup with impunity).

#5: If there is a “present” left in the toilet by a previous occupant, that stall is effectively treated as “out of order” until the janitor comes and solves the problem. One must not, under any circumstances, allow any other occupants of the bathroom spot her entering and/or using the affected stall. HOWEVER, if the bathroom in question is known to use infrared flush censors, one is permitted to heroically wave the stall door back and forth (while standing AT ALL TIMES on the outside of the stall) to initiate a flush, thereby eliminating the hostile presence.

#6: Stalls MUST be checked for adequate supplies of toilet paper before any functions are performed. A travel-pack of kleenex should be kept in the purse at all times to ensure an exit strategy if, for some reason, one should fail to check the supplies before committing to a function.

Now, these last two may be applicable to members of both genders, though I think should apply doubly for women:

#7: Cellular telephones should NOT be used in the bathroom, EVER. It may be easy to forget that use of a cellular telephone in a public bathroom is effectively a breach of the “telephone use while in bathroom” taboo, but it is still extremely offensive both to the other occupants of the bathroom and the person on the other end of the call. Text messaging is, however, permissible.

#8: If, for some strange, horrifying reason, the bathroom stalls do not have doors on them (this is almost unheard of in Canada), DO NOT USE THE BATHROOM. Drive home if you have to.

I hope this run-down proves helpful to the good folks at ICBE. I found your website to be most entertaining ;)

It is very helpful Nicole – thanks!

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Bathroom Etiquette For All Those Special Situations