Hookless bathroom stalls and the men who built them.

by LaTisha Conto

Three months ago a statement is made by my brother: 'Men are better than women because men design and build everything.'

Two months ago an observation: There I was sitting in the stall of an LAX airport restroom catching my breath after having just performed, yet again, the incredible one handed bathroom wiggle; the one handed pull down of one’s pants and panties. Men are probably wondering why I’m only using one hand and women are shaking their heads because they know why I’m using only one of my two good hands: The other hand is holding my purse! And why? Why would I be holding my purse whilst going to the restroom? No purse hooks! It’s an outrage! An injustice! And if I need one of my hands to hold my purse and I have an extra, what’s a one-armed girl to do? Hold her purse with her teeth? And P.S. - when it comes to airport safety I think a proper place for a purse is more important than a sober pilot. I really do.

It’s at that moment I understand that men have built this bathroom and men are responsible for all of stalls void of purse hooks in all bathrooms around the world, and this oversight is exactly the thing that gives me the power to confidently respond to my friend “men are not better because they build everything. Women carry purses!” I know, it’s confusing to me too.

What is really troubling me about the bathroom situation is that I can’t understand what these men were thinking when they built this restroom. I mean, first of all there is no possibility that this bathroom predates purses. The first evidence of purses came from Egyptian hieroglyphics around the time of 3200BC and the first public restrooms weren’t introduced until 1214AD.

So again I wonder what were these men thinking? Women don’t carry purses? That can’t be it, right guys? Because I’m sure if you think back to childhood you’ll remember a certain lady, carrying a certain bag, stuffed full of all of your crap: your retainer, inhaler, snacks, her checkbook for your toy store tantrums, and an extra change of underwear after an especially dramatic toy store tantrum. Her purse saved your life over and over again. How could you forget?

Or how can you forget about the purse your first girlfriend carried. You know the one that produced the condom? The condom you forgot to bring. That purse gave you a life! (And didn’t give you a life, you know) How could you not think about that purse when building a bathroom?

Or maybe you did remember that women carry purses and you just think that a floor is a great place for a purse. If you do think a floor is a great place for a purse than I will use my free hand to punch you in the face. If I had a free hand. 

I suspect that most of you men/bathroom builders fall into this final possibility: You weren’t thinking about women at all. And this is such a sad, but not entirely surprising, conclusion. Men! Men! Boys and Men! Purse hooks and clutch shelves (clutches are tiny little purses void of straps or handles) are the only NECESSITY in a bathroom. Women don’t need anything else!
Tampon dispensers? No. We carry our own and no self respecting woman would use a generic tampon - we’re brand loyalists at heart. Soap? No thanks, we carry our own hand sanitizer that smells like our lotion - we can’t mix smells like you men do.
Paper towels, seat covers, toilet paper? Nope. We carry face tissue, which we usually use to blot our face, but in a pinch it can be used for all paper functions.
We could even get by without a sink- we usually carry a water bottle.
And do you know where all this is carried? Yep! In our purses! The purses that you don’t even think are worthy of a measly little hook!
The next time you wonder why it is that girls always go to the bathroom together consider that maybe it’s because they're going to need someone to hold their purses. 

You know what’s really sad about the whole thing is that if we were in charge of building your bathrooms we would know what to do to make it a more comfortable, stress-free experience. We think it’s a basic right of all men to be able to pee in private. We would immediately do away with urinals. We would literally outlaw them. And more atrocious, troughs! (Sidenote: are men pigs because they grow up peeing into troughs or did troughs come about after men began displaying piggish behavior?) You see, the difference between men and women is that women do think about what men need. We understand that the half of you that don’t suffer from stage fright in the bathroom probably suffer from penis envy. We want to help you! We would make it happen for you. So why can’t we get a couple of little hooks in every single bathroom stall across the world?