Thursday 11 December 2014

What's Wrong With This Picture? Pub Toilet of the Year, The Horseshoes, Newmarket.

Regular readers of this blog (both of you) will know that I'm prone to flights of fancy and diversion from the subject of beer from time to time. In fact, over the past year this blog has sort of gone to rack and ruin, partly by virtue of me having nothing interesting left to say, and partly by me having less and less free time.

However, this moved me to write on so many levels. On one hand, the picture of the toilets in The Horseshoes, Newmarket, sent me into such a rage that I nearly didn't know where to start. I'd concede that the urinals might just about be classed as kitsch, some sort of Dutch (sorry Holland) pop art version of an Ernie Cefalu piece filtered through the banal postmodernism of Jeff Koons' mind - but only just. Your mileage may vary on that, and I can understand why.

However, what is that that thing in front of the sink? A pair of spread-legged female buttocks? Where to start with that. Not only did some 21st century grown-up designer conceive of this as being a good idea, but equally, someone saw it in a catalogue and thought "yeah, the big lip urinals are OK, but the splayed female buttocks are really going to give this refurb the edge." Yes, it's edgy, as in edgy and uncomfortable.

And then there's the text. First of all, the use of the word "strident" to describe any female colleague who has had the temerity to raise an objection to this cultural Chernobyl. Why is it that any woman with an opinion is referred to as "strident"? Oh yeah, it's because men hate a dissenting female voice. Why not go the whole hog and say "shrill", or "annoying"?

And what about "it's in the gents so they shouldn't see it anyway"? Yes, that's right, this is what men want in their toilets - some time spent away from the strident opinions of women, urinating into open mouths (I still think they are Dutch kitsch (sorry Holland)), before a quick handwash while bumping and grinding against a presented pair of female fiberglass buttocks (I wonder if they have a heater in them to make them more inviting?). Err, no, it's not OK to have this in the gents, away from the prying eyes and strident opinions of women because you know what? Not only is this offensive to women, it's also offensive to men. That bent-over fiberglass arse, placed for a comedy grind while you wash you hands (maybe it's to try and encourage men to wash their hands?) debases us all as human beings. It's not going to bring a smile to my face this Christmas, and I don't want to be friends with anyone who thinks it's funny.

In short, this whole thing is a fucking disgrace. The toilets are a disgrace, the article is a disgrace, the misogyny is a disgrace, and I think we all deserve better.

Link to original article