For your convenience, a sanitary receptacle is provided in this cubicle. You are requested …

So I was in a public washroom the other day and noticed this little sign:  “For your convenience, a sanitary receptacle is provided in this cubicle.  You are requested to co-operate and use it for the purpose intended.”

“For your convenience.”  For our convenience?  Given that the alternative to the requested behaviour would result in a bunch of clogged toilets (your toilets) and/or bloodied napkins strewn all over the washroom floor (your washroom floor), I suggest that it’s as much for your convenience as for ours.

“For your convenience.”  Convenience?  Is the trash can by the paper towel dispenser also for convenience?  I suppose the toilet paper is a convenience too.  And the toilet.

“A sanitary receptacle.”  The receptacle may well be sanitary, but I think you mean ‘a sanitary napkin receptacle.’  And actually, the napkins put into the receptacle are not very sanitary at that point, are they?  ‘Menstrual napkin receptacle’ would be more accurate.  But men do have trouble with such words – menstrual, menstruation, menstruating.  Though they seem able to handle ‘cunt’ easily enough.

“You are requested to co-operate.”  And you have been watching too many late night movie interrogation room scenes.  Really, I think a ‘please’ would’ve sufficed.  Actually, I don’t even think we need a ‘please’.  I doubt we even need to be asked.  In fact, we don’t even need the sign: most of us can figure out what it’s for, and if there’s any doubt, just label the thing and be done with it!

I mean, why shouldn’t we co-operate?  Most women are inclined to keep things clean – this is the Women’s Room, not the Men’s Room.  Furthermore, we know that the poor soul who has to clean up any mess we leave is a cleaning lady.  Who’s probably sick to death of cleaning up her own washroom after her husband uses it.

“For the purpose intended.”  What else might we use it for, a lunchbox?  A weapon?  (“And now for tonight’s top story: as we speak, gangs of women are roaming the streets armed with sanitary receptacles…”)

Ah, but I was in a government building.  That explains it then.  At some point (it seems like only yesterday, the way they’re carrying on), the building was for Men Only.  That explains the heavy-handedness (men don’t know how to ask, they threaten) and the supposition of a predisposition to uncleanliness.

And, or, maybe the sign is intended to say “Look at us, we’ve gone out of our way to provide you ladies with women’s things, not only a washroom all for yourselves, but one with little sanitary receptacles even, a luxury washroom; we want you to know this and be eternally grateful, we want you to be constantly reminded that your very presence in this building is exceptional.”  Now I understand the threatening tone: if we don’t comply with their request, they’ll take our little receptacles away, maybe they’ll even kick us out, hell, maybe they’ll go so far as to take back the vote.


[Hell Yeah, I’m a Feminist is a feminist blog, often radical feminist, always anti-gender, and always anti-sexism.]


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