China’s Shaanxi Province has taken a new and drastic step in order to save on water usage. Claiming that 160 tons of water could be saved annually if women stood up to pee, the university has installed six urinals in their female restrooms.
Next to the urinals some explanatory signs were placed that read:
“If every woman can urinate standing, Shaanxi Normal University can save 160 tons of water.”
Whenever anything new is introduced to any culture or situation, a certain amount of fumbling and inflexibility and wonder is to be expected, depending on what is involved. How were these female urinals received?
Well, one student considered it a novel adventure, and dared to experiment after a professor explained the significance of giving it “the old college try.” She found herself not knowing exactly what to do after entering the toilet.
“I was there for a 2-3 minutes, but couldn’t urinate,” said another student upon exiting the toilet.
Specially designed partitions surround the urinals as a respect for privacy and understandable awkwardness. Even though they are pink and warm and inviting, they don’t’ seem to be working that well.
In order for a female to stand and urinate, a funnel is required, and these are strategically placed near the urinals. For a grown woman to hold such a thing in order to urinate is a psychological barrier to the success of this project.
The main promoter of this novel program is National People’s Congress representative and Shaanxi Normal University Professor, Qu Yajun.
Last April, he first presented his water-saving idea to the school president, and very soon afterward the university decided to place 3 standing urinals at newly built women’s toilets on two campuses.
Will the concept catch on?
Who can say, but it is a novel idea, to say the very least.
In a dynamic world where some men wear makeup and women’s roles keep shifting and expanding, it would appear that everything resonates with the words of that old Cole Porter song, anything goes.