I’ve been travelling a lot this year. So I have gone to a lot of different toilet facilities. Either I’m travelling richer than I was (possible) or conditions have improved. They have improved. The more people there are the more demanding they are? No, probably the more people the more s* you have to cope with. It’s a mater of self-defence. (Look what happened with the mass movements - literally - of the Syrian Refugees. This is not intended as criticism.)
Not my point. My point is that I notice wherever I go in the world the symbol for the ladies’ loo is a figure with a skirt. But go inside one and you won’t see anyone wearing a skirt. Even old ladies (like me) wear pants. Now with the debate about genderless havens, maybe we won’t need such a discriminatory symbol.
Tangent: I noticed some years ago when I went to Greenland that Greenlanders were the only people whose national costume for women was pants, not a skirt but beautiful, soft, beaded and embroidered, white leather pants. I haven’t checked lately. Do people still wear national costumes? I know that Icelanders do (or Western Icelanders). I fear that the national costume for Canadians, both male and female, is the dress RCMP uniform, with red coats. Oh- hey - and pants!
That brings me back to the prevalence of pants for women. Pants, like low-heeled shoes, make life safer for women. Women have adapted to pants more quickly and in greater numbers than men. I have a friend who, when her husband was celebrating his 80th birthday, received a direct request from him that she wear a skirt to his party. She was only a few years younger than he but by that time she had only two dresses. She wore jeans or (dress) pants all the time. My father, older than that, if he were still alive, and very old school, simply did not countenance pants on women. Ah, but it went further than that. i could not go downtown in the summer in Winnipeg (it’s hot there in the summer) unless I was wearing not only a dress but also stockings and gloves. As I say, old school.
This may seem quaint to you, but such rules still exist, as you know. Even very young women, teenagers, in jeans, appear on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission aka subway) wearing a hijab. In the Western world we consider that a sign of repression, but think about it.