Let the people pee, or at least the males of us!

April 17, 2011 at 7:17 am (Commentary) (, , , )

Before I start I must confess that I’ve always had a soft spot for Clover Moore, and if it’s possible to approve of her more, I do so now, with her innovative and forward thinking initiative in establishing open-air urinals in the Darlinghurst Kings Cross area.

If Clover extends these fine conveniences throughout the city she’ll have my vote forever. Her concern for the men of Sydney is highly commendable. A feminist she might be, but if so, one of the best.

Now a little bit of history, from what I can remember of Sydney in the fifties and sixties there were a number of public lavatories throughout the city serving the peeing and defecating needs of gentlemen, and other males in the city in need of relief. There was no need to pop into a pub, restaurant or other commercially run institution just to go to the loo. But suddenly this all changed with the rapid closure of these public conveniences. Why, I ask, are commercial establishments expected to look after the bladder and bowel needs of non-customers? It’s a disgrace that the city authorities have given up on providing the public with the sites where they can legally relieve themselves.

I remember with fondness the public urinals that our Gallic cousins provided for the males of Paris, when I visited the city in the fifties. But I’ve been informed that they are no longer there. These urinals were wonderful. The only thing visible to passers-by were the lower legs and the shoulders and faces of the urinating males. On one occasion, I observed the gallantry and good manners of a Frenchman when he lifted his hat to a passing lady while using the facility.

Now we come to the stupid laws we have about so called indecent exposure and urinating in public. What in the name of all that’s good and noble does the law expect of busting males when there’s nowhere to go?

Clover, extend the urinals in all the four corners of Sydney and in future turn your keen mind to solving the bowel problems of the citizens. Anyhow, for what you’ve done so far, I thank you!

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4 Comments

  1. Clara Cabeza said,

    I agree with your opinion here, David. One of the abuses of modernity is the distancing, indeed, erasure of the dirty, the sweaty, the shitty, the smelly, bodily secretions and all – the natural – from public life, so to speak. The public is forced not to see what is supposed to happen only in the private. I wouldn’t consider this as ‘hypocrisy’ at all but rather our ability to sublimate what we are, what we need.

  2. Catherine Jones said,

    All I can say is, what about the women of Sydney? We need places to go too!

  3. portable toilet guy said,

    @Catherine, these urinals can be used by women in conjunction with one of several devices… Urinelle, ShePee, Peemate…. although they are not designed as being a permanent toilet facilities, they are aimed at the people who already pee in the street – usually men on drunken nights out.

  4. Old post | Stories by David Wall said,

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