My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Mixed sex toilets

87 replies

Wichit · 04/10/2022 01:15

I work for an organisation that employs about 250 people. We have high staff turnover and a lot of us work hybrid.

A few months ago all our toilets at work got changed to mixed sex. They are self contained individual cubicles. We didn't get consulted or anything, just got to work on Monday and every toilet had a joint man and woman sign.

About a month ago I went to use the loo, opened the door and there was a bloke already in there with his back to me. He turned around when I opened the door. He was semi undressed and I could clearly see his lad etc.

Lots of apologies, swift door close etc. I hadn't actually met him previously due to hybrid and high turnover.

It made me feel uncomfortable. I don't know the guy.

I raised with my line manager that this new toilet policy is potentially putting staff in tricky situations and he told me to take it to HR. Which I did and their response is that he probably forgot to close the door.

Well I mean yeah hopefully so, but nobody has any way of knowing that and anyway that is not the issue. The issue is that my employer should not be facilitating a set-up where such ambiguous encounters can happen. I think, anyway. AIBU?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

256 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
24%
You are NOT being unreasonable
76%
cbatopainttheshed · 04/10/2022 11:14

YABU.

The cubicles are self contained, the bloke in there was an idiot for not locking the door but that doesn't mean mixed toilets in general are bad.

We've had them at work for about 6 months now. I like them as the sink and mirror is in the cubicle so I can do my business completely in private.

SlipperyLizard · 04/10/2022 11:17

I hate mixed sex toilets, even fully enclosed ones. Always having to put the seat down before I can use it, and the bastards who fitted out our new office didn’t put soft close seats on (so can’t just knock the seat down, you need to actually hold it).

Perhaps he did forget, but women shouldn’t be in a position where a man might forget, inadvertently or otherwise.

littlepeas · 04/10/2022 11:18

They have introduced some mixed sex loos at my dc's school. I have advised my dd not to use them. I have advised my younger ds, who is in year 7 and feels intimidated by the older boys in the single sex loos, to use the mixed sex. So I have mixed feelings about them, but the bottom line is that the kids still have the choice of using single sex loos and I think that this is crucial in every environment.

Ticktackticktock · 04/10/2022 11:19

Self contained cubicles as in each one has its own sink, sanitary bin and floor to ceiling walls/door?

PinkButtercups · 04/10/2022 11:20

I don't agree with mixed toilets. Just an easy way for predators to pounce.

maddy68 · 04/10/2022 11:21

He forgot to close the door. No big deal.
I live in a country where even if they are men and women toilets. Everyone just uses the first available. It's the social norm. No one seems to be remotely bothered

Redqueenheart · 04/10/2022 11:21

I don't like mixed-sex toilets and mixed-sex changing rooms.

Stopped using my local gym and swimming pool because of that as was feeling really uncomfortable.

To me they bring safety issues and as you found out uncomfortable accidents...

GCAcademic · 04/10/2022 11:22

maddy68 · 04/10/2022 11:21

He forgot to close the door. No big deal.
I live in a country where even if they are men and women toilets. Everyone just uses the first available. It's the social norm. No one seems to be remotely bothered

I disagree that being made to see your colleague's dick at work isn't a big deal. It might not be to you, but it would be to a lot of women.

KimberleyClark · 04/10/2022 11:25

Toilets on trains and aircraft are mixed sex, no one seems to have an issue with that?

And OP, when you opened the door it could just have easily been a woman sitting facing you.

ThrowingSomeCrumbs · 04/10/2022 11:30

Accessible toilets are nearly always mixed sex.

InCheesusWeTrust · 04/10/2022 11:31

Well he will never forget to lovk foor again.

Self contained cubicles are great way to go imo.

bigbluebus · 04/10/2022 11:32

I've just been away in the North East and Scotland. I visited a number of tourist attractions/museums where the toilets were mixed sex. Didn't bother me in the slightest. I always open cubicle doors cautiously whatever toilets I'm in just in case there's someone already in there.

The issue here is the staff member not locking the door not mixed sex toilets. Maybe HR need to send a memo out reminding all employees to lock cubicle doors!

user7817811 · 04/10/2022 11:33

We have them at work and I like the self-contained cubicles with a proper wall between them cos you can have a poo in peace. They're directly off a corridor so a lot of traffic and are spotless.

But there's a local venue where they're not regularly cleaned and are out of the way off a kind of quiet hall/room where the door closes behind you. When there's drunk guys I feel quite intimidated and avoid using them.

So they can work but it depends.

Whatwouldscullydo · 04/10/2022 11:35

I hate them. Last time I used one the men using the cubical the other side didbt bother locking the doors. As a result they got walked in on . Id deliberately chosen a cubical that didn't have one opposite ( 3 one side and 4 the other) so fortunately the kids and I were spared the vision. Had we been in another cubicle wed have had front row seats though.

How many men have to have this same " accident " until we stop calling it an accident?

Franca123 · 04/10/2022 11:37

We have individual cublices in a row on either side of a corridor. The left side are male cublices and the right are women's. Each cublice has a mirror and sink in which I like as it's great when using my moon cup. However I hate the walk down the corridor as I feel vulnerable. Not enough to complain but I don't like it. If I saw a colleague's todger all hell would break loose even if it were a 'mistake'. A rain a of hell would come down on HR!

SleeplessInEngland · 04/10/2022 11:39

If they're single-use cubicles I couldn't care less.

roarfeckingroarr · 04/10/2022 11:42

I doubt any woman would ever choose mixed sex over single sex toilets. I hate them and avoid as much as possible.

lifeturnsonadime · 04/10/2022 11:43

I totally agree with you OP and Whatwouldscullydo, too many men accidentally leave doors open.

I would also be interested to know if these are fully individual cubicles with wash basins inside or whether you are expected to share those areas with men.

This only advantages one sex. What is in mixed sex cubicles for women, what do we gain from it.

If one woman is made to feel uncomfortable at work through a unilateral decision of the employer which favours men, that is one woman too many.

InCheesusWeTrust · 04/10/2022 11:47

maddy68 · 04/10/2022 11:21

He forgot to close the door. No big deal.
I live in a country where even if they are men and women toilets. Everyone just uses the first available. It's the social norm. No one seems to be remotely bothered

I can never decide whether this is because there are less pervs abroad or because people are just different in tolerance...

Whatwouldscullydo · 04/10/2022 11:52

lifeturnsonadime · 04/10/2022 11:43

I totally agree with you OP and Whatwouldscullydo, too many men accidentally leave doors open.

I would also be interested to know if these are fully individual cubicles with wash basins inside or whether you are expected to share those areas with men.

This only advantages one sex. What is in mixed sex cubicles for women, what do we gain from it.

If one woman is made to feel uncomfortable at work through a unilateral decision of the employer which favours men, that is one woman too many.

The thing is women don't just use toilets to pee. That gets forgotten

Things women use toilets for:-

Hiding from men who won't leave you alone.

We take our drinks so they arent left on a table open .

Taking care of our children when sudden ill

Cleaning up when we fall ill

Dealing with periods.

Even.miscarriages happen in toilets. I had a big pregnancy haemorrhage in a public toilet. You don't want to be cleaning yourself up next to men .

Sometimes we have children and we have to leave the pram outside the door. You cant do that if u can't see thru the gap at the bottom.

mrsjohnnylawrence · 04/10/2022 11:52

That's not a response from HR.

That's like me saying 'my husband pooed on the sofa and I don't want that to happen'

and the response being

'he probably forgot to go to the toilet'

The issue you raised wasn't, 'how did this happen' but rather that it happened.

Go back and ask for a formal response that isn't a side step. Ask very specific questions:

Where is the consultation around this? May I read it? I was not involved in this consultation, why not?

And go from there.

maddy68 · 04/10/2022 11:56

GCAcademic · 04/10/2022 11:22

I disagree that being made to see your colleague's dick at work isn't a big deal. It might not be to you, but it would be to a lot of women.

Agreed. Seeing a body really isn't a big deal to me in fact I live right next to a nudist beach so maybe I am a bit less shockable at the sight of a naked body than many

maddy68 · 04/10/2022 11:59

Whatwouldscullydo · 04/10/2022 11:52

The thing is women don't just use toilets to pee. That gets forgotten

Things women use toilets for:-

Hiding from men who won't leave you alone.

We take our drinks so they arent left on a table open .

Taking care of our children when sudden ill

Cleaning up when we fall ill

Dealing with periods.

Even.miscarriages happen in toilets. I had a big pregnancy haemorrhage in a public toilet. You don't want to be cleaning yourself up next to men .

Sometimes we have children and we have to leave the pram outside the door. You cant do that if u can't see thru the gap at the bottom.

But men do other things than pee in there too

This is an easily solvable issue by hr sending an email to remind staff to close the doors

lifeturnsonadime · 04/10/2022 12:01

This is an easily solvable issue by hr sending an email to remind staff to close the doors

Only if you assume that some men don't do it on purpose to erode boundaries.

I'm not as trusting of men as you are.

I have very good reason not to be.

Moonmelodies · 04/10/2022 12:01

Maybe he struggled to lock the door as he had his lad with him.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.