UMass Prof Talks About Her Time In the Ladies Room

Strange item here. A symposium in New York over the weekend discussed the public toilet, its use, misuse, and role in society. (Role? I thought there was only one.) For seven hours the worlds leading academics and architects debated. In between debates they excused themselves for—what else?—bathroom breaks.

That’s when the high-minded discussion gave way to utilitarian duty. Insufficiencies abounded. Take what Olga Gershenson found, an assistant professor at UMass-Amherst and co-editor of Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender (buy your copy today!):

The woman in the stall next to me knew from the previous user that there was no toilet paper in my stall, and she proactively handed a bunch of toilet paper under the stall to me before I’d even noticed it.

I guess the only comfort here is that the Times nailed the tone of the story. I’m not exactly proud of the fact that UMass-Amherst allowed someone to go to this symposium, nor am I proud that I’ve posted this. (I’m trying my best not to make a joke that’s beneath this both of us, dear reader.)