Women Only.

Here in Osaka, about two years ago, the local government decided to introduce “Women only” subway cars. The reason for this change, was to try to curb the out-of-control goosing of women by lecherous Japanese male office workers, during rush hour. Initially, a “women only car” was only in force during the morning and early evening rush hours. Now, however, Osaka subway trains have a women only car throughout the day. This move by the Osaka City government, proved popular with, not only young girls wearing short skirts, but also with older women. Other train companies were soon to follow suit and now almost all trains around the city, have a women only car. With this and other changes for the fairer sex, it was only a matter of time before women would want their own little corner of an airplane. In coming weeks, Japanese Airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA) will have “Women Only” toilets for passengers on international flights. Yes folks,  ANA will offer one toilet on each flight only for women. I find it very interesting that aircraft  johns are ‘lavatories’. I wonder why aircraft designers and builders use such an anachronistic word. Lavatory, like its cousin – latrine,  conjures up an image of filthy public toilets with broken seats, dirty diagrams of male and female genitalia, messages like “For a good time, call Suzie at 6869-2276” scribbled on the walls, and shit still floating in the bowl. The airlines should change the name from lavatories to something more, ‘clean’ sounding like “Private Seat”, “Releasing Chair” or the old standard, “powder room”. Most men are OK with the room being labeled for what it is, “The fart room”, “S & P room” or just plain toilet.  Anyway, the following article announces ANA’s newest idea for the comfort of the female passenger.

 (CNN) Airplane lavatories are among the few unisex bathrooms most people encounter, but that’s about to change for some air travelers.

The Japanese airline All Nippon Airways will introduce women-only lavatories on its international routes starting Monday.

The move comes in response to “numerous requests from passengers for this service,” the company said in a statement.

Many women called for the airline to give them their own lavatories in a 2007 survey of customers, said ANA spokesman Justin C. Massey.

“They didn’t list any specific complaints. … It was just more a matter of general preference,” Massey added.

One women-only lavatory will be designated in the rear section of the passenger cabin and will display a pink version of the universal sign for a ladies’ room as a way to let male travelers know to look for another option. Women can still use any other lavatory.

While restricting men from using the women-only bathroom, the airline has spelled out exceptions to the rule, such when required for safety reasons or when a passenger is not feeling well or “when there are very few female passengers and the women-only designation has been lifted for the flight. ”

There are no plans to designate men-only lavatories, Massey said.

There was mixed reaction to the announcement on FlyerTalk, an online community for frequent fliers.

“The lavatories are scarce enough already. The last thing we need is more restriction of choice,” one poster wrote.

“I’ve never understood gender segregation of single-person bathrooms,” another said.

“Cleanliness is probably the main reason,” countered a third poster.

ANA also made news last fall when it encouraged passengers to use restrooms before boarding to reduce the weight of planes as part of its “ecological travel on the ground and in the sky” campaign.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James Hayton
    Feb 27, 2010 @ 03:39:39

    Good stuff “Marty”! Keep it up!


  2. Betty Chatterjee
    Feb 27, 2010 @ 08:16:06

    Ladies only this and that sounds very old fashioned to me. I must admit when needs must, if the gents is vacant and there’s a queue outside the ladies’, I barge into the gents’. But then I do live in Scandinavia….


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