Friday, February 24, 2012

A Chinese Protest Movement. Really!

Li Tingting armed her fellow women with placards and marched them into the front lines of a war in which women have traditionally lost every battle. In the latest foray to correct an obvious injustice, women in China have started protesting the great disparity in wait times between men and women to use public facilities.

The protest movement, called “Occupy Men’s Toilet,” started in Guangzhou, China. After the women had blocked the men’s rooms for hours, Chinese officials in the province discovered that having a long wait to use a facility is quite unpleasant; they agreed to add 50% more women’s toilets there. Now that is a major victory for women!

Ms. Li intends to take her protest to Beijing next month, when the Parliament will have its annual meeting. She hopes that she and her fellow protesters can persuade the high-level state officials that adding 50% more women’s toilets throughout China is necessary to correct the unfair wait time that women have stoically endured for many years.

I, for one, find this protest more understandable than the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the U.S. Having to wait in long lines to use a public facility is uncomfortable and bad for women’s health. Although some women have made life-long friends of strangers they met while standing in line, which is nice, that “perk” takes a back seat to bladder and kidney infections caused by having to “hold it.” Face it, we could use more women’s restrooms in the U.S., too.

            I suspect that Ms. Li has a great future ahead of her. A woman who can create a protest movement in Communist China and actually win must be phenomenal. You go, girl!


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