One concern that most travelers have while staying at a hostel is whether the bathrooms will be, well, not disgusting. Cleanliness wasn't the cause of concern with travelers staying at Belushi's hostel in Paris. Forget gross toilets or a lack of TP: these visitors were mad about the actual shape of the urinals. Belushi's urinals are shaped like women's open mouths, and now people are calling out the design as inappropriate and completely sexist.
Here is the toilet design that is causing so much controversy:
A concerned traveler posted a pic of the urinals on the Belushi's Facebook page, and told the hostel that she felt these toilets promoted an unsafe environment for women by subtly telling men that it's okay to objectify and disrespect women. The hostel scoffed off the comment, saying that the lips were supposed to represent the Rolling Stones symbol - even though that's not what the original manufacturer intended. Still, support for the Facebook user's stance came flooding in, with many people insisting that the toilets did send a terrible message and had no place in any restroom.
This isn't the first time a business has come under fire for the use of these mouth-shaped urinals. In October 2012 a restaurant in Sydney removed the same design after a writer spoke out about the "misogynistic" design. In addition to removing the urinals, the restaurant issued an apology to its patrons for potentially offending them. It doesn't look like Belushi's sees things the same way.
I think we can all see the "joke" that Belushi's was going for with this set of urinals, and it's completely cringe-worthy in addition to offensive. While some people - like some of the users on Belushi's Facebook page - see this urinal situation as a case of people being too "politically correct," this issue shouldn't be laughed off. Women shouldn't have to put up with a design that reduces them to objects, is sexually aggressive, or makes them generally uncomfortable.
There's no question in my mind of what this urinal implies, and the undertone of this design is disturbing. What's even more disturbing is that Belushi's doesn't see the issue at all.
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