The case of misogynistic toilets

Date

Jacqui Le

Ananas Brasserie has apologised over its urinals shaped like women's lips.

Ananas Brasserie has apologised over its urinals shaped like women's lips. Photo: James Alcock

A Sydney restaurant is removing urinals shaped like women's mouths and has apologised for causing offence.

The two urinals, in the shape of bright red, wide-open lips, were installed in the French restaurant Ananas in Sydney's Rocks area.

They formed part of Sydney Morning Herald critic Terry Durack's review of the restaurant in this week's Good Food.

The red lip urinals by Dutch artist Meike van Schijnde at Ananas Bar and Brasserie in The Rocks.

The red lip urinals by Dutch artist Meike van Schijnde at Ananas Bar and Brasserie in The Rocks. Photo: AAP

The restaurant said the urinals were "a commonly used European design piece from female Dutch artist Meike van Schijnde" but would be removed.

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"We sincerely apologise if they have caused offence. They are being removed today," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the interior design company that selected the items for the restaurant described them as "playful".

Feminist publisher Anne Summers said interior design was not an excuse for misogyny.

"Misogyny is very widespread, and this is just an example of misogyny," she said.

"The concept is pretty challenging and confronting.

"They're asking men to put their d---- in these mouths as urinals."

It's not the first time designer urinals have caused controversy.

In 2006 four urinals shaped like women's lips designed by Austrian artist Rudolf Scheffel were taken away from public toilets near the National Opera in Vienna after protests from women's groups.

They were later sold on eBay.

Meredith Burgmann, founder of the annual Ernie Awards for sexist comments, described the urinals as "schoolboy grubbiness".

But she said she wasn’t surprised, given the recent "outpouring of misogynist incidents".

AAP

29 comments

  • Note to interior design consultant. This is weird IMHO not 'playful'. If one assumes the lips are indeed meant to resemble a womans lips then it also becomes really really tasteless.

    Playful would be a lemon tree.

    Commenter
    MattG
    Date and time
    October 11, 2012, 8:37AM
    • Boring....

      It doesn't seem like people are able to have any fun without offending another group..

      Commenter
      MK
      Date and time
      October 11, 2012, 8:48AM
      • what fun? This is fun? How old are you anyway?

        Commenter
        grow up
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 10:13AM
      • Might I suggest you grow down...you'll be less grumpy if you can laugh at many things, instead of only those things you think you're supposed to find funny.

        Commenter
        Tim the Toolman
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 12:41PM
    • Don't you think this is a little too far? Do you think men are really thinking that much when they pee? I think most people would see them, have a chuckle, wee and leave. Maybe tell someone when they got back to their table. That's it! As a women I am not offended by this at all.

      Commenter
      Carla_bunga
      Date and time
      October 11, 2012, 9:01AM
      • I agree,
        I had a giggle when I saw this,
        I bet it wouldn't be sexiest if the women bathrooms had a mans mouth for a toilet seat!

        Commenter
        al
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 9:56AM
      • +1
        If I was dining there with a male friend and he told me about the urinal, I'd have a laugh and want to go see it for myself!

        Commenter
        Lena
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 10:34AM
      • @Carla_bunga I see your point. I also see a bit of humour with these urinals and I'm female.

        However, everyones minds work differently.

        On one side we have those who may see a little bit of innocent humour, on the other we have individuals whose conscious or subconscious discrimination, stereotyping or even misogyny is reinforced.

        I think we have an imbalance, the chuckle I get just isnt worth it.

        Commenter
        Melbournite
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 11:33AM
      • @Carla, Lena & @Melbournite
        You're all correct, these ARE playful and humourous, the trouble is that we're being dictated to by the minority who whinge and whine louder than those of us who don't believe anything wrong has occurred. There are real and detrimental issues facing women in the world today, why not focus on those instead of drumming up 'scandals' where none exist???

        Commenter
        Jester
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 1:11PM
      • Sorry but who said the urinal was a women's mouth? Couldn't it quite easily be a man's mouth too? Personally I think it is a stupid gimic and couldn't care less if it stayed or went. I do however have a problem with these constant misuse of the word "misogynist" and the over reaction by feminists.

        How do these urinals demonstrate that someone hates women???

        Commenter
        Jimmy D
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 1:48PM

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