Toilets get people talking

‘What were they thinking’

A number of female employees of the RUG are bothered by the stickers on the bathroom doors of the brand-new Energy Academy at Zernike. The female figure is smaller than the male figure. ‘Visual repression,’ they say.
Text by Rob Siebelink / Translation by Alain Reiniers

Their protest on the Facebook page of the UK is getting a lot of response. ‘All female figures on the stickers of the bathrooms at the new Energy Academy Europe are about five centimetres shorter than the male version. Of course, women are smaller on average, but this depiction is a symbol for the inferiority of women.’ The writers want the stickers replaced with new ones that are equal in size.

The Facebook message resulted in a host of reactions. Primarily dismissive ones and not only from men. ‘I think there’s better things to do in the world than have a discussion about these kinds of things’ is one of them. And: ‘If you’re worried about the length of stickers on doors, then it’s clear you don’t live in a country where there is war or famine.’

This picture does not symbolise the inferiority of women, a third person says. ‘What this email does symbolise is how quickly one feels they are a victim of something. What is worse, is that actual victims are at risk of not being taken seriously any more.’

Just Men/Women

But people are also supportive. ‘What is wrong with letters? Men/Women is as clear as day. The RUG’s stickering department needs to replace this as soon as possible and confront the supplier with this silliness.’ Another says: ‘What kind of person even thinks about making one sticker smaller than the other? You’ve got to be wrong in the head.’

However, the majority of reactions consist of sarcasm. ‘Is this for real? Seriously, we should sue the maker of the stickers. At least 5 years of jail for this imprudent action!’ Or: ‘And can we please have the handle pointing down as is proper? This implies that we all dress on the right.’ A third person only had a few words for this: ‘Well. Everything has turned to shite.’

And there are also those who put things into perspective jokingly. ‘I bet this sticker of the female figure is taller than I am. So, I’m not too bothered.’ And: ‘Turns out the glass ceiling is not that low, it stops only five centimetres underneath the men.’



  1. People need to keep things in perspective. The only reason the female figure is smaller, is because the dress makes it wider. At the same height it wouldn’t fit the width of the door. So this is a case of crappy design, not some kind of statement.


Reacties met een link worden beoordeeld en kunnen worden geweigerd. / Comments containing a link will be reviewed and may not be published.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here