Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Over the Counter #423
No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs by Lezlie Lowe.
From the publisher, Coach House Books:
"This book is Number One in addressing the politics of where we're allowed to 'go' in public.
Adults don't talk about the business of doing our business. We work on one assumption: the world of public bathrooms is problem- and politics-free. No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs reveals the opposite is true. No Place To Go is a toilet tour from London to San Francisco to Toronto and beyond. From pay potties to deserted alleyways, No Place to Go is a marriage of urbanism, social narrative, and pop culture that shows the ways -- momentous and mockable -- public bathrooms just don't work. Like, for the homeless, who, faced with no place to go sometimes literally take to the streets. (Ever heard of a municipal poop map?) For people with invisible disabilities, such as Crohn's disease, who stay home rather than risk soiling themselves on public transit routes. For girls who quit sports teams because they don't want to run to the edge of the pitch to pee. Celebrities like Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen have protested bathroom bills that will stomp on the rights of transpeople. And where was Hillary Clinton before she arrived back to the stage late after the first commercial break of the live-televised Democratic leadership debate in December 2015? Stuck in a queue for the women's bathroom. Peel back the layers on public bathrooms and it's clear many more people want for good access than have it. Public bathroom access is about cities, society, design, movement, and equity. The real question is: Why are public toilets so crappy?"
(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)