Many places in Europe have public restrooms in which the stalls are complete rooms unto themselves, offering enough privacy that they don’t even need to be separated by sex. In contrast, restroom stalls in the US are designed to discourage people from using them.
In America, our toilet stalls are awful. The flimsy partitions start at least a foot off the ground, don’t go anywhere near the ceiling, and fail to block the reality that we’re pooping and peeing right next to each other. Sometimes, these stalls are so shoddily constructed that there is a gap at the edge of the door through which a toilet sitter and someone outside the stall can make eye contact.
Why is that? Because in America, public toilets are designed for the people who own them, not the people who use them. That could be an analogy for many differences between America and the European Union, but that’s an argument for another day. The various reasons for user-unfriendly American restrooms are detailed at Slate. -via Digg
(Image credit: Natalie Matthews-Ramo)