Women-Parts As Urinals

Sociological Images has quite a collection of women-parts as urinals, and sometimes sinks.

Looks like equal parts sex and denigration of women.

From Stephanie Medley-Rath: urinals shaped like women’s mouths (source)

Liz B. sent in a slide show of “innovative” urinals that included this example:

collegehumor_ae6259ecd76621e026a48ef716d2be6fUrinals at the Rosenmeer restaurant in Moenchengladbach, Germany (source):

Nun urinals:

More nun (or maybe the Virgin Mary?) urinals (here):

Emma B. sent in these images of sinks; not a urinal, but I think it fits in with these images pretty well:



Reposted with permission.

Thanks to Gwen Sharp, associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv

And Lisa Wade is a sociology professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 27, 2017, in feminism, men, objectification, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. Red lipsticked lips opened wide as men’s urinals is not a fun contemporary art statement, in my opinion. Nor is using the symbol of the Virgin Mary for human waste acceptable. The high heeled and stocking clad legs/ buttocks sinks and urinals are also unnecessarily intense sexual for restroom décor. These public restroom features symbolize men’s historical power over women. It defines women as receptacles for waste. These urinals and sinks objectify women and leave them without dignity. As these bathroom decorations are all lined up, exact replicas of each other, it also speaks to how some men blatantly ignore the independence and individuality of women. Being a woman does not equal an all- receiving sexual object to be punished and diminished. Possibly the artists who designed these meant them to be a statement against oppression by provoking emotional responses. However, as they are most likely in areas only frequented by men, it is a giant ego booster to have power over women, even as symbols.

  2. Disgraceful and disgusting

  3. I honestly don’t even know how I feel about these urinals. If I walked in a bathroom like this I’d definitely laugh and take a picture, but the urinals make me really uncomfortable. Especially the 5th photo, the mold looks kind of like poop growing on the hamstrings on the legs. The 7th photo looks really unsanitary, I’d like not to have to touch urinals when I use them. Finally, at least the nun urinals are not that explicit, however it’s pretty disrespectful towards people’s religion. The caption says that this is from a restaurant in Germany, but if I walked in on this bathroom I’d laugh and then ask for a refund, because I would’ve lost my apatite. I think the urinals were meant to be a joke or maybe even someone’s perspective on art? Although I do see how this can be degrading or objectifying towards women. I wonder if the women’s bathroom is similar but with male parts and a priest?

  4. Reacting to these images is overwhelming because I don’t know what to think. I don’t think it’s useful like the purpose of the display is to make them want to pee? Like I’m trying to think of a reason that isn’t directed as a form of objectification and plain disrespecting women and women’s bodies. It’s so weird to even think of women objectifying men as bathroom display is offputting and see no purpose other than to offend them. But something that is common in these pictures is how female parts are being hyper-sexualized to please the male fantasy. That has been influenced by media, social norms, and many other aspects of our lives like these for example. This can be tied to how men learn about women’s bodies as just sexually due to the social learning theory that women’s bodies are seen as something men like to conquer from patriarchy ideology.

  5. My first thought of seeing these photos was wow, I wonder whose bright idea was it to use women’s body parts as urinals and sinks. My second thought was, I wonder if the men that use those urinals actual like it and enjoy it or, do they think it is disturbing and degrading. My third thought, was, I wonder if any of the men using those urinals or sinks have complained about it to a manager or tried to defend the fact that that establishment is objectifying women. Not only does this belittle women and any authority that they worked for, but the fact that there are also nuns as urinals, I mean that to me is so disrespectful. It is horrifying that establishments would use nuns, a religious figure and abolish all meaning of their lives. They are a sign of purity and chastity and having any sort of thought of what might be “underneath those robes” is something I saw in a movie. Now they are fetishizing them (nuns) and its incredibly sad, also, there are men that have adverse reactions if a woman were to objectify them and they would think there is something wrong with the woman. Maybe they just don’t put themselves in woman’s shoes enough and don’t want to understand how women might feel with being objectified.

  6. I have never seen anything like this before in person, and I have never heard of this [women parts as urinals] before, until now. I have however seen something similar, although they were chairs structured to look like animal rear ends rather. I feel that while the concept of chairs being used as an illusion or effect can be seen as humorous. But I see no humor in replacing urinals with female parts and this further proves that Women and girls are more likely than men and boys to be objectified and sexualized in society. And as a female, I find this to be extremely degrading. With the number of ways the workforce has been changing, it’s a bit disturbing to see something like this as being acceptable, regardless if a particular business who chooses to install these urinals have a higher rate of male workers versus female workers. The bottom line is, having women parts as urinals is just wrong. And I feel that this is a huge step back with regards to progression and women in society, and the long standing history of women being viewed as sexual objects.

  7. Stefanie Moreno-Martinez

    It is truly astonishing to see these images especially in these supposed progressive times we live in. There are so many things in the world and the fact that this is one of the creations we have made into existence goes to show how far we really have come in terms of I’d say feminism widespread in general. When these urinals were made I am sure no damage was really intended towards women but it is clear to anyone that this is a demeaning act towards many. After so many years of fighting for women’s suffrage , this just makes a sort of mockery in the sense that we have been placed in a position where we need to be okay with the objectification of women, even in public restrooms. The norm of having these urinals in which are put out there and built the way they are for monetization and ultimately the pleasure and entertainment of men.

  8. I worked as a contractor for semiconductor company in the Bay Area and as a site manager this is more common than people would think. In less occupied buildings, and buildings that were more populated with men than with women, you could find things in the restrooms with similar messages. We found parts of sex toys, images, vulgar targets in the urinals, someone drew lips on one of the urinal edges and so on. When female janitors took offense, complained about not feeling safe, the answer was for the janitorial company to move this woman to a more female friendly route and put a male in her place. When you go deeper into the work environment and into the sub-levels of the facility engineers, you would find a lot more derogatory paraphernalia posted about in the shops, in the trucks, in the shop bathrooms, on their personal tools- places you wouldn’t normally see unless you were in these locations daily working them. There are many reasons I left, this is just one of them.

    I would like to see these swapped and put into the same locations as they are now, as a man’s mouth, a man’s backside and the body of a man spread eagle with all their stick and berries hanging out the bottom and let’s see how they would feel about it then…I think it is interesting that the first thing insecure men have to say is that they are not into dudes or not gay when they are approached with provocative male poses and body parts. Why does this now all of a sudden prompt a verbal response of them and their sexuality? Men who like these urinals don’t like their own gender parts in their faces, why should it be acceptable to have this be women parts? Do as I say, not as I do….

    It is hard to look at these as a form of art, as a message besides anything that is dark and derogatory, and we wonder why we can’t break the chain. At some point in their life, the little boys in the world will grow up will have come face to face with it. If exposed too early it becomes a behavior, if later in life it is taboo to go against the norm, even though they may be conflicted inside. I wish more men would stand up to these kind of displays and other men who feel this is appropriate. Why does the vulgar get to have the upper hand, it’s not even to be a man in this case, be a human and fight it. If someone can look at these and be OK with it, they will be OK with it being their sister, mother, daughter, girlfriend, wife, grandmother, their granddaughter. Men have to help change the world and stop coasting on the demons’ coat tails in life.

  9. Thank you for bringing up and sharing these problematic images. Not only is it a degradation of women, it is encouraging the user to see people’s body parts and religious figures as worthy of being treated like a toilet or cleaner. I don’t think it would be enough to avoid these places, I think the sick sense of humor of those who install these in their establishments should be challenged by regulators, as the offense of these fixtures is limited only to whoever doesn’t use the facilities of the establishment. To everyone else, it propagates a toxic idea that these body parts and religious figures either belong in such a dirty place as a bathroom or that they function only to serve those who are using them. But not only the people who are installing these fixtures should be challenged, the manufacturers of such fixtures should be challenged. Why create something so disrespectful that is not only unnecessary, but practically useless besides to humor or shock those using the facilities. To me, these fixtures are a huge waste of materials as well. I doubt there would be a urinal in the shape of lips without lipstick, because that would imply something else besides what is intended, to see women, lip stick wearers, religious figures, people in stockings and heels, people in lingerie as worthy fixtures of the places they’re in, bathrooms. In any case, I still don’t see the benefit to women of these installments being made or sold.

  10. Jennifer Valenzuela

    First of all I want to say thank you for bringing awareness to this. I can’t be the only one who hadn’t seen these very offensive urinals. Since I didn’t even know these existed, when I saw the first one with what looks like women’s lips with red lipstick, I immediately felt upset. As a woman, I feel disgusted and offended to be honest. I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to sexualize women so much. I want to say that it’s most likely men running the establishments who think it’s funny or attractive to make urinals in forms that disrespect women. The one that looks as if it’s a women upside down wearing lingerie with her legs open made me very upset. It frustrates me even more to think that men and possibly women think these urinals are acceptable. I asked myself why do they think they need to do this? I think one of the reasons the business owners may install these is to bring in clientele. Its sad that they stooped down to that level.

  11. I can only assume that the owners of these establishments that put items like this into their buildings are not getting any sex, and are from an extremely lower class of society. Certainly 100% of the people behind these installations do not have positive female influences in their lives. There is a difference between thinking something is funny or tantalizing, but then acting on it is a different story.

    They can achieve beautiful designs in their bathrooms by infusing color on walls, finding a real artist to paint a mural or even to make a gorgeous tile mosaic that catches the eye. Unfortunate to see them have to resort to such base and offensive items for the men’s restrooms. It is making me wonder what the women’s restrooms look like in these places, as I see that some are restaurants. I searched online for spectacular women’s bathrooms and only found a lot of beautiful and classy bathrooms along with these same classless men’s bathrooms. Yeah I know, the red lips urinals are a take-off on the Rolling Stones, but that doesn’t make it classy nor a good idea. Just sad and pathetic.

  12. I find these images very offensive and is super distrusting. It’s literally a men urinating on a womens vajina. To me this symbolizes that men believe they are superior to women and can do to them whatever the please. It’s just not right. It’s showing women being seen as objects and it’s sad to me how some men believe this is cool.

    How would a men feel if us women were urinating in their face or even on their private parts? I’m pretty sure they’d feel offended. They’d feel like they have no control to what a women could do to them. Well at least that’s how I feel. We have no control on how men feel toward us. We can’t make some men respect women. It’s like a women’s thoughts and opinions doesn’t matter so someone.

    For example, men don’t like it when other people touch their butt, yet it’s okay for men to touch a woman’s butt. It’s a form of sexism. So why is it ok to have these urinals ?

  13. The motives of the people who designed these urinals were probably to entertain and gain attention. That being said, people really need to start to think about the long-term effects of their actions. While this may have started as something funny and meaningless in their minds, it is actually the epitome of objectifying and sexualizing women. Every action has a reaction, and as for this, the reaction to this is negative to society especially our younger generations. Younger people’s minds are so malleable and susceptible to all aspects that surround them. We already have enough examples of people objectifying women without this, and for our younger generations to grow up around this is appalling. I would like to live to see the day where gender-equality is not only present but a socially accepted norm. If we continue to bypass things like this our younger generations will grow up on these skewed principles that we so desperately need to get rid of.

  14. This post was really disturbing to see. As a woman I have never really been inside of men’s bathrooms and seen urinals, especially not like this. Frankly it is quite disgusting to see. These images greatly promote further objectivity and sexualization of women. These women parts on the urinals become increasingly disturbing as one realizes that these images only depict certain parts of the female body, such as their mouths or behinds. The objectifying of women is a huge problem in our society as it leads to violence, more so sexual violence. These images demean women and suggest to men that only certain parts of a woman are to be valued or looked at. When people are objectified it leads them to be dehumanized, making violence easier. The less men see women as humans the easier it becomes to violate them, meaning rape, assult, and simply put down. Furthermore these images are offensive, suggesting to men that women are so below them that they can literally pee on them. 

  15. First off. Nuns should not be urinals. Not only is that offensive to those who follow religion but also it’s just gross. I’m not a religious person but a little respect goes a long way. Now as for the women’s body parts like mouths, legs, rumps, and such I can see both sides of the argument. One the one hand they are fantastically crafted and hilariously vibrant pieces of art. On the other hand they are being peed on….. You can find more of this kind of thing all over as well. There are even lamps in the shape of butts that you slap the cheek to turn it on. (link to a video below) That being said go into any Spencer’s and you can find penis shaped everything, joke items galore. Sex can be used for humor or expression and to say that peeing on the female figure is wrong also puts down those who might have certain fetishes. Is it uncomfortable for the average woman? Probably. Are there plenty of women who find it hilarious and who are willing to try one of those out themselves? Ofcourse! Sometimes we need to step back from our own comforta and find humor in these things or better if upset at this then make male centered versions as well! Phallic art can be just as beautiful and silly!

  16. First off, I just wanted to say that the art is amazing. The first picture of the mouth is fabulous with bright red color on the lips and extremely white shiny teeth. There seems to be no tongue, which makes me a little bit disappointed. For the other parts, even though I appreciate how nice it can be, it is a little bit disturbing and disgusting especially the picture where the legs were up in the air and the nun part. For the legs up picture, I feel like it makes me uncomfortable to even use it. The nun part seems to be a little bit disrespectful to someone who is Christian. It does not matter how amazing the art may be, it is still considered a degradation of women to me. Imagine if men parts were put like that, what would happen? Probably, no one is going to use it.

    • Yeah, looking at it from an art perspective it’s pretty good. Too bad it’s disrespectful. I would like to know what people would think if male parts were depicted like that.

  17. http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/24701-fbi-woman-killed-on-cruise-ship-in-fatal-domestic-dispute-during-murder-mystery-dinner

    I wrote too much in above post, but I posted this because of how absurd. Domestic violence is not new and murders or rapes unfortunately. It’s always on the news. I pointed this out because not just because of the result, which was murder. But the husband said he killed his wife on the cruise “she wouldn’t stop laughing at him”. Are you effing kidding me? You had a post I think about a woman in the middle east I think whose husband caught off her fingers because she had an education so apparently smarter than him.

    This insecurity drives me crazy. Yes women may cry easier from a person being mean, but evidence of this keeps on showing that it’s men who are more emotional and more sensitive because they can’t handle sometimes the smallest thing without resorting to violence. Men are Deemed as stoic, but it’s a person with a thin skin who does that stuff. And yes, many men don’t do that so I don’t mean that. But I mean let’s think about road rage for instance. Yes women get mad and flip the finger and can be aggressive. But who do you read about in the news about someone getting shot or beat up or killed or beaten with a bat? It has to be like 95% of the perpertrators a man or men doing so.

    • Thanks. Maybe I’ll write on this sometime.

      • Makes me think of a quote, that you’ve probably posted and know of that I’ve seen before.

        “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

        This story literally make me think of that and unfortunately it’s not the first and many in relation to this literally and metaphorically.

      • That quote makes a really good point.

  18. Pamela Ndiribe

    Aww this is awful. How are women supposed to be taken seriously when every second body parts are the focus? I couldn’t imagine my fiancé going to a restaurant restroom and seeing this. As a feminist, he would walk right back out and have us leave (yes sadly, he’s a bigger feminist than me…in practice). And the picture of the teenager using the sink. This also poisons his mind if he grows up in an environment that tolerates this. I believe here in the US we also perpetuate these type of things, but perhaps in different ways. Here we see it in ads, music, television, etc. it’s so integrated into the culture that it comes off as normal and most people don’t notice it, I believe restrooms should not have these types of urinals as it is not only not classy, but it also does not show respect for the female, I don’t believe that the women’s bathroom should have men’s body parts to even it out. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, I found the bathroom, with the virgin mother Mary also very demeaning, as it also shows no respect for religion. All in all, bathrooms like this are not in any shape or form lifting the female gender, rather it is demeaning and highly unnecessary.

  19. Although these urinals may be made as jokes or even entertainment where people can laugh over it is honestly the message that it sends to others. To begin it sexualizes women and objectifies them, for example it sends a message that women are meant to be used. The question is how using women parts as a urinal tells us about society as a whole? Why is it that women parts used as urinals funny? What’s the joke? Now when I’ve asked some people these questions what’s funny is that they can’t come up with an answer for me. What would happen if we reversed the situation and have sexualized men parts in women restroom? Would the argument still be the same or would it stray a different path? With this objectification of women it shows how societies views on women have changed itself when things such as lips are designed to be urinals.

  20. I have seen a few images of women’s parts as urinals in the past, but I have never had as strong of a reaction as I did seeing the large quantity of photos together. The first thought that had come to my mind is how you would never or very rarely experience male objectification of toilet stalls or sinks in women’s restrooms. The parts of the body being portrayed such as the mouths, legs, and bottoms only encourages female objectification in our society. Women do not think of men as sexual objects in our everyday lives, but seeing these male bathrooms shows us how females as sexual objects is a norm in our society. Men use these stalls for funny entertainment and think of it as a joke. However, I believe using such urinals or sinks can reinforce rape culture and align with a lack of treating women with equality in our everyday lives.

  21. This is my personal opinion on this. I do not think that this is an attack towards or at women. As a woman I do not take offense to this as I know it is all for comedy or for kicks. What I think really matters here is that after people encounter these unique features, that they do not treat women in the degrading manner that the urinals and sinks depict. To even out the field, I think it would be great if the same thing was done in the women’s bathroom, but with the male parts. Again, I don’t find this to be offense in itself, but if it left the wrong impression on people or caused them to treat women differently afterwards, then I think its doing more harm than for jokes. However, knowing how these things will affect people and their mentalities toward women because of the degrading nature of the features, I think that there needs to be signs or posters in the same room as these things disclaiming that they do not depict real life situations nor should these be acted out on women.
    Thank you

  22. I mean, this is ridiculous.

  23. I’ve seen pictures where hillary clinton’s face was photoshopped on the wall above each urinal making it looking like it’s her mouth…

    • Wow!

      Why so much hatred toward her, do you think?

      • People feel she’s corrupt, right or wrong, but many do. You know the emails, bengazi, etc.

      • Yet people think that most politicians are corrupt. The people who most hate Hillary don’t have the same hatred for Donald Trump and yet he is, if anything, worse: Russian emails, doing what the Russians want (getting rid of sanctions and even suggesting joint US/Russian Internet surveillance — the better for Russia to spy on us.)

        And betraying his base by aligning with the elite the minute he gets into office — and yet I don’t hear them talking about this corruption and betrayal.

  24. Those are in poor taste, but mathematically half of all people have below average intelligence. This has nothing to do with the other half.

  25. But how do you know it is denigration of women? Isn’t gender a social construct? They might be male mouths, and men in snow-white outfits or stockings.

    • Sex and gender are two different things:

      * sex is biological
      * gender is what we make of the biology

      Sex: These are clearly meant to depict biological women.

      Here’s the gender part: you can treat women with respect or not. Gender-wise, these don’t treat women with respect.

      • “These are clearly meant to depict biological women.”

        Why is a mouth or legs in stockings, or a veiled face clearly biological women? Of course I agree they depict women, but I only think that because women wear stockings and veils and lipstick, which you consider a mere social construct.

        “Gender-wise, these don’t treat women with respect.”

        Huh, I thought you were upset because they were biologically female, not gender-female?

        Anyway, you don’t believe in binary gender, so they might only be 68% feminine, 20% masculine and 12% attack helicopter. Why aren’t you upset for the men in Rocky Horror Picture Show who wore lipstick and stockings who are degraded by these artefacts?

  26. I remember I sold a bachelor’s home that had something similar and I convinced the seller to remove it prior to selling. When we sold and helped him purchase another, it went right back into the new home. PPffffft.

  27. Wow!!
    I don’t even know where to being with these pictures. It makes a good joke, it make a different look and style to the bathrooms, but how do that make people feel and what do it really say to someone. On a drunkin bar hopping night, I can so see myself laughing at this if my guys friends show this to me. I probably even try to go get a picture with me smacking one on the butt. On the serious note do i really want someone pissing in my mouth? This is reminds me of the controversy about woman wearing skipping clothes out and men say its your fault that you got raped..NOOOO!! Wrong!! I can hear a guys saying, “well I seen it in the men restroom to use the woman mouth as a urinal, so I actually did it to a real one”…potty foul!! haha.. If the woman restroom have the same kind of decor with penises as the handles to turn on the water and use male testicles as soap dispenser I think this is acceptable. If this was in a sex house like the bunny ranch or crazy festival like the Exotic Erotic Ball this would be a hit. That will be acceptable. But who want to a nice restaurant for dinner then go was your hand are use one of these. A person will come back to the table and not want to finish the dinner just go straight home and have sex. If you are on a date you come back to the table with a boner, what do you think your date will think. Well for me I don’t hate it and i don’t think its acceptable everywhere, I personally have a very wild and open mind but there is a lot of people that like to be classy and keeping person life where it belongs in the bedroom.

  28. This sounded a lot like Armsterdam… was quite amazed to find out which were the locations. 😉 Some are quite artistic (like the mouths, I´d say)… But the aparently “hidden” message is not that subtle, uh!. xx

  29. Did anyone check the women’s room?

    • I been in a lot of women’s rooms and never seen anything like this.

      That said, I doubt many men have seen this everything either. But if anyone has let me know.

  30. Yikes

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