‘Don’t put your handbag on the bed it’s been all kinds of nasty places,’ says HRH.
‘All kinds of nasty places, what do you mean?’ I ask him.
‘Well bathroom stall floors for one thing.’
‘No no no, when I am in a bathroom stall I hang my handbag on the peg.’
‘Peg? What peg?’
It was at that point that it occurred to me. My husband would have had no opportunity to go inside a women’s bathroom stall so he had no idea there were pegs on the back of the doors to hang your bag and coat. And I had no idea that there were no pegs on the back of the door in men’s bathrooms. I went on to reveal (to his amazement) the presence of nice smelling hand soap and hand lotion (in the better bathrooms) and sofas and separate mirrored waiting areas (in the even better bathrooms known as powder rooms).
It got me thinking. In this day and age there are very few areas of life that are not integrated in gender terms. I reckon the bathroom is the last place that exists where genders are separated. I know that there are some smaller places where there is maybe one bathroom that men and women share but I don’t think guys notice the hook on the back of the door for the simple reason that their backs are to the door when they do their business (well most times!), and I imagine they don’t give a thought to the low gray rectangular box next to the toilet either.
Men and women are equal and different. We aren’t the same and in the midst of a lot of misunderstanding about what it means to be equal, on both men and women’s part, it is good to reflect on the differences too. The differences are part of what makes us so interesting and so able to complement each other.