What’s Current: French feminists protest open-air urinals

Image: facebook.com/uritrottoir
  • Feminists in Paris are protesting open-air urinals by filling them with used menstrual products and concrete and plastering them with stickers condemning them as sexist. Gwendoline Coipeault of the feminist organization Femmes Solidaires tells The Guardian:

“It is not just men who occupy the public space, but also women and children, who might not want to see men publicly urinate. These urinals are designed to comfort men and reinforce the idea that women aren’t welcome in the public space. It is discrimination and reinforces the stereotypical, sexist idea that men can’t control themselves in any way, including their bladders.”

  • In Australia, Tara Smith is suing the Victoria Police for failing to adequately protect her and her children from years of violence at the hands of her male partner.
  • Calgary Police are investigating a recent attack on a lesbian couple as a hate crime.
  • In the US, 473 johns have been arrested as part of the National John Suppression Initiative — a month long operation involving two dozen law enforcement agencies across 12 states.
  • Betsy DeVos, the US Education Secretary, is proposing a new set of rules to govern the response to sexual harassment and assault on campus. The proposed policy is being criticized for protecting the interests of accused students and institutions, rather than the rights of victims.
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.