This is the question I got about a year ago as TinyTuna attempted to use a public restroom. It was a legitimate question for a then-nine year old. After all, we live in suburbia, not on Old McDonald's farm. And although she has been forcibly dipped into the scary waters of elementary school
Perhaps it would have helped if there were a graphic (preferably human) to go along with the cute fowl-inspired bathrooms. Or maybe the hens and roosters could be wearing a tell-tale item of clothing, or some garish red lipstick. But then again, Do chickens have lips?
If you ask me, the VERY LAST place anybody should be creative is on a bathroom door. When one is stampeding to the bathroom, there is simply no time to ponder graphics and word games. I have actually seen a women's restroom labeled as Wopeople. I'm sure someone somewhere thinks it is cute, because heaven forbid someone place the word men on a women's bathroom.
Har Har Har. Spare Me.
This year on vacation we were faced with another bathroom dilemma. This time there was no text at all. Each door had a large wooden crab. One had an eyepatch and a captains hat, and the other had long eyelashes and rosy cheeks. There were no other directions or clues. You simply had to make your best guess and go.
TinyTuna was so amused by these bathroom doors, she gave me a guided tour later in the evening.
Of course, you would correctly guess that the eyepatched captain-hatted crab was for boys. But I take exception to that stereotype, whether it applies to crustaceans, or people with full bladders. There were such things as girl pirates, and certainly they might have worn eyepatches or a captains hat. As for eyelashes and rosy cheeks, I don't think women have a corner on that market. Besides, I've never seen a crab (male or female) emerge from the sea looking like an oceanic streetwalker.
So please, please, please, spare me the buoys and gulls, the bucks and does, the hens and roosters and the Crabbys and Nabbys.
Men and women will do just fine.