WITH gender politics causing much confusion, some businesses have resorted to providing unisex washrooms to avoid the thorny ‘who-uses-what?’ issue.
But the more prosaic of reasons is probably most businesses just want to save precious square footage for other income-generating usage leading to this fad of gender-neutral toilets.
However, this does lead to another problem rearing its ugly head – Peeping Toms. In the age of the mobile phone, Peeping Toms have so much more opportunity to satisfy their fetishes. From upskirting to unconsented video taking, the mobile phone has greatly weaponised the modern day peeping tom.
This was certainly the distressing experience of a female patron at a popular dessert outlet last week where a part-time worker at the outlet had followed her into the unisex washroom to film her doing her business.
“When I was nearly finished in the restroom, I heard someone enter and occupy the adjacent stall. Initially, I didn’t find this suspicious … However, after about 10 seconds an eerie silence fell,” stated the victim who shared her ordeal with news portal Says.
“Concerned about my privacy, I inspected the gaps, ensuring there were no signs of cameras or phones. I pulled up my trousers before spotting an individual holding up a green phone. At that moment, I panicked and shouted, ‘Hey, who is this?’”
At this point, the suspect swiftly lowered the phone and left the stall. However, the victim spotted him walking through the corridor at a fast pace and positioning himself behind the pastry counter.
“He was holding the same exact phone I saw in the restroom,” claimed the victim, adding that he appeared to be engrossed in his phone, presumably deleting any videos or photos that he had taken of her.
The victim confronted the alleged perpetrator who denied any wrongdoing. The outlet supervisor was notified but could not find any incriminating evidence on the suspect’s phone.
The victim has since lodged a police report and cautions other women to be vigilant when using public facilities.
In a surprising twist, the Peeping Tom has confessed to his actions, writing an apology to the victim.
“I would like to deeply and humbly apologise for my wrongdoings for the harm I caused to the victim, and I fully understand the severity of my actions for the crime that I committed on Thursday,” the suspect wrote in the letter while also providing a detailed account of the events that transpired.
The perpetrator said he went to use the restroom to relieve himself but decided to record the victim after succumbing to “intrusive thoughts”.
“(However, it), ended up with me getting caught in the act. This is not an excuse for my actions due to my lack of awareness, self-discipline and principles. I panicked as I realised the severity of what I had done and then tried to leave the scene, walking to the front counter,” he wrote.
The perpetrator has been given a stern warning by the police and has had his services terminated by the dessert outlet.
Remorse aside, the fact remains that these unisex toilets are not viable given there are young men out there with similar “intrusive thoughts” who may see these public restrooms as their personal viewing galleries.
If indeed businesses wish to insist on providing unisex facilities, they should at least ensure the toilets are built for maximum privacy of its occupants. Stalls should have dividers that prevent Peeping Toms from doing any mischief.
No female should ever feel threatened or unsafe just from using a public washroom – unisex or otherwise. – Sept 27, 2023
Main pic credit: Quora