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    To Pee, or Not to Pee? Sexism Outcry After Dutch Woman Fined

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    A Dutch woman fined after caught relieving herself in a quiet alleyway in Amsterdam has sparked a sexism outcry in Holland.

    Geerte Piening has been ordered to pay US$105 despite insisting the open-air public urinals scattered around Amsterdam's city center are totally unsuitable for women.

    Now thousands are expected to take to the streets in Amsterdam on Friday, September 22, to vent their fury and disgust over the court decision.

    More than 5,000 have already expressed an interest in attending after details of the case emerged on Facebook — with some women even posting photographs showing how the steel-structured urinals are not fit for female-use.

    The 23-year-old Dutch woman had been out drinking with friends in the capital city in 2015 when she was caught short and decided to nip up a quiet side-street to address the matter.

    Despite her friends keeping watch, she was spotted in mid-flow by three police officers who reported her to the authorities.

    Although she initially accepted her actions were wrong, she changed her mind, saying:

    "The next day I thought, just a minute, I'm going to fight this."

    When it came to court, the judge — in this case a man — told her she should have used the men's facilities, of which there are 35 compared to just three toilets designed for women, instead of urinating in public. 

    Known as "wildplassen" in Dutch, the judge also likened the offense to throwing litter on the street rather than using a bin.

    Claiming the alleyway was only a last resort, Ms. Piening complained public facilities for women in other European capital cities were far superior than to those available in Amsterdam.

    Her comments fell on deaf ears, however, resulting in the judge passing on a fine, although he acknowledged there were fewer facilities for women.

    Afterwards Ms. Piening remained flushed over raising the issue, saying:

    "Isn't it embarrassing for a tourist city like Amsterdam that women have nowhere to go? It wasn't my intention that this would become an enormous feminist thing. On the other hand, it's good it's being addressed."

    Amsterdam City Council insisted there had never been any policy on public holidays, although its spokesman Peter Paul Ekker, admitted: "There are more men's than women's just because that's how its gone.

    "Obviously it should be equal and everyone will agree it can be done better, but what are the costs, is there space, and is it worth it?"

    Protest organizer Cathelijne Hornstra hopes the event will highlight the absurdity of crouching "with my buttocks protruding under the edge while half drunk."


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    toilet, public urination, crime, sexism, society, Europe, Holland, Netherlands
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