Feminist protesters vandalized new open-air street urinals in Paris, claiming they are sexist as breastfeeding continues to be frowned upon in public.
The public baths of the street have been causing commotion in the sidewalks of the French capital when the feeders disguised as gardeners began to appear in some of the most glamorous neighborhoods of the city.
The colorful "uritrottoir", as it was called, was introduced about two months ago to deal with the growing pavements soaked in Paris urine.
But protesters this week attacked two of the urinals in the modern Ile Saint-Louis area and near Gare de Lyon by plastering them with sanitary napkins dyed red and tampons, then blocked them with concrete.
The & # 39; uritrottoirs & # 39; in the modern neighborhood of Ile Saint-Louis and near the Gare de Lyon station, they were vandalized with sanitary napkins dyed red, tampons and then blocked with concrete
The notes left in the urinals say in French: "Women are asked to remove their breasts to breastfeed and hide. Men who take their sex [organ] to urinate are subsidized by the town hall & # 39;
The notes left behind criticized the Paris authorities for encouraging men to decompress and relieve themselves in open places.
The activists were especially offended by the encouragement of men to urinate in the sight of families, when women are still often repressed for breastfeeding in public.
Advocates of equality and women's groups, along with local residents and their parents, have complained that outdoor urinals are sexist, discriminatory and actually encourage more urinating on the street.
A note left on the scene said in French: "Women are asked to remove their breasts to breastfeed to hide. Men who take their sex [organ] to urinate are subsidized by the town hall. No to c **** in public. & # 39;
Another ad compared men urinating on the street with dogs.
Other notes written by activists and left in the toilets of the street in Paris asked the men not to urinate in the street like dogs
The controversial urinals emerged months ago to address the public piss in the French capital, where women are reprimanded for breastfeeding in open spaces
No group has claimed responsibility for the vandalism, but the feminist protest group Femen denied their participation and the police are investigating.
A & urinary & # 39; urinoir & # 39; Ecological that is considered particularly offensive is painted in a red mailbox and topped with a flower box in the elegant Île Saint-Louis neighborhood, just a few steps from Notre Dame.
Local shopkeepers and residents at the tourist attraction point have protested the elimination of the "immodest and ugly" urinal and fear that the city "is getting ridiculous."
The fashionable locals of Ile Saint-Louis said that the receptacle, without any kind of stall around it, could ruin its ultra-chic neighborhood.
Gwendoline Coipeault, of the feminist organization Femmes Solidaires, said: "It is not only men who occupy the public space, but also women and children, who may not want to see men urinating publicly.
These urinals are designed to comfort men and reinforce the idea that women are not welcome in the public space. It is discrimination and reinforces the stereotyped and sexist idea that men can not control themselves in any way, including their bladders.
"I do not know any woman who regularly goes to Paris who has not seen a man peeing in public, openly in the streets, in the subway, which reinforces a sense of insecurity."
Some of the urinals have been placed in some of the most famous areas of Paris, in the most popular tourist spots and elegant neighborhoods.
The mayor of Paris, Ariel Weil, insisted that the devices were necessary and the authorities in Paris have deployed another five urinals standing in places where the public toilet has been a problem.
The device consists of a box with an opening in the front and a floral screen on the top, which contains straw that is transformed into compost for use in parks and gardens.
Many are accompanied by cartoon images of men urinating proudly in public.
The manufacturer, the Faltazi design agency, says it "stores urine in a bed of dry material, straw, which is then used as compost for flowers," which reduces odor and eliminates the need for the potty to connect to the sewer system.