The Line for the Women's Bathroom Is Always Notoriously Long. It Doesn't Have to Be That Way

iStock.com/justhavealook
iStock.com/justhavealook

Like small pockets and unnecessarily expensive razors, long women's bathroom lines seem to be an annoying yet inevitable part of the female experience. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if women could waltz into any restroom and find an open stall waiting for them? According to The Atlantic, the issue could be fixed once and for all by a seemingly simple measure: installing more toilets in women's bathrooms.

Historically, public restrooms have been designed with men in mind. Up until the Victorian era, bathrooms were male-only spaces because it was believed that men were the only ones who had any business being out in public. If women happened to be out and about and needed to pee, they had to crouch over a gutter or use a device called a urinette (kind of like a 19th-century Shewee).

With that said, the debate surrounding "potty parity" is fairly recent. After witnessing how long his wife and daughter had to wait in line for the bathroom at a Tchaikovsky concert in 1987, a state senator from California introduced legislation to provide women with more toilets. For the first time, the fact that women simply take longer on the toilet—partly because they have to enter a stall and sit down, but also because they have periods—was publicly addressed. The law passed, and it stipulated that new buildings have at least 50 percent more bathroom stalls for women than for men. Large cities like New York City and Chicago and at least 21 states passed similar laws in the years following.

So why are long women's bathroom lines still a problem? For one, the laws don't apply to bathrooms that existed prior to the legislation passing. There's also an extra cost associated with installing more toilets than plumbing codes require—something many developers aren't willing to take on. One way of circumventing the problem is by installing more gender-neutral toilets, but these tend to spark fierce debate in the public and political spheres.

Some have gotten creative. Bathrooms at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, have changeable signs that let men's bathrooms be converted into women's bathrooms depending on the sex ratio of the crowd on any given night. As The Atlantic points out, there are plenty of possible fixes to the problem, if only the developers and public opinion would allow them.

[h/t The Atlantic]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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Philadelphia Is Now Home to a Yarn Vending Machine

Emani Outterbridge with her yarn vending machine in Philadelphia.
Emani Outterbridge with her yarn vending machine in Philadelphia.
Emani Outterbridge

When 24-year-old Emani Outterbridge was stuck at home with a broken foot this past spring, she got to thinking of new ways to bring her self-made designer yarn to DIYers around Philadelphia. What she landed on was the idea of a yarn-dispensing vending machine, which she floated to her followers on social media.

They responded enthusiastically, and after a whirlwind fundraising campaign, Outterbridge ordered three machines, ready to be stocked with rows of brightly colored skeins. Earlier this month, the first one made its society debut at Elements of Grooming, a Philadelphia barber shop owned by a friend of Outterbridge’s. Soon, curious customers flooded the shop, and Outterbridge (who was on a business trip to Miami at the time) received excited updates from the owner. With the first vending machine already a proven success, she’s now looking to place the remaining two at other local businesses before ordering more.

Outterbridge's vivid skeins in the vending machine.Emani Outterbridge

Outterbridge doesn’t just make designer yarn—she also crochets custom items for her fashion line under the name “Emani Milan.” She’s been crocheting since she was 12 years old, and launched her own online business at age 15 after finishing an entrepreneur course in high school. She’s even designed items for Cardi B, whom she credits with elevating her profile. Outterbridge tells Mental Floss that the best part about being a business owner is the freedom to be “completely committed to my own success.”

Part of that success comes from understanding the needs of her fellow crocheters (and knitters), which helped her come up with the innovative vending machines in the first place. “I was thinking … if I had something that’s accessible to me 24 hours, mid-project, if I need to stop and go get some yarn, a vending machine would be ideal,” she explains.

Since the first vending machine is currently housed inside the barber shop—and future ones will likely live indoors, too—Outterbridge is hoping to open her own brick-and-mortar store in order to give people round-the-clock access to yarn. “With the salons and the shops—they close," she says. “But if I had my own store, I can have it open 24/7, so that’s what I’m pushing for.”

A future crocheter checks out the goods.Emani Outterbridge

In the meantime, she’ll continue offering her vibrant yarn skeins and garments through her website. Though you might assume a career crocheter would look forward to making cozy sweaters and scarves for chilly weather, Outterbridge actually prefers the summer months, which allow for more “creative range”—items like swimsuits, coverups, skirts, and rompers.

While you’re waiting for a yarn vending machine to land in your neighborhood, you can follow Outterbridge on Instagram and check out her products here.