Outrage after Dutch woman fined for urinating in public
A fairly uncommon road sign point men towards a nearby urinal in an area of Amsterdam, Netherlands on Jan. 19, 2014. (Peter Dejong/AP)
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, September 20, 2017 1:29PM EDT
Dutch women are crying over sexism after a woman was fined for peeing in an Amsterdam alleyway and told she should have used a public urinal instead.
Geerte Piening was given a $132 ticket when three police officers caught her relieving herself in an alley in the city’s popular Leidseplein square after a night out with friends two years ago.
The 23-year-old Dutch woman told reporters that all of the nearby bars and restaurants were closed and the closest public washroom was a few kilometres away.
Given that the city has only three public toilets designed for women, compared to 35 public urinals for men, Piening decided it was unfair she received a fine and chose to fight it in court.
The judge presiding over the case was unsympathetic to her cause, however, and said in his ruling that Piening should have used a public urinal instead of relieving herself in public, according to AD.
“A woman can also use a urinal. It might not be pleasant, but it is possible," the judge told her.
In response to the judge’s decision, a woman created a Facebook event inviting women in Amsterdam to try using public urinals to demonstrate how awkward it is for them. The event scheduled for this week has more than 1,000 users marked as attending.
Piening told a local paper that it’s “embarrassing” how few options there are for women in a tourist destination such as Amsterdam. She said she never intended for her plight to become an “enormous feminist thing” but that she was happy it is bringing attention to issue.