After backlash from social media users, a Welsh town said this week its plans to implement toilets specially designed to deter sexual activity and vandalism were “submitted in error.”
The initial plans for bathrooms in Porthcawl’s Griffin Park included weight-sensitive floors to detect multiple inhabitants. Users intent on doing the deed inside one of the toilets would be doused with cold water and have the doors automatically opened on them.
Movement sensors, alarms and limits on cubicle use time were also included in designs submitted to Bridgend County Borough Council, the BBC reported.
According to CNN, users on social media expressed concern over whether the anti-sex and vandalism prevention measures could be humiliating for obese individuals, people with disabilities and the homeless.
“Weight sensitive floors to detect more than 1 user? What baseline weight are they using? I’m easily the weight of 2 teenagers!” wrote one commenter in a since-deleted tweet.
Weight sensors? So, fat people cant use the toilet now because sensors will interpret us as two people?
— Becca 👩🏻🦰 (@rstoneham77) August 17, 2019
“The town council has never had any intention of installing any floor or other movement sensors, any restricted time entry, there will not be water sprays, or self-opening doors, no weight sensitive floor and no dousing equipment as described in the statement,” the town council said in a statement.
Anti-sex toilets and “fat shaming”
Responding to the initial reports, one social media user tweeted that as a 6-foot-tall obese woman it was “bad enough getting glares” for using the “disabled loo” without being sprayed with water and setting off alarms.
In recent years the emergence of fat acceptance and body positivity activist campaigns, which borrow much of their mentality from progressive social justice movements, have pushed to eliminate purportedly hateful stigmas against the obese.
Some activists have even claimed that there are racist dimensions to how society and the scientific community views “fat bodies.”