You could have used a urinal, judge tells woman caught peeing in public
| A ‘curl’ urinal in Amsterdam. Photo: BMA via Wikimedia Commons
A 23-year-old Dutch woman has lost her appeal against a fine for urinating in a public place after the judge told her she could have used a urinal. Geerte Piening was fined €140 after she was caught urinating between the Balie debating centre and ABN Amro bank on Amsterdam’s Leidseplein 2.5 years ago after a night out.
The judge on Monday ruled that the fine was legal, saying the ban on urinating in public applies to both men and women. However, he cut the fine to €90 because of the length of time the case had taken to court. ‘It would have been discriminatory if we fined men €100 and women, say, €50,’ the judge said. ‘You are not allowed to pee just anywhere.’ In addition, Piening could have used one of the men’s urinals, the male judge said. ‘It would not be pleasant but it can be done,’ he said.
The judge went on to say that while there are few public toilets for women in Amsterdam, there was no real need to build more, the AD reported. Piening, he said, was onthe second woman charged with peeing in public that he had come across. ‘Women just don’t do it, compared with men,’ he said.
Piening’s decision to challenge the fine has turned into a cause celebre. ‘It has become a massive feminist issue, and that was not really what I was after,’ Piening told the AD.‘On the other hand, it is about time the issue was raised. It is embarrassing that there is nowhere for women to go.’ In central Amsterdam there are 35 public urinals for men and just four public toilets for women, according to the Parool.