Sexism Within RMGS: The Great Loo Review

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You wouldn't think that in our current society there would be real examples of sexism; especially not at school. However that's not what our research has concluded. We've found that there are several areas of school life where pupils are still discriminated against according to gender.
In the next few issues of Overmark we will investigate the highly debated topic of sexism, starting this week with he Great Loo Review. We decided to look first at the issue of Toilet Paper, we couldn't believe that there would be any truth in the infamous claims that the boys had lower quality toilet paper than the girls but we were proved wrong.

It may seem hard to believe, but there is a vast difference between the quality of papers in girl's and boy's toilets, and indeed between different areas of the school, and (surprise surprise!) between that found in student and staff toilets!

Around the school we found two different types of toilet paper. The first is best described as greaseproof paper, it is truly unbelievable that anybody is expected to use such stuff. If you'll excuse the graphic language, (if you're eating, stop), it spreads rather than cleans; it has no absorbency at all. This isoften referred to as tracing paper, however we feel this description is rather over-generous, and we prefer the term greaseproof paper.

The second type of paper we came across we shall call value paper since it is roughly equivalent to Tesco Value Toilet Paper. Although it leaves a lot to be desired, its not too sad for an establishment which is trying to cut costs at every opportunity.

So; where do you go for the good paper? We've compiled, just for you, the one and only, Handy Dandy Loo-Guide. Click here to view it, then feel free to print it out and stick it in your planner (Go on, you know you want to!).

I think that the average RMGS boy is too stupid to know how to use it toilet paper anyway. Many are okay, but year 10 pull the average way down
(Anon male pupil)

It's disgusting, it doesn clean it just spreads
(Anon teacher)

I wouldn't mind so much if there wasn't so much rubbish, I mean there was a tampon on the door yesterday. Why can't they put bins in there?
(Anon female pupil)

So, we wanted to find out why this was the case, why is it that the girls have higher quality paper than the boys? Well, the official reason is that the boys are more likely to flood the toilets or waste the paper than the girls (a sexist statement in itself). However we conducted a little experiment, we took samples of the value paper and the greasepaper, and tested just how easy it was to block up a sink with (not at school of course). We found that the grease paper is a lot stronger than the value paper, and it takes a lot of pressure to break it. With the value paper, it broke down with just a little bit of water.

This would suggest that it is in fact easier to cause flooding with the boys toilet paper (and we don't condone such usage of the paper). So why is it that the boys get the low quality paper. The only other reason we could think of for the boys having lower quality paper, is that its cost-cutting. Boys are probably more likely to waste the paper by misusing it, however these events are infrequent, and if anything the girls will use more paper on a regular basis, simply because boys refuse to use the low quality paper they are given.

The other issue we have with the toilets is the appalling state they are all in, we can appreciate that the school is reluctant to invest in upgrading the toiletry facilities. Overmark realises that it is not always possible to conjure up an extra toilet, however they do ask that the school gives the boys decent paper, rather than pushing them to the bottom of the list.

But seriously though, how can we be expected to use the toilets properly when they are dirty, smelly, the taps don work, the towels are dirty, the driers are broken, the locks don't work, the soap gone and there's rubbish (often even sanitary towels) lying around. Overmark predicts that if the school were to improve the toilets, in such a way that they were nice to use, pupils would respect them and not vandalise them.

So, is toilet paper an example of sexism within RMGS? We think so, we have shown that the girls get far better toilet paper than the boys, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

We hope this article has helped highlight some of the issues regarding the toilets and we hope it will put pressure on the school to improve the facilities.