A Scots coffee shop customer has been left outraged after discovering there double the number of toilet facilities for men than those available for women at a newly-opened Costa store in Edinburgh.
Lauren, known as @NeepsnTatties on Twitter, posted a complaint on the social media site after noticing the lack of female-only facilities.
She wrote: “Hello @CostaCoffee. I was at your new Edinburgh Meadowbank cafe yesterday and was surprised to see that of 4 loos, 2 were for females+males and 2 were males only.
“Why do women get only 2/4 with 0 exclusively for female use, while men get the choice of all 4 with 2 just for them?”
Edinburgh Live reports she attached an image of the signs up on the entry to the toilets in the Meadowbank branch, with one showing its availability for both men and women, and the other for men only.
She continued her complaint by responding to her own tweet, saying: “Of the two men’s rooms, one just had a urinal + sink in it, one had a toilet + sink.
“Same as the mixed sex one, so I don’t understand that. Why one whole room for a urinal though? Why not just install another toilet that everyone can use?”
“I think there are 2 connected issues. One is mixed sex lockable toilet rooms which, while *not* my preference, are less controversial.
“My main problem here is the sexist unfairness – men got all 4 including 2 for their exclusive use. What on earth was the thinking behind this?
“I don’t really believe it was a mistake tbh. The work would have been planned and signed off. One toilet only had a urinal in it. I’m glad the signs have been changed now (to what, I don’t know) but it shouldn’t have happened.
“Some people are bringing it up as a transgender policy but it’s not about that, it’s about the male default and treating women with less consideration.”
The tweet has since gone viral and garnered 1,450 retweets, 244 quote tweets and 4,500 likes on the social media platform, with Costa providing a response almost immediately.
The chain coffee store, owned by Coca-Cola, replied: “Hi thanks for raising this with us. We have now looked into it and found that, after the store opened last week, some of the toilet doors have the wrong signs.
“We’ve asked our contractors to change them & have put temporary signs up until then. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”
Many Twitter users have since tweeted their support to the Edinburgh Costa customer, with one responding: “Misogyny in Scotland is being allowed & encouraged to the surface.
“We should never assume that having a woman in charge makes things better for women. Men only allow the women who won’t challenge their power to have power.”
Another said: “Where are women supposed to go to the loo? I don’t want to share facilities with men that I don’t know. It would make me feel very vulnerable and unsafe.
“I am therefore forced to avoid your business for this reason. You cannot discriminate against women in their way.”
And a third added: “What is the purpose of a male only toilet here?”
Earlier last week, Edinburgh Live reported the same Meadowbank store had just opened to customers.
The store, announced back in December 2020, had finally opened within Meadowbank, a retail park, operating as a drive-thru as well as a sit-in cafe, which sparked fears among locals due to the lack of space already available in the area.
As well as a spacious indoor seating area, there are also various benches outside for the warmer summer months, including a huge canopy for when their iced drink range become more appropriate.
Located in the busy retail park, there will be no shortage of locals stopping by for breakfast or lunch, with the store opening as early as 6am throughout the week and closing at 9pm.
It is the coffee giant’s fourth Edinburgh drive-thru unit, joining those at Cameron Toll, next to the Range at the Jewel and Hermiston Gait.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.