A world of unmentionable suffering: Women’s public conveniences in Victorian London

A World of Unmentionable Suffering: Women’s Public Conveniences in Victorian London

Author/s: Barbara Penner

File: Go to resource 

Publication date: 2001


This paper, published in Journal of Design History, considers the following two points: first, how the design and siting of a women’s lavatory is not a neutral act but one that is shaped by historically and culturally specific notions; and second, how an everyday space such as a public lavatory actively positions (and re-positions) its users in relation to the existing power structure, providing an opportunity for small resistances to the status quo to occur.