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Swedes slam rock club's 'sexist' urinals

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The offending urinal installed at another venue. Photo: Les Chatfield/Flickr.
16:28 CET+01:00
A new rock club in Umeå in northern Sweden has grabbed attention after a decision to install urinals modelled on the lips of Mick Jagger - sexist and demeaning critics argued, a tribute to the Rolling Stones responded the owner.

“It’s Only Rock n’ Roll” is the name of the new club soon to open its doors in downtown Umeå in the north of Sweden. The name is taken from an album by the Rolling Stones and the tribute to the legendary UK rockers doesn’t end there.

The club’s urinals have been designed to resemble the Stones’ lead singer’s famously full-some lips and therefore those in need will face little choice but to urinate into his porcelain mouth - and the design has prompted mixed reactions.

“Men alone pee in urinals. When you are expected to think it is fun to piss into what represents a lipstick red mouth then it is symbolic of the exercise of power. That men are expected to exercise power is a significant problem in our society,” one local Umeå resident wrote in an open letter to the club’s owners.

Several of the critics have argued that the urinal, despite protestations that the male Jagger (and the famous tongue and lip motif of the band) is the model, more closely resembles a female mouth.

But many of the reactions have been positive and supported of the off-beat design.

“Stand your ground and keep the urinals … Those who make the connection that they are standing and peeing in a woman’s mouth are the ones with a sexist view if anyone.”

The owner of the club, Lars Lindström has been somewhat taken aback by all the attention.

“All PR is good PR, is it not?” Lindström ponders on the club’s Facebook page.

Lindström invited debate on the design and told the local Folkbladet newspaper that he saw it as a “cool, fun, good-looking and off-beat way to make urinals”.

Despite the urinal-inspired outrage even the most stern critics make a point of welcoming the club to Umeå.

"It’s Only Rock n’ Roll" plans to open its doors near Umeå station on Tuesday evening at 5pm, according to a post on Facebook. It remains to be seen that when it comes to the crunch whether male patrons will feel obliged, like the women, to wait for the sit down option.

The Local’s attempts to reach Lars Lindström for comment on Monday have been unsuccessful.

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