TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Toilet signs that were meant to be humorous have drawn criticism from the public for being inappropriate and appearing to condone sexual harassment.
Photos of controversial bathroom signs placed at the Hakka culture park in Taoyuan City's Guanyin District began to surface this week on social media. It is not certain when the signs were first installed, but the park, known as the Lunping Cultural Landscape Park, officially opened in 2019.
The first sign for the restroom facility at the 240-meter mark shows conventional symbols for a male and female separated by a vertical bar. However, at the 150-meter mark, the male figure can be seen climbing over what appears to be a wall and trying to spy on the woman.
At 45 meters, the barrier has disappeared, and the male figure appears to be lifting up the female's skirt as she looks down at his hand. As the images began to be shared on social media, many netizens became disturbed by the imagery and made comments such as "This is weird, are they trying to encourage peeping and lifting skirts," while others expressed concerns that people would "get the wrong impression" when seeing the signs.
On Wednesday (Nov. 24), the Taoyuan City Government Urban Development Bureau, responded to the controversy by stating that the team designing the signs considered international toilet symbols and had a "variety of creative ideas." It claimed that the designers decided to come up with "alternative patterns with a humorous point of view" and called on the public to "not take everything so seriously," reported Newtalk.
The Hakka Affairs Bureau, which manages the park, said that it would gather opinions from the public and examine how to address their concerns. However, by that evening, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) held a meeting with the two bureaus and a decision was made to redesign the signs to better fit the characteristics of the cultural park and incorporate Hakka elements.