Given past controversies involving urinals in the shape of lipsticked, arguably female mouths, a restaurant in Sydney shouldn't have been surprised when its bathroom fixtures kicked up a certain amount of angst on the part of Aussie feminists.
Anne Summers, an Australian feminist, said the toilets were “asking men to put their dicks in these mouths as urinals." She also accused the Ananas Bar and Brasserie of perpetuating misogyny.
Ananas, a new French restaurant in the city's upscale Rocks district, said the bright, kitschy urinals were "a commonly used European design piece," according to the AFP. However, the restaurants agreed to remove the offending pieces and issued an apology.
"We sincerely [apologize] if they have caused [offense]. They are being removed today," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
According to the Telegraph, Meredith Burgmann, another Australian feminist, referred to the urinals as "schoolboy grubbiness," but added their appearance at the restaurant was not surprising given the country's "outpouring of misogynist incidents."
Designed by Meike van Schijndel, of the firm "Bathroom Mania," similarly mouthy urinals have appeared all over the world, including in a German Rolling Stones museum and the house of reality star Khloe Kardashian, according to TMZ.
The urinals' popularity seems to be a double-edged sword for designers willing to brave the possible backlash. The pieces have certainly been met with their fair share of criticism ever since Virgin Airlines decided to pull the plug on plans to install the pieces in its JFK Airport clubhouse in 2004.
The Dutch artist has said the design is not supposed to be sexualized. "Lighten up," she told the New York Daily News in an email. "[It's] just a cartoonish looking mouth. There are worse things in the world to get all worked up about."
New York's chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) disagreed.
"There's something wrong with someone who thinks that urinating symbolically into the mouth of a woman is quirky and fun," NOW president Rita Haley said during a 2004 press conference. "It displays a horrendous lack of social consciousness," she said, according to the Daily News.
Earlier on HuffPost:
This Girl's Virginity
Catarina Migliorini, a 20-year-old Brazilian student, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/catarina-migliorini-brazilian-woman-auctions-virginity_n_1922579.html#slide=1580679">auctioned off her virginity</a> to provide housing for poor families.
Scarlett Johansson's Used Tissue
Turns out a tissue becomes a lot more valuable once Johansson's nose takes a giant whiff. The actress's used issue <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7796991.stm">sold for $5,300</a> and the proceeds went to hunger charity USA Harvest.
Baby Naming Rights
In 2005, a woman from Connecticut put the rights of naming her child up for auction and received bids for <a href="http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/gallery/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=26951602&page=4">over $15,000</a>!
Elvis Presley's Dirty Underwear
A pair of soiled underwear worn by Elvis Presley found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/elvis-presleys-bible-auction-94000-stained-underwear_n_1870575.html" target="_hplink">no takers</a> at an auction, though originally they were expected to fetch <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/elvis-dirty-underwear-up-_n_1832904.html" target="_hplink">as much as</a> $16,000.
Virgin Mary Sandwich
<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4034787.stm">According to BBC News</a>, a cheese sandwich claiming to have the image of the Virgin Mary was sold on eBaby for $28,000.
John Lennon’s Toilet
A toilet once belonging to John Lennon was sold for $14,740, according to <a href="http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/gallery/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=26951602&page=3">MSN Money</a>.
A Spot In A Wedding
To help pay for her wedding, one woman took matters into her own hands and auctioned off one of her <a href="http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/money-cant-buy-love-how-much-be-wedding">bridesmaids spots.</a>
A woman from Albuquerque put her soul up for sale on eBay with bids starting at $2,000. "What I'm gonna deliver is the opportunity for someone to save my soul," the woman promised, according to <a href="http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2677763.shtml">KOB Eyewitness News 4</a>.
Rob Swanson's Mustache
Nick Offerman--who plays Ron Swanson on NBC'S "Parks & Recreation" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/18/ron-swansons-mustache-auction_n_1802851.html">put his mustache up for auction</a> to help raise money for the pediatric cancer charity Because of Ezra.
Bonnie and Clyde Guns
These guns once in the possession of notorious gangsters Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed were sold for a total of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/bonnie-and-clyde-guns-auction-new-hampshire_n_1928493.html#slide=1584916">$1.1 million dollars</a>.