THE BLOG
11/20/2012 04:45 pm ET Updated Jan 20, 2013

Will Congressmen Now Have to Stand In Line for This?

The good news is that three more women were added to the United States Senate in this month's national elections, and six more women were added to the House. Should we celebrate this political victory for women? Of course, and then we should take a closer look at the seismic shift that is now underway in the halls of Congress.

Take the issue of women's bathrooms, for example. Nearly 100 years ago, when women won the right to vote, it wasn't an issue. Even three years ago, after only 277 women had ever been elected to Congress vs. 12,000 men, it wasn't a big enough issue to move bathrooms up the list of priorities.

Now it matters. Now the Senate has added three more women, including the new senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, and six to the House of Representatives. Add to that number all the women serving on their staffs.

"For the first time, there was a traffic jam in the Senate women's bathroom," tweeted Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

So there's more good news for women: Some of the men's bathrooms in Congress are being converted to women's bathrooms, and the tile they are using on the floor is pink. At least the tile I saw on the bathroom-under-renovation in the Cannon House Office Building, when I gave a briefing on Capitol Hill last June, was pink.

While the tenacious foreign policy expert and diplomat Richard Holbrooke once reportedly followed Hillary Clinton "into a ladies' room in Pakistan "to make a point," I think the pink tile on the floor will quickly retrain the Congressmen to search elsewhere.