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I am curious to know how old is the practice of a woman accompanying another woman to the ladies restroom.
I assume that this practice began in America and Europe when indoor plumbing and indoor restrooms became a standard accommodation within restaurants, bars, and social clubs, which would be about the mid-19th century.
Yet, I wonder if this particular practice predates this time period not only in America and Europe but in all other parts of the world? For example, were women accompanying other women to outhouses/public restrooms going all the way back to Roman times?
There is this, from the Talmud (Sanhedrin 19a) - bold is a translation from the original, non-bold is the interpolated explanation:
And Rami bar Abba says: Rabbi Yosei instituted an ordinance in Tzippori (Sepphoris, northern Israel) that women should converse in the bathroom, because of the restrictions on women being secluded with men. Since the public bathrooms there were outside the city a man might enter to take advantage of a woman, but he would be warded off by the women's conversation.
Rabbi Yosei lived in the mid-2nd century; Rami bar Abba, who reports this, lived about a century later.