Source: Hinduism Today, November 21, 2000
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Lamar Van Dyke, one of two partners of Sittin' Pretty Designs, offered an unconditional apology to the Hindu community for placing images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali on toilet seats. The company said they would withdraw the items from sale. In her apology for offending the sensibilities of the community, Lamar said, "My partner and I meant no harm or denigration by our product. The toilet seats were not at all an attempt to insult our beloved Goddess Kali or Lord Ganesha, both of Whom we both feel personally close to. We understand now that to a traditional Hindu, a bathroom simply doesn't constitute an area of the house to display sacred images. Here in Seattle, we found many of our friends actually make their bathrooms quite beautiful, and an elaborate, decorative toilet seat is part of it. For them, it serves somewhat as the shrine room of a traditional Hindu home. Ours is a small company, just run out of our homes. The seats are made lovingly, with our own hands. We feel that it is important to put strong female images out there in the universe to attempt to counteract the negativity that is and has been directed towards women throughout the millennia. Goddess Kali is one of the strongest female images to have survived the deliberate distortion that the patriarchy has placed upon all of our history. The only surviving female figure of the Christian version is the "virgin" Mary who is always depicted with her eyes downcast and her hands folded. Even though she is always shown in this submissive posture, we have put her on a seat as well, in the familiar form of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In doing so, we show no disrespect to Christians. We meant neither harm nor insult, and apologize to the Hindus of the world for unintentionally upsetting them."