I’ve never witnessed a man have a mental breakdown before, but I imagine it starts with overpowering confusion; he might, for instance, feel the need to ask a feminist how many times he should shake before zipping up, when going to the bathroom. Because he’s aware feminism can’t leave anyone alone – not even in there.
You see, urinating is part of power dynamics between genders. I bet you thought these matters would be more sophisticated and more on the philosophical side, but hey – the toilet bowl is equally relevant. That’s how we have evolved as a species – by focusing on what really matters.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating stinking bathrooms here – but mixing this base issue with pompous feminist language truly sounds like a parody of everything the social justice movement has become.
It should be framed and preserved for posterity, as a symbol of the times when feminism declined so much it ended up regulating piss and farts. Literally.
Though many people have penises and/or stand up to pee, for this article I want to focus on ways that cis men can be better allies to the other folks with whom we share a bathroom.
Allies. What a degree of solemnity in wiping up urine stains. Everything in these people’s lives is so overblown, it sometimes seems like they’re having a maniacal episode.
While the constructs of the gender binary continue to evolve and dissolve, male privilege does not. We know that patriarchy and male privilege appear in all aspects of society, and the bathroom is no different.
Of course! Male privilege must start in your bladder! How come no one’s ever thought about this before?
I feel lucky that I even have regular access to gender neutral bathrooms in my own life – so, in these spaces, I want to make sure I’m respecting the space that many people fought so hard to create.
Lucky…? Are these spaces sacred now? As for fighting to create them, I’m pretty sure most of those toilet stalls were there before; they just have a different sign on the door now. And I’m pretty sure those using them have used toilets before that; it’s 2016. Isn’t the level of reverence a bit queasy?
You are a cis man. And to some degree (especially if you are a white cis man), society promotes an idea that we are entitled to absolute freedom of movement. You deserve, among so many other things, to pee freely and have no one tell you about the consequences of your poor aim.
Reality check: This is patriarchal logic, if not completely representative of the world in which we live. There are consequences.
Fuck’s sake… all I can say. I’m lost for words.
This should go without saying, but never, ever – and I really mean never – attempt the dangerous feat of peeing without lifting the seat up. For some of you adventurous people who want to prove yourself to the world, I understand how tempting this might be. (…)
Newsflash: This is a cis male-entitled delusion. No one, least of all you, has aim that perfect.
If that’s the standard of proving yourself to the world… This is not a joke, by the way. It’s on a feminist website. Toilet training for adults.
Similarly, a study found that peeing while sitting down may be easier on your prostate and allows for your pelvic and hip muscles to relax in a more neutral positions.
…So you can feel the unseen hand of feminism fingering you. Because let’s face it, it has already fucked you in any other imaginable way.
So in the bathroom, don’t be afraid of the sounds of people of different genders. It’s normal.
I wonder if they teach that in gender studies. No, honestly, imagine someone who claims to be an intellectual, in an intellectual space, talking about bathroom noises.
Don’t be another guy who doesn’t wash their hands. And don’t just wash your hands because someone else is there in the bathroom with you.
Do it when no one is looking. Do it because you care about gender politics in the bathroom and beyond.
I’m not sure why, but I’m quite confident handwashing was invented way before gender politics.
Don’t make folks feel unsafe or trapped by hitting on folks, following them in and out of the bathroom, or asking folks lots of personal questions.
Does that happen often? Do you even need to tell someone not to do that?
On the flip side, don’t run in and out of a gender neutral bathroom because it makes you uncomfortable or you’re afraid to find someone of a different gender inside.
No; by all means, just read a book in there. It’s not like public toilets are made for running in and out of. It seems now it’s an experience you have to think about and be nervous about.
As a cis man, people may not want to interact with you because of safety concerns or harm they may have experienced in a bathroom setting previously, so it’s important to have an awareness of this.
OK; so now you’re perceived as a potential threat as well. You don’t have the right to feel uncomfortable around them, but they are justified in feeling that way around you – even if it was them, not you, who insisted on that arrangement in the first place. Congratulations, cis man! You are now a pariah even in the lavatory. Looks like you’ve pissed away too much of your cis male privilege.
The bathroom can be a place of liberation. It can be a place of cleanliness and peaceful relief if we all do our part to create that.
And with that melodramatic statement we reach the end of yet another article on male privilege – which, sadly, can’t even be recycled into toilet paper for a supermarket cubicle.