Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a man's world

The men's loo is situated right next to the kitchen at the office, the doors are adjacent to each other. So every time I go to the kitchen for a drink, or something to eat, or whenever I leave the kitchen, chances are high that I will see and hear some one peeing. Because apparently men have no compunctions about standing at a urinal, treating us all to The Stance and the acoustic accompaniment of gushing liquid on porcelain. 

And for some reason, it really bothers me. I don't actually know why. I can't see anything. It's just that I know what he's doing. I know he's got his penis flopped out in his hands and I can hear it. I also know that most of them don't wash their hands and for this reason I'm loathe to reach in and close the door while they're there, which is how one of my colleagues chooses to handle it... by leaning in and asking in a very sweet, sing-song English accent, "Would you mind closing the door next time? Thank you". It's almost worth it because it always makes them jump. I'm just concerned that she might receive some splash-back one day. 

But that's just the way it is for guys, isn't it? They can like to pee, whenever. Wherever. 

Sure, they might get a fine for public exposure, but I haven't seen many men perturbed by the thought of this. The world is their urinal. I can't imagine, if the roles were reversed, and the ladies loo was right next to the kitchen (rather than on the opposite side of the elevators) whether the door would ever be left open. Even if there was a slight wall to shelter visibility, so that no one could actually see anything, I would want to be able to close doors. I want privacy when I drop my pants and I think most western women prefer this option. It's what we've been socialised to expect.  

Come to think of it, why is okay for men to pee in public, while not for women? If I see a woman openly peeing in the street (which certainly happens in the red light district, the beacon of class), I am horrified and even disgusted. How can a woman debase herself like that? Yet when I see men peeing on the side of the street, I usually roll my eyes and (depending on the mood I'm in) look the other way or make a point of staring. If they can't be bothered to do it somewhere private, then they must accept that people are going to look. Similarly, if I happen to cross paths with a guy peeing without bothering to close the door, I force myself to look into the loo - to look at him. It's all the more effective if he happens to look at the same time. If you want privacy, close the fucking door. 

I've done my fair share of peeing in bushes and I'm not exactly proud of it. But it is always as absolutely the last option and always in nook where I'm pretty sure I'm likely to see someone coming before they see me. I hope. It's a humiliating act, having to squat. And I think that's what it ultimately boils down to - men don't have to submit themselves to the ground, in fact they barely have to change their stance. Further to this, their clothes are designed to facilitate easy of urination. Women's clothes are not. Unless you choose to wear long skirts without any underwear, which is not a common combination (that I'm aware of anyway). 

For most men, if there isn't a toilet within 100m of where they currently stand, they're likely to stroll behind the closest tree. As long as they're sort of sheltered from the front, they don't care who can see them from behind. And so it is in the office place, and I find it incredibly disrespectful to anyone who is unlucky enough to have to witness it. 

1 comment:

rd said...

Every tree is our lava-tree!