On the manipulation of the Male mindset by archaic notions of gentility.

Posted by Jeremy Clarke on January 22, 2004 · General

Why is it that I always end up in arguments? And why do people invariably perceive me as this raging monster of an argument inciter?

Case Study: Toilet Seat.
toilet seats are political - picture
1. General Public
The commonly held view on the subject of “toilet seats” is that they should be down. Not necessarily always down, but that if there is to be a default, down should be it. The reasons cited for this (certain, mal-adjusted cat dwellings aside) always center around the status of women as toilet users, and the necessity of it being down for their use of it. It is thought that because women “have” to have it down, it is the responsibility of all individuals to maintain it in such a state so long as there are likely to be females present.

Obviously this is not the standard in, for example, a frat house, where women, in the vast minority, are left to fend for themselves, but seems to be the standard up to and including 2/1 man to woman ratios. Also in favor of this opinion, which seems to be held by everyone, everywhere in Canada at least, is the “falling in” theory, which speculates that a relevant number of females accidentally “fall in” to toilet bowls inadequately covered by seats.

2. Me
Now, it seems to me that this entire system is not only at it’s heart sexist, but also poses an unnacceptable nuissance to males everywhere. It is a relic of the patriarchal era of “chivalry” in which “gentlemen” acted in a certain fashion in the presence and in relation to “the fairer sex”. Now this heady discussion of gender politics may seem over the top, and irrelevant to the topic at hand, but nothing could be further from the truth.

What reason do men have to consider the toilet-seat needs of women over their own beyond sexist notions of work and politeness? The fact of the matter is that each and every human (western-toilet using human that is) is obligated to perform one movement each time they use the toilet after someone of the opposite sex. Every man, before urinating, and if a woman has last used the toilet, has to lift the seat. Likewise (and 100% fairly) every woman, when using a bathroom in which a man has recently urinated, must lower the seat. It is an entirely fair and 1/1 trade off.

Why should the entire task of touching the seat be delegated to men? So that the women can keep their delicate hands clean? Because men are stronger, and have less trouble with the weight? If these answers seem absurd and antagonizing to you, then just ask yourself what reasons you have for believing that I am wrong (and you probably do, fucker). Our cultural policy of toilet seat duty delegation may seem unimportant and trivial, but it is in fact signatory of an entire undercurrent of sexism that still very much exists in our society, and which is completely unfair, if only because men, who were more than willing to perform in the past, when the woman would ultimately become his slave, are now being unfairly treated, and are expected to go far beyond the call of duty.

Also, everybody poops, and when we do the seat goes down, and men certainly aren’t seeing the seatist benefits of this universal activity.

Do I really pick fights for no reason? Are the subjects I choose to defend stupid and pointless? No. They are absurd and unusual, but they must be relevant. They must be.

Posted by Jeremy Clarke on January 22, 2004 · General

8 Comments

  1. nemesis

    well… that only holds true in situations where there are equal, or close to equal, numbers of men and women. what of an apartment inhabited by three woman. should their male guests not put down the toilet seat, seeing as they do not live there?

    January 23rd, 2004 at 1:30 pm

  2. jer

    see, that seems to make sense, out of politeness and all, until you consider that the guy, being in an apartment of women, had to PUT THE SEAT UP before useing the toilet. thus his one action is balanced by the reaction of the next female to use the bathroom in the form of putting the seat DOWN. All is then equal and egalitarian.

    it is rude but fair. which is paramount?

    January 24th, 2004 at 1:15 am

  3. Kat

    Why don’t guys just pee sitting down? Or pee with the seat down and not spill all over it? Or if they do, wipe it off?

    Do toilet seats really need to go up? Is it that much harder to be accurate with the 2″ loss of diameter?

    I’m so confused.

    Kat

    February 4th, 2004 at 12:08 pm

  4. Magnus (OverTilt)

    If the toilet seat is supposed to have a default position, it should be UP!

    Explained:
    This is to ensure that when a male specimen urinates, he/it does not befoul the seat of the porcelain drain while “draining his/its dragon”, to put it in layman’s terms.

    OR! OR! Maybe I’m just stupid and should be shot. ^_^

    February 6th, 2004 at 7:05 am

  5. Gary

    Jer’s comments are commandable in this area. Women fought for many years (and still do in many, and probably all, countries) to be treated equal to men. The movement to movement argument holds water and I think is just. This debate also opens a much wider discussion about modern western society where I have noticed that women are very often treated as being superior to men. It has been drilled into men and women since birth that women are not at all lesser than men. This creates a situation where it is socially unaceptable for men to pronounce their superiority to women in any area whilst women are happy to pronounce their superiority. For example: ask any women who is smarter, men or women? With little or no hesitation the answer is declared: women are smarter in every way! Ask a man the same question and he will take some time to show that he is deliberating the question carefully before deciding they are probably equal and each have certain strengths in different areas. I bet the guy doesnt really think that though, and if he does, was he preconditioned to answer so?

    February 6th, 2004 at 1:13 pm

  6. Betsy

    I don’t know about your toilet, but mine usually has gross spots of condensed pee splashes both underneath the raisable seat and on the permanent porcelain rim. The splashed pee results from both male and female peeing, I think. We put the raisable seat down at our house because we don’t like looking at the under-rim.
    Here’s an idea — how about the everyone, male and female, putting down the lid itself after they’ve flushed. That would prevent any possibility of falling in by anyone, no matter how distracted or tiny, and everyone would have to pick something up before they used the toilet.

    February 7th, 2004 at 10:29 am

  7. Dan

    The only rational way to handle this matter is for each user to close both the SEAT and the LID. Everyone has to open it to their likeing and then close it all. Equal work.

    Also – a toilet with a closed seat and lid is much tidier looking.

    February 21st, 2004 at 8:29 pm

  8. jer

    this whole notion of just putting the whole toilet back together every time we use it is just totally insane to me.

    it’s like saying that because women menstruate and men do not that TO BE FAIR men should splash some blue liquid on their undies and punch themselves in the stomach once a month just so that they dont’ have an advantage in the workplace.

    i mean really, the answer, when faced with a problem where one group complains about unfair work distribution vis a vis another group is NOT to create a NEW job and force them all to do it. that would be counter-productive and obnoxious.

    also, the argument from neatness is at least cogent, but fails to sway me because i have never felt there to be unreasonable filthyness on the toilet itself, and to me what looks good is what works (and what i don’t have to bend down to use).

    February 24th, 2004 at 11:43 am