On International Toilet Day, Can We Please Discuss How It Is Normal For Women To Take A Dump? Or Fart?
I want you to rack your brains a little bit. Think about a time when you were watching a movie or a show and a woman was shown actually using the bathroom. No, I am not talking about the times when women are shown in clubs, starting a cult of sisterhood when one drunken woman is thinking about texting her ex. I am also not talking about when girlfriends giggle and spill into the bathroom, and one retches while the other lovingly holds her hair back (how do they do that without not wanting to hurl themselves?). Allow me to draw your attention to the fact that we almost never see women actually using the bathroom. Because apparently we don’t have any bodily functions.
It’s taken years for us (other people mainly) to wrap their heads around the concept of menstruation. Thankfully, we have now come to a point where everyone just doesn’t collectively collapse at a mere mention of the word. But this many years later, we cannot fathom that women are living, breathing beings who need to pee, poop and fart, just like men do.
It’s Funny When Men Do It…
Let’s talk about the movies. You will never see a woman being shown using the bathroom, unless it’s like in the instances above. Because it isn’t glamorous. You see, most of the time, movies serve up women as props and they are designed to please the male gaze. And please, men do not want to see you as human beings. Women are supposed to be beautiful, sexy and hot and talking about needing to take a shit doesn’t further the sexiness. It breaks the illusion that women are here to pander to your sexual desires and it doesn’t sit well with men.
On the other hand, men can talk about bodily functions. But in movies when they show that, it’s often shown with humour. But hey, at least they talk about it. Female characters in movies simply pretend that this doesn’t happen. Like we women never do it. Basically, in movies, we exist like we appear in men’s minds.
There are only two times women appear in bathrooms in pop culture
As we have established, women do not go to the bathroom in movies or in songs. We only look beautiful. But if a movie is trying to be realistic, they do put women in bathrooms. Nope, not ever shown taking a dump or peeing- please remember, we don’t do that- but for two other reasons. One, the woman has had a heartbreak and she must cry hopelessly next to the commode to make the audience understand that this was shitty relationship. It all went down the drain. Okay, I will stop the the bathroom puns.
The other reason you might spot a woman in a bathroom is because she is a in a tub. Yes, move along, there is nothing disgusting to see here. The woman is usually in a tub, filled to the brim with suds. Even here, this imagery is created to serve makes because there is some skin show and of course, plenty of imagination because men are like ‘ooh, she naked in there.’
Some attempt was made to change bathroom culture…
In movies like Toilet- Ek Prem Katha, attempts were made to address the elephant in the room but that was only because that was the whole premise of the movie. And more importantly, it wasn’t the pooping that they were addressing as much as they were addressing the open defecation concept.
In fact, women are actually bathroom shamed. No really, watch this. And it’s so bad, it leads to health problems. According to research, women are taught to contain their bodily functions and even pass gas softly. Because imagine if someone were to find out that the beans you had did not suit you. Blasphemous.
On International Toilet Day, I would like to talk about bathrooms. And women in bathrooms. Doing what all human beings do. Pooping, Farting. The works. We women do it all and we are done being ashamed of it.