Friday, April 25, 2014

Men Can Not Take This Sitting Down


By Bill Gouveia


            I believe in equal rights for women in all areas.  Equal pay, equal opportunity, the right to choose and control their own bodies.  But if you are going to claim equal rights, you have to be fair and not demand special rights at the same time. 


            For many generations now women have dominated their male counterparts in one particular area, and it is time for it to stop.  It is a simple matter, but remains controversial.  I am going to pick up the mantle and carry the cause forward to ensure the rights of men.


            The male of our species should not be expected to keep the toilet seat down.  It defies the principles of common sense, common courtesy, and fairness.


            Think about it.  Why should men be required to exert the additional time and energy for no good reason other than to give women the advantage in our bathrooms?  A brief review of the facts will clearly reveal this creates an undue and unfair burden on my brothers.


            One of the biggest complaints women have concerning men and the bathroom is – well, they tend to “miss” sometimes.  So women want the seat they left down to be raised while the guys do what guys usually do when standing in the bathroom.  Then they want the seat lowered again so they don’t have to do it.


            The end result is men are expected to raise and lower the toilet seat during each bathroom session.  But women, under the current rules, never have to even touch it.  This is tyranny, and cannot be allowed to stand.


            Another frequent defense of the existing discriminatory toilet policy is what I refer to as “The Fall-in Factor”.  How often have you heard the tale of woe from a female who got up in the middle of the night, walked into the bathroom to answer the call of nature, and sat on the toilet only to discover the seat was up and the water was cold?


            I reject the conclusion this is the fault of any men in the house.  With all due respect to the fairer sex – is it our fault you didn’t look where you sat?  Don’t you have any responsibilities at all for what happens in the bathroom? 


If we happen to move a kitchen chair away from the table and you sit where it was and fall, is that our fault too?  Perhaps guys should escort the ladies of the house into the powder room each time and personally inspect the seat situation before they hurt themselves?  Oh, the horrors of expecting them to look first, sit later.


There is also the “common courtesy” argument.  It is said men should raise and lower the seat as a matter of politeness and respect.  Well, it certainly is a nice gesture.


But why does that respect and courtesy not extend equally in both directions?  To be sure, women in general get more square footage in the bathroom than their male counterparts.  However, the toilet itself should be asexual.  If guys have to lower the seat for gals, shouldn’t they have to lift it for us?  Courtesy and respect ought to be gender neutral.


Men do have specific duties in the bathroom they must take care of regularly.  The old adage “If you tinkle when you sprinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie” was on a sign in my mother-in-laws bathroom for years.  It is a valid (if somewhat hokey) way of reminding us to clean up after ourselves.  That is a perfectly reasonable request and should always be fully honored.


But training men to lower the seat is demeaning to both the men and the women who force them to do it.  And to those ladies who say it is so little to ask and requires minimal effort, I say:  Then why don’t you do it?


For centuries now, women have played on our inbred guilt to get us to perform this menial task.  It is well past time we stood up for ourselves while – well, standing up for ourselves. 


And for the record, my wife never complains when I leave the seat up.  She says it’s a wasted effort.  Smart lady.


Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime local official.  He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

No comments: