Friday, November 2, 2007

Men, Women, the Toilet Seat, the Controversy, a Hypothesis

You might well imagine what the stakes are here. Marriage, a central institution in our society, is truly in the balance. A colleague at the lab brought it up as he is caught in this divisive vortex with his relationship uncontrollably spinning clockwise (because he is in the northern hemisphere) down the drain. Will the verbal melée between him and his love flush the relationship?

I’ll cut to the chase, ever since Alexander Cummings went to market with the flush toilet in 1775, the conflict has torn loving relationships apart.

Women: Put the seat down. When I’m in a hurry, I don’t want to sit on the bowl; I want a seat! How hard can it be to put it down?

Men: Act like an adult, don’t wait for the last moment to go, when you need to, go! If it’s “not hard to put down” then it’s not hard to put up!

I grew up with three sisters and of course Mom. And in those years, I too heard the traumatic shrill, “Put the seat down!”

At one point, I decided to put forth a test, or better yet a plan to ridicule this horrific social injustice that, at the time, I felt was only supported by women who could not figure out they needed to pee and men who had succumbed to the nagging. My plot was simple…not only did I put the seat down, I also put down the lid! Yes, the lid too! It is just as much work for women to put the seat down as it is to lift the lid (ignoring the effects of gravity).

The result … no complaints. Nothing, nada, not a word, rien de tout, zippo, ne uma palavra, null, nusquam , ничто, nil.

Still, the fervor with which the women of the post-1775 world pursue this endeavor cannot be ignored. What is it that drives women to become “true believers” in their cause?

My hypothesis... the open bowl presents an opportunity that is not quite complete even worse – a possibility but an undesirable possibility AND one that would be easily corrected if someone had put the seat down. The site of the lid resting peacefully over the seat does not offer the same disappointing yet tempting prospect of the open bowl. It is more about the psychological perspective of the moment, when busting through the bathroom door: is there the harrowing decision of risk the bowl or put down the seat followed by “can’t the seat be ready for me?” or the simple neat throne ready to go when she's ready to go, once the lid is lifted …

Your thoughts?


jewgirl said...

Eebs, you are a riot, my dear. I love this post.

My sister and I were raised by a single ma. My brothers were raised by my dad. From the time I'm a kid, my ma always said, always keep the lid down on the toilet or you'll flush your money down the drain. So, for me, the peen vadge battle has never been there for me. It's a question of, you wanna keep a dollah in ya pocket?! Shut the lid ah'ya fuckin' toilet!

Love the post....

jewgirl said...

could that comment be ANY MORE REDUNDANT?! I'm tired eebs, forgive heebalish.

Eebie said...

Lovely to hear from you and thanks for sharing. It was pointed out in the lab and quite vigilantly (because, we have 2 post-docs in biology and one PhD in Bio-chem, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, then there is me) that closing the lid is more sanitoary because the water evaporates taking pollutants with it.

Dale said...

I love your test and the results, if only I'd thought of it growing up with five sisters and assorted brothers, we would have heard a lot less of the battle cry.

jin said...

You asked for my thoughts?

Uh... right now?

Ohhhh..... they are very very naughty.

you mean on this post?!!?


In that case,
I think the seat AND the lid should be down at all times (by anyone who uses it whether they're male or female). Mainly because toilets can look pretty gross if there is a man sitting on it often. ;-P

I knew this lady a while ago. I went to her house for a get together to see if she was potential jin-friend material. When she took me for a tour she also showed me her 2 bathrooms. She made it a point to show me her toilet bowls as well. Each one had a whole fresh rose floating in the bowl. She said she does that so everyone knows they are clean. I never hung out with her again. She was not suitable jin-friend material.

Beth said...

I too always keep the lid down. But it's out of irrational fear. I once read a local news story about a woman who sat down in the middle of the night ... and her ass was bitten by rats that had swum (swam?) up through the pipes into her toilet bowl. No rats near my ass, my dear.

p.s. Jin's a very good judge of character.

JeSais said...

bad feng shui to leave the bowl exposed... all that chi down the drain.

Coaster Punchman said...

I agree with the "put the lid down" sentiments. When I enter a bathroom it grosses me out to be faced with an open bowl of toilet water, seat or no seat. Plus it is easier to drop things into it which causes all sorts of problems. (And I've almost always had cats who love to drink out of an open toilet bowl, which is just nasty to contemplate.)

That being said, I find the seat left up to be even grosser looking, because it makes the bowl look even closer to you - and the fact that some guys dribble their pee on the rim and don't wipe it up. Nasty.

(Ladies, you aren't off the hook on this point; I have been in many unisex public restrooms to find PEE on the SEAT. I've been told by more than one girlfriend that they squat rather than sit on the seat, often causing them to spray pee.)

I think I'll go throw up now.

Eebie said...

Many thanks for your replies ... many of them quite passionate. You are all very reasonable hence the debate wasn't fierce but sanitary.

All the same, thanks for sharing and get the toilet lid down.

jin said...

Had to pop by & thank you immesely for the tip on watching NUMB3RS!!!
Saw it tonight & I do believe I'm hooked after just one episode!
Thanks so much!
I owe ya one.

Beth said...

No Christmas/Hannukah/Kwaanza toilet polls? Darn it!

jin said...

You're back!
I can sense it!
Missed youuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
Tell us about Paris?
Pretty please?

Jewels said...

Lid down, always.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I found that out when my toothbrush fell into the toilet...

Lid down... always...

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