Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Feminism and Feces

The Shit Double Standard

Why is it that according to men, their shit is a badge of honor, but women are supposed to pretend like they don’t shit at all?
        As a feminist, there are a lot of double standards I’m willing to jump on my soapbox and fight for equalization on, but having my feces accepted as an appropriate mode of my socialization with men is not one of them. So, this is not a soapbox piece, it is a chillin-in-a-coffee-shop piece. Philosophical, if you will. With a hippie-lookin’ dude strumming on an acoustic guitar-- cool and relaxed because he just took a shit.
       The other day in class one of my high school students said, “I don’t ever want to hear about girls taking a poop. I want to believe it just evaporates out of their belly-button or something.”
      Well, to those men who share this young man's sentiments, I’d like to make an announcement. Women shit. Women fart.
      Honestly, I think men are just horrified at the idea of women regarding their shit in the same way they do. Don't worry fellas; we don’t. As with so many other aspects of life, we women have the same experiences as men, we just react to them differently.
      A girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend (after sharing the greatest hits of his farting experiences with me during a commute to LA) told me that he once took a picture of his shit and texted it to his friends. If any of my friends of either sex ever texted me a picture of their shit—after I threw up-- I’d immediately recommend they get therapy. Or take anti-psychotic drugs.  Or both.
      Hell, most women I know can’t even take a shit anywhere but in their own homes. When we go away for a Bitches weekend (no, we don't dress in lingerie and have pillow fights) none of us can take a shit until we get home.  In fact, the commute home from wherever we’ve gone is usually much shorter because we all have to shit so bad we are driving 100 miles an hour.
       We don’t even like saying we have diarrhea.  Instead, if we are suffering from such condition and feel the need to share, we touch our bellies with both hands and swoop them down, our raised eyebrows saying, “Get what I mean?”
        Men would probably post it on Facebook.  In fact, you could probably get a more detailed description of his last shit before you could get one of his last date.
        I was actually present when one of my girlfriends, Jackie, had to confess to another one of my girlfriend’s, Candice, that she’d taken a very malodorous shit in her bathroom and had riffled through all her personal toiletry items looking for air freshener, of which none could be found. In desperation, she decided to use Candice’s husband’s cologne and ended up spilling it all over the place.   
       As she was “confessing” I thought to myself: Jackie, if you’d just shut your mouth, Candice would go on believing that it had been her husband who had “wrecked” the bathroom.
       “Why don’t you have air freshener,” Jackie exclaimed.
       “Because I’m married, and my husband and I know that our shit stinks,” Candice said.
        If this would have happened to a man, he would have immediately called in his buddies to experience the potency of his accomplishment. Screw the air freshener. There would be no confession; it would have been a headline news.
         The other day, my best friend Marie said, “I can’t remember the last time I had a bowel movement. I think it’s been a few days.”
         That statement would have never come out of a man’s mouth.  Instead, if Marie and I were men, I would have gotten a recap of every shit he’d taken since we last spoke: size, color, aroma, how long, what his grunts sounded like, etc. And, if he hadn’t had a bowel movement in several days, he probably would have gone to the emergency room.
        And in case you men haven’t noticed, most commercials for laxatives feature women. I mean, Ex-lax didn’t make their medication taste like chocolate for you.
        And another thing, when my student shared that men don’t like to accept the fact that women shit at all, I responded with, “Do you think us ladies like hearing about men pooping?”
        His mouth dropped open because for once, he didn’t have a smart-ass retort. Clearly, he hadn’t even considered the fact that women didn’t really want to hear about men shitting. He assumed that because men like discussing and sharing their shit with one another, we’d want in on that party.                  
        We don't, gentlemen.  Just as much as you don't want in on our menstruation conversations.

*If you have an anecdote or comment about shit, I'd love to hear it, but it may end up on Twitter.
**If you have an essay about shit--yes, literally defecation, feces, poopy -- think about submitting it to a collection of pieces on this classy topic entitled This Book Is the Sh*t.


  1. You are hilarious! And you are so right, about everything. I love my boyfriend, but I have to admit, he is like your student. He does not want to hear about women farting or shitting. We saw the movie Bridesmaids (highly recommend it, if you haven't seen it already) and there is a scene with the ladies which made him incredibly uncomfortable. Of course, if it was a scene from The Hangover, with four guys instead, he would have thought it was hilarious! Sigh. I guess we're the perfect pair though, because I am so prissy when it comes to my farting/poop. I am very private about it. This may be the reason my boyfriend and I have been successfully living together for three years now. Haha!

    That being said, I don't understand the fascination guys have with their bowel movements. Or gas. I guess it is because men are more animalistic and women are more refined/evolved...?

    Or, I think it just comes down to society. Women are supposed to be clean and pretty and smell like flowers. Men are allowed to be cavemen and grunt and roll around in their shit...

    Anyway, I love this post!

  2. No lingerie or pillow fights? I'm devastated.
    For the record: I'm a bloke and have never discussed my poo with anyone.
    Though I do concede that deliberately farting with the volume turned to full while my ex-wife was on the phone to her boss might have contributed to her being my ex.
    I don't do that any more.
    I'm now very suave and sophisticated and only raise a cheek these days, refraining from the tradition booty-dance preamble to breaking wind.
    Also, I have it on good authority that Brad Pitt farts like a howitzer.
    So there.

  3. Great post, and thanks for the shout out for This Book is Sh*t! I'm still looking for about 7-10 humorous non-fiction pieces about poop, so if anyone out there has something that fits the bill, please send it my way. Holly has a hilarious piece included in the anthology called "Indian Leg Wrestling."

  4. This Book is Sh*t has evolved into a finished product, a short book of 13 humorous essays and true-life stories about poop called Code Brown. It includes a new piece from Holly called "Indian Leg Wrestling." You can check it out here:


    Thanks, Holly!


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