October 17, 2011

No Peeing Standing Up Monday

Should peeing standing up be banned?

One of my pet peeves is in the news - peeing standing up. A restaurant in Vancouver, BC has 'no peeing standing up' stickers in its unisex washroom, which seems sensible to me. But since a journalist blogged about it, it has caused quite a splash in the media.

Some are wondering if it is a feminist plot, or if the restaurant owners were being 'totalitarian'. It is neither. Even though the owner said it was a joke, it does make good sense, and the restaurant supply store that sells them, stocks them for a good reason.

Even if you have perfect aim (few do), peeing standing up is unhygienic. It creates a mess for subsequent users and cleaners due to the physics of flowing liquids - there is the inevitable and dreaded 'splash back'. The corrosive urine damages surrounding surfaces, and it smells bad.

I pee sitting down, voluntarily, because it is a small gesture that I can make to maintain cleanliness in the restrooms that I use. Sitting is respectful of others, and generally makes life easier. Plus, no arguments about the position of the toilet seat.

Banning peeing standing up, although portrayed as a joke in the recent media coverage, has nothing to do with feminists or totalitarianism. It is about behaving proactively, and conducting your business respectfully in order to reduce life's unpleasant complications.

It seems very simple, and hardly newsworthy. However, if I can influence just one man to sit down to pee, it will be worthwhile. It is a learned behaviour after all - in Togo, women stand up to pee, while men sit or squat.

Be good to each other out there, and have a great week. May your toilet seats be dry, and your cleaning tasks lightened.

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