“Can we talk?” my boyfriend at the time asked.
Those 3 words are probably more significant than “I love you” to me because they mean something bad is up. THE FIRST TALK. (Also, ew, love, but that’s another issue.)
Was he gonna dump me? Tell me I made weird mucus-throat-clearing noises in my sleep?
“I think we need to stop talking about poop so much,” he said with great sincerity, looking into my eyes.
I started crying. And trying to hold back the tears, because, c’mon. That shit was ridiculous.
Now you might think it had to do with sex. Nope, that part was fine. And he had farted in my face within the past month. I realized that part of what I valued about the relationship, despite other bad parts, was that we were really open with each other about our bodily functions. Not to gross each other out, but to acknowledge that we were normal humans who hadn’t had our assholes surgically soldered shut. So for him to nullify that, it really hurt my feelings. But, really, how fucking ridiculous is it that I was choking back tears over this?
“I just think our humor could be a lot more sophisticated.”
“Yeah, we should challenge ourselves.”
Looking back at this, I crack up. But at the time it felt like a gut-punch into intimacy. Cause you can have a one-night-stand with just about anyone, but do you ever have a one-night-fart-er-around-er?
(n.b.: Also, WHO’S THE SUPER-FAMOUS-MADE-$35-LAST-WEEK-COMIC NOW, HUH, JARED? HOW’S THAT FOR SOPHISTICATION)
The joke is that women don’t shit or that their shit smells like roses. While men can talk about going to the bathroom and even competitively brag about it.
But because I’m 12, like all of us, and it’s both funny and humanizing, once I’m close enough with someone, I will, in the right context, talk about the fact that I shit.
At work, though, or in any public situation, it’s a totally different poop-game. I’M NOT A MONSTER!
Most women are familiar with the shit standoff. You and the lady in the adjacent stall have both been in there for a while, standing or hovering, in silence. No pee-sounds, no rustling. Just waiting.
Waiting to see who will shit or leave first. Because GAIA FORBID the soft “plop…plop…plop” should emanate from your stall, branding you as A Shitter.
You get shit-shy.
I solved the problem a couple years ago for myself. You just take the seat cover, crumple it up, and throw it in the toilet. BOOM, you now have a poop-plop-muffler! At worst, it will sound like you are peeing in there (socially acceptable). I congratulated myself on my genius.
But, really, that doesn’t solve the underlying issue. Which is that women, even among themselves, are not supposed to shit. Even in private stalls in public bathrooms. Our shame in being human is just too great.
So, like some women reclaim nature by growing out their body hair or not conforming to other stereotypical standards of feminine behavior, could the next revolution in feminism be about openly shitting? I don’t mean in public, for some kind of pretentious art project, or flagrantly, all gross up in someone’s face. I get it, it’s gross. Our bodies are rejecting it and spitting it out. I just mean acknowledging that we do it without shame. And not having a shit standoff in a public bathroom.
Because every time I shit while wearing a skirt, I feel like I’m cheating on femininity. Like I’m being “naughty.”
Anyone wanna join me in starting the first riot grrrl poop-revolution band? (Please leave names and song titles in the comments.)