Tag Archive | "gender inequality"

Coming soon: Talking about toilets

Coming soon: Talking about toilets

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In the next two weeks, we’ll be poking at the topic of public toilets from all angles. Be prepared for loads of fun.

By Terence Lee

A toilet in Alcatraz. What did the prisoners do in there? Photo: TON HAEX / Creative Commons

NEXT to our bed, the office, and eating places, the toilet is probably the place where we spend the most time, although studies show that women spend almost twice the length of time in the lavatory as men.

Fortunately, women live longer too, which more than makes up for the time they spend preening in front of the mirror and fussing over tampons.

Let’s do a rough calculation: Assuming that a typical male spends fifteen minutes a day in the toilet, bathing, shitting, or masturbating, that works out to a total of 70 minutes a week, or 60 hours a year, or 200 days in a lifetime (assuming he lives till 80 years old).

For women, it could be a whole year.

So, if toilets are so important, why aren’t we spending as much time talking about it?

“You can judge the quality of a civilisation by the way it disposes its waste.” – American historian Lewis Mumford

In advanced economies, perhaps it’s because toilets are taken for granted.

In less developed countries, perhaps some places don’t even have toilets for someone to even begin talking about it.

Whatever the case, the New Nation editors decided that we should devote the next two weeks to it — a meagre effort at best, and surely not enough to turn toilets into a top ten dinner conversation topic.

But at least we want to start something.

So what can you expect? Plenty of toilet humour, for sure. And incidentally, we’ll feature discussions about social behaviour, gender inequality, the economy, health, and how all of these relate to the humble toilet.

Stay tuned as we bring you more good stuff.

In the meantime, check out our first in a series of toilet news!

Read more toilet articles here.