The Great Toilet Seat Debate

 

Which gender is responsible for putting down the toilet seat?

I feel oddly compelled to preface this with I’m all for gender equality.  I’m of a newer generation of men who grew up seeing men and women side by side as equals.  In school, the girls did bettter than the boys and more of them were expected to go to college.  In my working life, the majority of my bosses have been strong empowered women.  In my own family my mother is the working head of the household, and two of the closest relationships in my life are to my mother and my sister.  My life has been shaped in such a way where I feel  equality between men and women as an already bygone conclusion.

Now, part of being equal in my mind means being equallly succeptable to criticism.  It takes the exact same amount of effort for a man to raise and then lower a toilet seat, as it would a woman  to lower and then raise a toilet seat.  It’s equal work for either gender, yet why is it the social norm for the toilet seat to be left in a position that seems purely advantageous to only one gender?  When really there are clear advantages to the contrary:

Advantage 1: Toilet in the upright position means less mess on the seat 
Women complain about the toilet seat being soiled by the pee of careless men.  On behalf of my gender, I apologize.  There have been moments of laziness, or clumsiness, or plain miss-fires and drunkenness that have led to sprinkles on the seat.  I myself have never sat on any errant pee splatter, both because I am aware of the wanton destructiveness of a rogue pee stream, and because I check before placing my bare bottom upon anything… but we’ll get back to that thought in a minute.

When you really think about it: complaining about pee in the area of  toilet is like complaining about holes in the wall where you hung up your dartboard.  I mean ideally all the darts would make it onto the dart board all the time… but sometimes accidents happen.  Y’know?  And I suppose, you could lower something to protect the wall each and every time you played darts to ensure there weren’t dart holes in the wall… but there would still be those people on occasion who are in a rush or just plain inconsiderate of others who would still make some holes.

Darts_in_a_dartboard

OR, you could simply make the target area permanently larger for everyone, because to err is human, so no one will really mind if a stray dart hits outside the proverbial dartboard.  And then people who really don’t want holes in places other than the dart board, can lower their special shielding to do their business.  The people who are bad at aiming or inconsiderate of others have less to worry about.  The people who don’t like sitting their bare asses on sprinkles of pee will have it happen less frequently.  Everybody wins.

Advantage 2: Forces everyone to visually inspect toilet before use
In additon to never having sat on pee, I’ve never once fallen into an open toilet.  Granted as a male, I only sit for bowel movements, or if I’m really drunk… or sometimes when I’m playing a really complicated game on my phone.   It perplexes me when people manage to fall into an open toilet.  This is not some machismo gender bias, rather the polar opposite– I’m wracked by a neurotic  near-crippling phobia of spiders:

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Yep, that’ll stay with you for a while.  

Think about the worst and most vulnerable places on the human body.  Now think of which of those parts are blindly dangled into a toilet bowl if you don’t do a visual check of the toilet before plopping yourself down on it.  Now if you’ve ever fallen into an open toilet, clearly you aren’t checking for the existence of a physical toilet seat or  aforementioned rude-dude pee sprinkles, but more importantly you aren’t checking for spiders or any other monsters that might be lurking there!

stock-footage-snake-in-toilet
Oh yeah, this happens too sometimes.  

Critics of the upright position will argue that both men and women use the toilet seat in the down position, but only men use it in the upright position.  This is absolutely true from a purely functional standpoint.   But in terms of safety, leaving the toilet seat up gives both genders a full line of visual inspection into the bowl and sides of the toilet.  Then when the seat is lowered, it allows examination of the top as well as the sides of the seat.  The movement and the sound of the toilet seat coming to a lowered position has the added advantage of potentially scaring away any stray critters who may be lurking there.  It’s cleaner and safer for both genders.  No spider bitten genitals for anybody!

Advantage 3 punishment or lack thereof
How do you punish someone, for which their actions have no direct or personal consequence?  Men will never know the disgusting discomfort of sitting on pee sprinkles.  Men will never know the agonizing shame of falling bare-assed into an open toilet.  Yet men and men alone are solely responsible for preventing these horrible things from happening to the other gender?  As the gender most directly affected by the status of the seat, it is in women’s best interest to retain exclusive control over it?

Advantage 4: an honest attempt at fairness
I’m wincing at this point.   I can already hear the scorn and outrage from every potential female reading this.  But really, is it harder to do something standing or sitting?  Is an office job where you’re sitting on a chair more or less taxing then a job as a cashier, where you”re doing quite similar work, only standing?  Which is a more comfortable position, sitting or standing?  At a concert which tickets are more expensive, the seats or standing area?  In a crowded bar which spots are more sought after, the bar stools or standing room only?  On the bus,  which position is more desirable, sitting in a chair or standing and clinging to an overhead handle?

crowded

Regardless of gender or agenda, I think we can all agree sitting is more comfortable than standing.  So women and men are both doing the exact same act, yet one gender has a more comfortable position.  Why not… in the nature of fairness let women do that tiny little bit of work to lower and raise the toilet seat to add some equality to the situation?  Let those sitting in comfort do a little more to achieve it, and those straining their leg muscles do a little less to remain in discomfort.  The world will never be perfectly equal, but at least they could be a little more… fair?

Solution: Keep the lid closed

Since neither gender can truly come to a consensus as to how the toilet should be positioned,  there is one position that has all the benefits– fully closed.

-Less residual splash from dirty toilet water ending up in the air and on the seat.
– No splash from errant pee projectiles
-Prevents monsters from coming out of the toilet when not in use.
– Makes you visually check to see there aren’t monsters in the toilet.
– less risk of toothbrush and/or Iphone inadvertently falling in.

However this position inconveniences BOTH genders rather than just one or the other.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some plastic spiders I need to go hide in a toilet because my girlfriend didn’t agree with me on this article.