The need to pee

7 12 2009

Sometimes, when I need to pee badly and have no access to a toilet, I find myself wishing I was a man. It’s the only moment in my life that I really and truly wish I was a man and could piss while standing up. However, having said that, I must admit that whenever I see a man standing by the road with his arse half bare, pissing onto the stump of a tree or someone’s white wall or the foot of the road sign, I’m tempted to shout “Chee, chee!” (and I have often done this, to the dismay of my friends.)

But seriously, why do so many men piss on the roads as if they were in a public toilet? There are some corners of this city where the smell of human urine is so overpowering one can hardly keep from gagging. Yet, it is a perfectly accepted activity with no shame or penalty attached to it. So how can we get men to stop pissing on the road in public view as if the city was one big public lavatory?

I grant the fact that the rarity of public toilets in this country is the major factor in this problem, but is that good enough reason to expose oneself to every passerby? Surely women need to piss as often as men? But can you imagine the uproar if one of us decided to squat on the roadside and piss?

So what’s the difference? Apart from the fact that it is one of those gross things that men just like to do (along with gaping, belching, farting and scratching their balls in public), it is also because men are free to please themselves in this as in so much else, whereas women must be constantly responsible, well-behaved and submissive to every rule and tradition – social, political, personal. However idiotic, irrational, cruel or unjust, we must toe the line. The rules and regulations, such as they are, are all designed to privilege the male over female in all things great or small.

Now this is not an argument for women to win the freedom to piss in public. We wouldn’t be using that particular freedom even if we were encouraged to. But it is just one more example of the numerous ways in which South Asian Men are privileged over women, with no sense of responsibility or accountability for virtually anything they do.