The featured photo was hanging in our first German landlord’s guest toilet when we moved in. I didn’t understand it then. I do now.
Happy hump day, y’all. It’s already gotten off to an interesting start for me. First off, I was having an erotic dream when I woke up. It was a bit kinky, but the people involved were a married couple (not Bill and me) and very friendly with each other. I probably ought to lay off the Lifetime movies for awhile…
Arran is bright and funny this morning. He will see the vet tonight and probably get a blood test and chemo. Bill told me last night that he has to go on another week long business trip soon, which is worrying for both of us. Somehow, I think Arran will go when the time is just right, but while my instincts are usually right, they aren’t always. I look forward to the day when Bill doesn’t have to do these business trips so often anymore. Or, at least he does them when our dogs are healthy.
But, enough about that. You probably clicked on this post because of the title. I’ll agree; it’s a weird one, even by my standards.
Last night, I was reading the Irish Times again, and happened upon an article written Brianna Parkins, titled “Now it’s okay for men to pee sitting down, here are a few other changes they could make“. I wish I could gift the article for non subscribers, but the Irish aren’t down with that. You’ll just have to rely on my comments here in this blog post, unless you are a subscriber like I am.
I was interested in Ms. Parkins’ article, because here in Germany, men routinely sit down to pee. There are even signs in some public restrooms addressing this phenomenon. When we moved into our very first German house, there was a postcard in the bathroom that showed a man lying on the floor by the toilet. It read, “Nicht im stehen.” I asked our landlord what it meant, and he said “Not while standing.”
In 2007, I didn’t know that German men are trained by the women in their lives to sit when they urinate. And I know some might call me sexist for putting it that way, but seriously, when I finally encountered an explanation about this particular cultural phenomenon, that was kind of how it was put to me. This was the comment posted on Toytown Germany in June 2008, which was when we were living in that first German house.
Stehpinkeln has been a big topic on my mind of late. Through watching day time TV I have come to realise that a vast majority of people (mainly German women) are disgusted by men who pee in standing.
I can understand that it can make a mess sometimes (I am not a man, thusly, I have no personal experience) but is it such a terrible thing? Am I the only one who seems to think that it’s OK for men to stand and pee into a toilet?!
This was such a mind blower for me in 2008. Apparently, it was for other people in that forum, because the thread went on for 445 posts and 23 pages. The last post was dated January 2015. I’ve seen a couple of other posts about it on that forum. I also read and reviewed a book about it a few years ago. Seriously, there is a book titled German Men Sit Down To Pee And Other Insights Into German Culture. I gave it a favorable review.
So anyway, last night, I was reading Brianna Parkins’ article about men sitting to pee. She writes that sitting to pee is also common in Japan, another country where a lot of American men work for the US military. Actually, given how fancy Japanese toilets can be, I can see why men don’t mind sitting down to do their business. They even have a fancy video for potty training kids.
But the German word for a man who sits to pee, Sitzpinkler, is used negatively, to imply unmasculine behaviour, “something like ‘wuss’ in English”, according to the Guardian. So that newpaper’s well-reasoned arguments for having a seat while taking a slash will have made men question their core beliefs: they had to ask themselves if a standing wee is just a byproduct of toxic masculinity.
It caused women to ask ourselves how men – them lot who can’t aim their pee in the toilet without it getting on the ground – ended up in charge for so long. The mind boggles.
Seeing the success of men adopting practices formerly considered “women’s business”, here are some other ways men could benefit by becoming more like women.
It probably won’t surprise some readers that Bill sometimes sits when he pees. He says he mainly does it that way at night, since it’s easier to sit down than turn on the light and blind himself. We do have a new Toilight, which is a stocking stuffer I bought at Christmas time. It senses motion and turns on a night light, which makes going to the bathroom safer and easier in the dark. But it doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to. Bill’s habit of sitting down when he pees at night predates the Toilight, too. He’s always been considerate that way.
I had a look at the comment section, figuring the Irish would be “taking the piss”, so to speak, about this article. I wasn’t disappointed. Quite a lot of Irish men were offended by Ms. Parkins’ article, which they probably didn’t even read, since it’s behind a paywall. I saw a number of comments indicating that men who sit down to pee are “emasculated” somehow. It seems to me that peeing is mostly private business, unless you’re into golden showers or something.
It’s a pity those men didn’t read Ms. Parkins’ article, which I found delightfully snarky and funny. And you know, she’s right. Not only does sitting while peeing make less of a mess, but sometimes listening to people who have been educated about things like, say, medicine, is a good idea. Apparently, a lot of men in Ireland are averse to doing that. So is being less homophobic and enjoying some friendly skin on skin contact with other men, other than when they play contact sports.
At the very end of the article, Ms. Parkins’ real agenda comes out, and it’s a good one. She writes:
But that one’s not going to change the world. The one that would really count, just off the top of my head, would be getting men to inflict less violence, both sexual and physical, on women.
In Ireland, Women’s Aid has registered 256 violent deaths of women since 1996. Of the 200 cases that have been resolved, 87 per cent of the victims were killed by a man they knew. In Australia, where I grew up, five women have died from violence allegedly committed by a man in the first month of the year, according to Counting Dead Women Australia. In 2022, 56 women there suffered the same fate.
I would like to tell Ms. Parkins that men can be victims of domestic violence, too. Unfortunately, I know this because my husband experienced it with his ex wife. Like a lot of abuse survivors, he didn’t realize that was what he was experiencing at the time. It wasn’t until he told me some stories that I brought up the possibility. Many years later, after not having spoken to his daughter for a long time, she actually recognized it and sent him a news article about men in domestic violence situations. So, I wasn’t the only one who easily saw the truth.
It’s too bad some of the Irish men complaining about the article didn’t read it and get the actual main idea, which is that men could learn a lot from women, not just about urination, but also about not being so violent. But I would hasten to add that some women need a few lessons about not being violent, too.
Here are a few comments… obviously, most of the people didn’t read the article. I’ll admit, my own comments were about German men sitting to pee, too. I managed to “piss” off an Irishman, who claimed that he had lived here for over 20 years and that it’s not true that German men sit to pee. I guess he watched them. I mean, yes, there are urinals here. I’ve heard that some Germans even put them in their homes so they can stand when they pee. But I’ve seen a lot of signs requesting that men sit down for the performance.
A hometown friend of mine shared the following post on Facebook. I was not surprised at all.
I decided to click on the original post, to see the comment section. I had a feeling it would be quite an epic shitshow of ignorance and stubbornness, with a dip into hatred toward liberal politics, to boot. I wasn’t disappointed. Lots of people were cheering about this invention, which also is handy for opening beer bottles.
Here are a few comments…
These guys can relax, though, because it seems that this company is a bit scammy. On other posts on that page, as of 2020, many people have complained that they ordered this product and never received it. I guess the people who make it are too busy opening beer bottles to fulfill their orders. Or maybe they’re just hanging out with their labradoodles…
Here’s another area where Germans are probably smarter. It’s illegal in Germany to drive a car with your pet unrestrained, sitting in the front seat of the car. For one thing, an air bag would probably kill Fido if it goes off. For another, Fido might cause you to be distracted and get into a wreck. Pets in Germany have to either ride in a crate in the back, or wear a “seatbelt” harness in the backseat that clips to the seatbelt buckle.
And while I’ve driven with objects sitting on the front seat plenty of times, that’s also not the safest practice. In the event of an accident, that object– just like Fido or a human body– will likely become a flying object that could hit you or any other passengers or bystanders in the head when it becomes airborne. But, as a lot of us know, a lot of Americans aren’t long on common sense or practical thinking. That’s how so many of them thought Donald Trump would be a good president. The same people are ordering this product and getting scammed.
Ah well… if I weren’t married to a man who didn’t turn into Pat Boone any time I tried to skip the seatbelt, I probably would agree with some of the conservative knuckleheads on the Tikit page. But Bill is a total safety geek, so I guess that means I am, too. Just like I can’t sleep after about 5:30am anymore, thanks to my morning rooster…
Well, I think I’ll end this post and go see if my laundry is dry yet. Maybe today, I’ll manage to record some music. Since I retooled my workspace, I’m having some technical difficulties.