Deal with it, ladies.
And yes, I mean “ladies.” Because while there are many ways you are discriminated against in the office because of your gender — unequal pay, the glass ceiling, the boys’ club — but hiding your poop at work because you’re afraid what somebody will think about your bowel movements is all you.
The Daily Beast published a recent piece in their Women Of The World section (which I thought was a place for serious journalism?) entitled “The Last Office Taboo For Women: Doing Your Business At Work.” In it, we meet a panoply of, frankly, screwed up sounding women who try not to poop at the office, including one who lifts her feet up so no one recognizes her shoes and another who walks “10 minutes to another section of her midtown office building to do it and still then only does it when no one in the hallway sees her en route.” Gee, I wonder if her boss notices that she takes random 20 minute walks all around the office building a couple times a week. That should come up in the annual review!
Maybe I’m just grossly comfortable with my own body, but hiding the times I poop has never occurred to me in relationships or at the office. There is no logical reason why anyone, male or female, should be “enshrouded in fear and anxiety,” as the Beast puts it, for defecating, ever. There isn’t a single person on Earth who doesn’t need to poop, no one’s shit smells like roses, and if you’re self-conscious about it being too noisy then you need to acquaint yourself with flushing. Pro tip: A flush provides like a good 15 seconds of noise. AND YOU CAN FLUSH SEVERAL TIMES IN A ROW! I kinda want to introduce all you ‘fraidy-poops to my girl friend who used to be in the Army and had to shit in front of everyone in her squadron on a regular basis so she can open a big can of Shut The Fuck Up on you and your neuroses.
One sociology professor interviewed by the Beast, Samantha Kwan, correctly theorizes, in my opinion, that the workplace “still remains a men’s space.” Women feel like they are under more scrutiny than men — because they are — therefore “may be more hypervigilant of not breaking rules of gender by monitoring their femininity even more.” That makes sense, yet it’s time to act like big girls at the office and realize hiding our shits is a colossal waste of time and the very last thing that women in the workplace should be worrying about. Work will never be a truly egalitarian space if women are policing themselves — and one would assume each other — over something as silly as pooping. It’s a dumb diversion, possibly the dumbest diversion.
Get your priorities straight. Because while you’re trotting to another floor of the office building to do #2, the dude in the next cubicle is climbing over your head up the corporate ladder.
[Image of business woman pooping via Shutterstock]