So, after all, should men put the toilet seat down after they are done?
I don’t think so. I sure don’t remember that one from when I was growing up. Chew with my mouth closed? Check. Open the door for the ladies? Check. Give flowers whenever you screw up? Check. Make sure the toilet seat is down? Uh… nope, not really. Granted, I shared a bathroom with two brothers and the only woman in the house, my mom, made sure we kept the hell away from her bathroom, but still... I have absolute no memory of that particular social convention until I started seeing couples argue about it in sitcoms during the Nineties.
I do have a good idea about the origins of this feminine claim, though. The Nineties were a very confusing time for men all around, the politically correct mentality was running rampant and most of us had absolutely no idea what constituted acceptable behavior anymore. Enter the women: they could smell blood on the water, as they always do. They knew no man would dare to raise his voice against any demand, no matter how preposterous, afraid of being labeled a sexist. So they gathered at an undisclosed location, probably a huge shoe store somewhere, for a World Woman Convention and made a list of all the little changes they wanted to see in male-female relationship. Thus, they established that truly sensitive men would sit through The English Patient (nearly 3 hours of a dude slowly dying!). They demanded we started cropping the native flora in our private parts, coining the term Manscaping. And they decided, out of thin air, that the original, immutable and absolutely natural position of the toilet seat was down, and that all men should respect it. We were too terrified to object and soon enough everyone began to take it as true. It was checkmate, Ippon and touché for the ladies in the ole battle of the sexes.
Now, that doesn't mean that most men bother to respect it as a rule - if they did there really wouldn’t be a quarrel - but they don't dispute it either. It became one of those things we do in shame, knowing we are in the wrong, like leaving dirty underwear on the floor, putting that empty bottle back on the fridge or inundating the bathroom whenever we exit the shower. We do it because we can't help it and then we suffer the consequences, using whatever little credit we have in the relationship to pay for those crimes.
But we shouldn't. My fellow men, it is high time we rebel against the tyranny of the toilet. They won’t stop there. Now they have exclusive restrooms on airplanes, which means they can use ours but we can’t use theirs, even though they take twice as much time as we do. Who knows what will be next. We need to make a stand. We should get our own damn restroom on the airplane. I'm keeping the bleeping seat up, and here's why:
The Male Toilet Manifesto
(Al Bundy Style)
I) Men get to pee standing up. It's one of the perks of being a man. Women have multiple orgasms and their own international day. Plus, they can score free drinks in almost any bar on the planet. Men pee standing up. It's our one advantage and I'm not giving it up. It should also be noted that, while some of us might prefer to sit down to conduct their personal business, it is their own choice and in no way it should be construed as a gender-wide forfeiture of this basic prerogative.
II) Peeing from an upright position is not an exact science, accidents do occur. In fact, the worse we need to go, the more prone we are to misfiring. So ladies, trust me, you want us to have a bigger target when we pee. And no, I'm not sitting down (please refer to item I).
III) I agree, the toilet seat is easy to handle. In fact, it is so easy women can lower it themselves. It takes half a second, anyone can try it. That way, the person who is about to use it can adjust it according to their needs. How ingenious, huh? Which brings us to…
IV) Men don't use the toilet without first assessing its status and neither should women. Ladies, if you decide to sit without looking down, you do it at your own peril. It is not your birthright to have the toilet always prepared for you, so sob stories about late night wet butts won’t break my heart. If we have to check it before we go, so should you. Gender equality works both ways.
V) Men usually want the seat up, women always want it down. Men occasionally put the seat down, women never put it up. Think about that for a second. Maybe we’re the ones who should be bitching about the damn thing.
VI) The above doesn’t really apply if you’re a guest at someone’s house, as good manners require one should oblige to the host’s wishes. But a man’s bathroom is his own domain, his private Fortress of Solitude. He goes there whenever the burden of existence gets too soul-crushing, and when he exits, he’s a renewed man, ready to face whatever the world decides to throw at him. He uses the time to gather his thoughts, to better himself. He should not have to worry about leaving no stinking toilet seat down.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take a leak.