to stand or sit

By January 18, 2007General

This is from John Leo, of U.S. News and World Report fame. Filed under “strange but true.”

“Now sit, Ingvar, sit.”

Young women in Sweden, Germany, and Australia have a new cause: They want men to sit down while urinating. This demand comes partly from concerns about hygiene–avoiding the splash factor–but, as Jasper Gerard reports in the English Spectator, ‘more crucially because a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women.’ One argument is that if women can’t do it, then men shouldn’t either. Another is that standing upright while relieving oneself is ‘a nasty macho gesture,’ suggestive of male violence. A feminist group at Stockholm University is campaigning to ban all urinals from campus, and one Swedish elementary school has already removed them. In Australia, an Internet survey shows that 17 percent of those polled think men ought to sit, while 70 percent believe they should be allowed to stand. Some Swedish women are pressuring their men to take a stand, so to speak. Yola, a 25-year-old Swedish trainee psychiatrist, says she dumps boyfriends who insist on standing. ‘What else can I do?’ said her new boyfriend, Ingvar, who sits. “