How can we go to the bathroom? (An investigation of potty politics)
This episode was inspired by some great conversations I’ve had recently about going to the bathroom and specifically North Carolina’s legislation about public accommodations. I wanted to investigate for myself where bathroom culture started, to consider the historical context and intent of potty politics.
I learned so much: the quantity of toilet paper I consume, the practices of other countries, and where bathrooms got their reputation for sites of sex crimes (men have sex with men when homosexuality was illegal). These lessons in particular aren’t in the episode but I mention them because they, like everything I did include, afforded me the knowledge to sexplain that our genitals truly have nothing to do with going to the bathroom except that they carry the urine we expel in them, or as I say in the video that we wipe front to back.
My hope is that you continue to research and study bathroom history and politics, that you have curious conversations about the legislation in various states. My hope is that you go to the bathroom where you feel most comfortable and anyone sharing the facility is glad you’re there because they judge your presence on how clean you leave your stalls, not on whether or not they can see your balls.
So many amazing resources educated me on this topic. There about two dozen total! The ones I’ve linked to below are accessible online and awesome for learning more:
Sexplanations bathroom signs: