We all know of birds and bees, Mars and Venus, but I want to talk about the nuts and bolts of the gender gap. I want to talk about toilet seats. I have always assumed that putting the toilet seat back down is a requirement of the civilized man. Down is the default setting, right? I mean you can put it up of course, but down is where it is supposed to be.
My dad spent his adult life in a home full of females: a wife, two daughters, two lady-parakeets and a girl dog. Although I don’t remember any specific toilet-seat related incidents, I do remember him asking why it was his responsibility to put the seat down instead of our responsibility to put the seat back up when we were done. The question is absurd, of course. There are myriad reasons to saddle men with the responsibility of putting the toilet seat down, and I’m pretty sure they all have to do with (smashing) the patriarchy. Women didn’t have the right to vote until 1920; women make $0.79 to the dollar a man makes; women experience menstruation, childbirth, sexism, gender-based violence, on and on and on. So can you put the fucking toilet seat down, dudes? Can you just make the world a slightly less uncomfortable place for the other half of us with one simple nicety?
I live alone, so the toilet seat discussion has never been much of an issue for me until this weekend. After a lovely night out, my friend Dave realized his house keys didn’t make it back to his house with him. He retraced our steps twice, to no avail. My guest room isn’t much, but when the alternative was to sleep outside his front door, he chose to come to my house. In the eight hours he spent at my house, my toilet seat was left up twice. I can’t really blame him; he’s a dude who lives alone. Toilet seats are never an issue in his house. But the difficulty of the concept perplexes me. And in terms of the great divide between the genders, it made me wonder what about us perplexes the dudes?
If I had to wager, I’d say it’s hair. I almost never notice how much hair is in my bathroom until I have a guest coming over. Indeed, before Kris arrived, I spent a good 15 minutes wiping down my bathroom sink, counter and floor to get rid of the excess hair. I even emptied two drain cover hair traps in my shower.
And therein lies my request: To all the dudes who may spend the night at my house, I promise to spend 15 minutes scooping up my hair if you promise to spend .05 second to save me from a cool midnight dip (with potential for actual injury). Do we have a deal? Tell ya what, if you hold up your end of the bargain, I’ll throw in some kickass pancakes in the morning.
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