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05/19/2004 Archived Entry: "Talking toilets and the virtues of violence"

HEY, GUYS. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE A FEMALE TALKING TOILET? Sounds grossly kinky, no? No. In this case it would be more like having the mother from hell watch you pee. Here's the story in full from Reuters:

Talking toilet orders German men to sit down
Tue 18 May, 2004 16:55

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German inventor who developed a gadget that berates men if they try to use the toilet standing up has sold more than 1.6 million devices, his business manager says.

German women fed up with a man with a poor aim can turn to the ghost-shaped gadget, which lurks under the toilet rim and, if the seat is lifted, declares in a stern female tone:

"Hello, what are you up to then? Put the seat back down right away, you are definitely not to pee standing up ... you will make a right mess..."

Alex Benkhardt, 46, invented the "WC Ghost" and its creators are in negotiations to market it in Britain, Canada and Italy.

Sympathatic though I might be to harried hausfraus who already have enough cleaning to do, this whole business of trying to get men to sit to pee has a lot more to do with feminism gone amuck than with keeping a ty-de-bowl. (In fact, when I tried to Google for a good supporting link about feminists, men, and toilets, I instead found myself slogging through pages and pages of dominatrix porn. Hm. That tells ya something...) Some women want men to sit down because standing up to urinate signals oppression of women. (Ah, finally, there's that link I was looking for.)

On a related topic, I'm reading a book called Killing Monsters: Why Children NEED Fantasy, Superheroes, and Make-Believe Violence. While this book applies to both boys and girls, it (finally!) brings some common sense to this ridiculous climate in which tots are suspended from school for possessing itty bitty GI Joe guns and Investigated by the feds for graphic drawings.

Author Gerard Jones points out that even the goriest of play violence is usually a healthy way for kids to come to grips with the challenges of life, especially the frustrating reality of being small and helpless in a world of powerful giants. And -- as a lot of folks have suspected -- suppressing kids' natural expressions of fantasy violence can actually result in more real violence later from teenagers who've never learned to deal with their perfectly natural feelings.

Both the European tempest in a pee pot and the idiotic "zero tolerance" for play violence are aspects of the attempt to feminize men and boys. There have been plenty of times I wished a boyfriend was more like a girlfriend -- somebody to share intimate talk with, or somebody to do an art-gallery crawl with, perhaps. But it usually isn't meant to be. We are different. And vive la difference! Attempts to change the very nature of boys and men simply render both the confused males and the hyper-controlling females utterly grotesque.

Posted by Claire @ 01:59 PM CST

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