Taiwan’s environmental minister wants to rid the island of urine-splattered toilet seats by encouraging men to sit down when they urinate.
Stephen Shen, the head of Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), has caused widespread debate on hygiene by suggesting that men should sit while peeing instead of standing up. He adds that he himself has adopted this habit. Shen believes that men sitting on the toilet as women do will create a cleaner environment.
Despite the fact that the facilities in most men’s restrooms in Taiwan are comprised mainly of urinals, local government officials are to be asked to put up notices in public areas advising men that they should sit on the toilet to relieve themselves.
No word yet on how the government proposes to monitor this!
The EPA’s passion about the issue has created controversy in Taiwan, with men protesting that sitting down is difficult because they’re not used to it.
From the BBC:
While many women in social media websites favour the suggestion, a lot of men say it would be hard to stop doing what they are used to, our correspondent in Taipei adds.
But EPA officials insist that it can be done.
“We want to learn from Japan and Sweden,” said Yuan Shaw-jing, EPA director general of environmental santitation and toxic substance maintenance.
“In Japan, we heard 30% of the men sit,” he added.
I wonder how they came up with that statistic?
It’s possible that Japanese men have better aim not because they sit down, but because they simply have better toilets. A 2011 article by the Guardian says that Sega has been installing video games in some Japanese men’s bathrooms to help improve their aim.
The Guardian’s Ally Fogg argues that even if men sitting down to pee may be more hygienic and accurate, the plan to persuade men to sit down to pee goes against the most basic male instincts. He also has a funny take on the importance of what he calls a crucial test of manhood: the ability to pee skywards.
Looking back to his school days, he relates this incident:
And then there was Phillip. Phillip was no ordinary Scots wean. He was a superhero, a god amongst miniature men. Phillip could squirt a volley which would rise a good six feet in the air before arcing with exquisite accuracy out of the open window. It was spectacular – I swear he must have mastered top spin. That is how the boys learned: there is direct route from bladder to masculine prestige, and the girls learned not to loiter by the big bins at playtime.
As a woman, I think this is a great idea. Men are notoriously inaccurate, creating urine spills outside the toilet, an awful stench and generally bad hygiene. However, I’m assuming most men would find this to be a terrible idea.
What do you think? Should men sit down to pee?
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