Speaking on behalf of most men, accidently peeing on a toilet seat happens often.
When this happens, you are faced with a decision – to clean it up or to move on and pretend it wasn’t you.
Hopefully you choose the former.
But evidence suggests that many of us choose the latter.
I would presume that when using a public toilet as opposed to one in your home, the chances increase that you will move on and pretend it wasn’t you. (I’m sure there’s a research paper in that).
Again, I point to evidence. Evidence that I’ve seen in public bathrooms.
Now what do you do when you see pee on the seat when you arrive?
Do you clean it or do your thing and leave it?
Those who make the latter choice may convince themselves that it wasn’t them so they have no responsibility to clean it up.
They count themselves lucky that it wasn’t a number 2.
Perhaps unconsciously, they thank their cis-male privilege that they don’t have to sit down to pee.
Our fellow (cis-female) humans do not have this privilege.
𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗼𝗻 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗺 𝗜 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀?
Well, what do you do when you seen inequality within the system? Do you wipe the seat, or leave it for others to do it?
Any by ‘others’ I mean it will usually be a woman that has to do it, or perhaps a cleaner (let’s call them the DEI team).
You may not need the seat wiped in order for you to be ‘successful’ with what you are trying to do.
You probably notice ‘the pee’ but it doesn’t inconvenience you enough to do anything about it.
It may not have been you that put ‘the pee’ there in the first place.
But to walk past it and do nothing, only perpetuates the obstacles encountered by others, who don’t share your privilege.
It is much easier for us to do nothing, but that will only ever help people like us to ‘succeed’.
We have all left pee on the seat. Maybe it was ours. Someone else’s. A combination.
It is not someone else’s job to clean this up. And we shouldn’t only wipe the seat when it will serve us.
The reality is noone is going to call you a ‘champion of change’ for wiping the seat, but it’s the things that you do when no one else is looking that determines your level of commitment to making the system fairer for everyone.
Now, I’ve heard enough horror stories from female bathrooms to know that women can contribute to this problem as well (particularly in public bathrooms).
Speaking to the women, perhaps you have successful ‘squatted over’ the system. Well done you, but that doesn’t help the women that aren’t like you, or other genders.
Women who have succeeded in the system also have a responsibility to ‘wipe the seat’ for others, ensuring the system is fair for everyone, not just people like them.
Take a moment and look down.
Look down at the systems and processes that you’ve successfully worked through to get where you are.
There is plenty of pee to clean up.
No excuses. Wipe the seat.