Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Can Already Pee Fine, KTHNXBAI.

There's an ad that's been popping up in my feminist digest and on various feminist websites recently that has been disturbing me to an extremely high degree.

Its not the creepy reebok shoes built for instability. ("creates natural instability to make it harder to walk, just like foot binding!!") It's not the clown-shaped vibrator. (Though that one does inspire all sorts of horror and concern for the state of humankind.)

Its the "Female Urination Device," i.e. an invention that "allows women to pee standing up."

The "go-girl" website declares, "If you camp, you’ll love GoGirl. If you ski, you’ll love GoGirl. If you boat, you’ll love GoGirl. If you travel, you’ll love GoGirl. If you just want to avoid the germs you find in nasty public toilets, you’ll love GoGirl. GoGirl is for active women of all types and ages"

The "Magic Cone" website declares that it sells "a unique device which enables women to urinate from a standing up position." [Well, since Go-girl's at it too, I guess that spoils your claim of "unique-ness."] In one of the youtube instructional video instructions on the site, the comment reads, "penis for women in need."

I have two very large problems with these products: one as a backpacker, and one as a feminist.

As a backpacker, the website's assertion that these products are perfect for people going camping is sincerely insulting and uninformed. The point of going out in nature is--guess what? Being IN NATURE, and getting away from stupid extraneous technologies like "female urination devices." You have to pee? Go find a tree. Or a really large rock to hide behind. That way you can pretend you're just like all the other animals out there, I swear its not that difficult. (I assure you, it requires much less effort than taking a dump in the woods, in which case you actually need to make sure you're not within 100 feet of running water, a shovel, and a pinecone.) Besides, when you're backpacking, you have to carry all the food and supplies you need for survival with you on your back--who wants to carry an extra, generally useless item? Backpackers are not sold. And since we spend entire weeks at a time wearing the same clothes every day and make our own hand sanitizer, whether or not we can be "hygeinic" when we pee is definitely not that big of a deal.

As a Feminist, I'm concered with the underlying inferences of the comment, "a penis for women in need." I already have a fully functional excretory system. If I really wanted to pee standing up, I could do it really easily, but what's with the assumption that being able to pee standing up is superior to being able to pee sitting down? The statement that it's somehow more hygenic is a bunch of *FOUR LETTER WORD,* the assertion that its somehow easier seems unsubstantiated (Hey, at least we don't have to aim.) The real message behind the product seems to be: If you're female, your body is dirty and inadequate.

Consumerism has burdened women with enough body issues as it is! Photoshopped magazines tell us we need to have an eating disorder to be "sexy"; porn magazines telling us we need to have genital reconstruction surgery for our vaginas to be loved; advertisements tell us our cellulite (which is really just plain ol' skin) is a deadly disease of ugliness and we should fix it with products right away; other advertisements attack the size and shape of our boobs (My eyes are up here anyway, creeps). The last thing we need (other than a Stupak-Pitts amendment attacking our reproductive systems) is an attack on our excretory systems as well.

Okay, I can see how one might want to mess with gender conventions by chosing to pee in a different way than what's perscribed by society. Personally, I would prefer to mess with gender conventions in a way that would be more public, but everyone has their own comfort zones. But seriously, I already pee freely. Thanks for the body issues.

Photocredit: dmansouri on flickr.com