Here in New York, everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- is talking about this Daily Beast article about women doing a #2 in the workplace. It's not really because it's about women pooping at work (there... I said it), but more because it's by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's daughter Laura Dimon, a Duke graduate and a current masters student in Columbia University's Journalism program. Since it's about a taboo subject matter (which, I'll add, Ms. Dimon nobly attempts to chisel away the taboo), Wall Street Bros chained to their work stations can't help to snicker. Go read it over at The Daily Beast. Meanwhile, let's break this thing down:
Just like dudes, they bring their phones to pop a squat too!
One 27-year-old at a financial services firm in New York City brings her BlackBerry along while she does it, and sends an email during the experience so that she has an “alibi."
They go out of their way to find a toliet:
A popular national morning TV show host in her 40s—who, like most others interviewed in this story, asked to remain nameless to avoid embarrassment—said that she walks 10 minutes to another section of her midtown office building to do it, and still then only does it when no one in the hallway sees her en route.
Jill, 28, a Vancouver native now working at an insurance company in New York City, said that if she absolutely can’t avoid the act entirely, she lifts her feet off the ground and props them up against the side of the stall to avoid the “chance that the person next to me would recognize my shoes and forever hold in their heads that I was the girl” defecating in the ladies’ room.
They have "standoffs" like the Wild West!
And some say they’ve experienced the “standoff,” when two or more women are in the bathroom, but all decline to do their business until the others leave—instead waiting awkwardly, in silence, writhing in emotional and physical discomfort, until someone surrenders.
Quite the opposite of this classic, disturbing Harold and Kumar scene:
They treat flushing like a covert opperation:
Kyle McIntyre, a 25-year-old working at a website in Los Angeles, obsesses over the perfect timing of the flush to cover the sound. She said that if it’s not just right, “the entire mission is shot to hell and your only option is to crawl through a bathroom vent to avoid revealing your identity.” In Japan, sound panels called Otohime, meaning “sound princess,” were installed years ago and in almost every public ladies’ restroom. A small Japanese gadget that girls carry in their purses makes fake flushing sounds that they use to cover up their own sounds.
That’s especially so for women, says a New York City psychologist who also asked not to be named. She suggests that men are physically and biologically more exposed than women because they have exterior reproductive organs and cannot hide or fake arousal, nervousness, or orgasm. A woman’s body, however, simply by design of hidden reproductive organs, is a “very mysterious and powerful thing,” she says. “This [concealment] may get transformed into the idea that nothing happens inside women’s bodies.”
Also, a sociology professor blames these bathroom habits on social constructs about gender roles:
According to Samantha Kwan, a sociology professor at the University of Houston, women tend to internalize these social constructions and respond by trying to discipline their bodies. Going to the bathroom, especially at work, is a clear example. “There is a lot of shame and anxiety when it comes to violating the rules” of what it means to be a woman: pristine, pretty, nice-smelling, and immaculate.
No further commentary from me. Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments.