Let me clarify that I am referring to the majority of men who believe that all activities in the men’s bathroom require the seat to be kept up. Some men, who have been accepted into graduate school, think that they can’t figure out that they need to let others know before stepping into a warm shower. They refuse to compromise their masculinity or anything for that matter, and refuse to “spread their cheeks” or properly wipe their ass, believing that two wipes are sufficient. They don’t know how to properly wipe or how dirty it can get, regardless of how stupid and gross it may seem. The internet has helped us uncover new depths of how stupid and disgusting men can be, but it is apparent that this has been the most apparent in human history.
Level one, at the very least, is quite evident: the allure of these narratives. They declare, “Behold the man who always has feces near his buttocks! For he remains oblivious to the existence of oven mitts, witness the boy who consistently burns his hands while retrieving items from the oven!” However, I also find them oddly soothing when I peruse them. In a sense, discovering such deviant behavior is rather uplifting. Theodor Adorno posits in his work Minima Moralia that “it is the sufferings of humanity that ought to be shared” — and that sentiment somewhat resonates with me in this context.
I’ve always known how to wipe my ass, at least, thanks to my mum’s testimony. It’s one of my proudest achievements, and yes, I’m very proud to be part of a generation that has that little accomplishment. But growing up, I was shocked and honestly disgusted by how much disgusting and/or weird stuff I encountered. It didn’t stop or help me to intervene with a single person.
Fortunately, I stopped spitting on my hands every day at school when puberty hit me between the ages of ten and seven. This habit, which is revealed in every school photo of me during that time, betrays streaks of visible spit on my jumper. I heard someone say that spit was an antiseptic, so I used it to rub my hands together every time. I started to get very worried when I was six years old.
Although my parents’ concerns were odd, the only real response to ban me from having fans and heaters in my room, I eventually decided that the problem might not be that the room was too humid, but rather that it was too dry from using these fans and heaters. To cool down the room, including the walls outside, I experimented with a number of bizarre strategies and eventually sprayed them all down. I was very concerned about the temperature in my room because I would sweat a lot, possibly due to some extrapolation from misheard information. I remember getting this idea from somewhere, possibly because I was worried that something as a late chubby developer contributed to the growth of breast tissue. For some idiosyncratic reason, I believed that the function of trapping sweat inside sweat was the reason for this, so I didn’t use deodorant.
This behavior has only been addressed and ultimately eliminated through a number of relationships with women, all of whom could have been more patient with me than anyone I could have ever expected.
The unfairness of this arrangement hardly needs to be pointed out. One exception I can think of is the man who is enlightened by a toilet salesman and doesn’t know that you’re meant to sit on the toilet seat. It is a social solution that is remarkably poor. Men, or at least some noticeable percentage of men, are being left to their own strange ways until they randomly stumble into a relationship with a woman who may, or may not, be generous enough to help them figure things out. This is similar to the behavior of the men in internet stories, whose actions are often only discovered through the perspective of their girlfriends.
In the chapter of The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir essentially identifies being left to one’s own devices as the earliest indicator of masculinity. She states that for boys, the mother’s body withdraws from their embraces, which is a second weaning process that occurs at a slower pace and is less brutal than the initial one. According to her, girls are just as eager as boys to be admired, smiled at, and please others. Both boys and girls exhibit similar behaviors of seduction and display, as they all strive to maintain the joyful state that precedes weaning. Beauvoir emphasizes that there is no distinction in the attitudes displayed by girls and boys during the first three or four years of life.
He seeks to appear pleasing, but he does not please them. He obtains the approval of adults by pretending to be a “little man,” but he does not truly cry. A man who does not look at himself in the mirror does not ask for kisses. Even the little boy knows that affectations are forbidden. The little girl, on the other hand, looks protectively at her solitude and finds physical contact amusing. Her hair is carefully done, and she dresses in lovely tears. She is indulgently treated, and her whims and tears are kissed. She is dressed in lovely dresses, and her father takes her on his knees. She is allowed to hide behind her mother’s skirts, and she continues to be doted upon as a little girl.
Because they are in control of things, they feel like they are allowed to do more and be more dominant. This is the first sign of the superiority that boys are taught to identify with. Boys will learn that they have advantages over women and girls, such as being able to stand up and urinate, which contrasts with women’s lack of a penis. This immediately implies a higher estimation of boys, subjecting them to the requirements of a superior class. They are shown that they are somehow superior to their sisters, who still receive affection but less of it. Through this, little boys are starved of affection, while girls are formed in solitude. De Beauvoir writes that this is because there are greater designs for boys, and this is only the beginning. However, if a boy is the first-born, he seems to be favored less than his sisters, especially when it comes to additional attention and affection (which comes with obvious perils).
Recently, a certain Canadian professor has become very famous and rich by simply standing up straight and telling young men to tidy their room. Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that they seek help when they experience pain or don’t know how to take care of basic things like cleaning or feeding themselves. It is interesting to note that men’s pain is taken more seriously by doctors, but they can end up leading successful and normal lives without knowing how to do basic tasks like cleaning or feeding themselves.
It may sound bizarre, but some men don’t know how to use a shower or any other function of their privilege. The supposed purpose of this privilege is to produce a world in which men, who hold large economic, cultural, and political power, are allowed to live like this. However, a possibility emerges as a side effect. The absolute focus becomes the lives of everyone around him, as if every alleged genius, like the patriarchal swaggering Don Draper, is allowed to live his life without ever needing to listen to his underlings. There are some forgotten losers who have been allowed to completely go off the track, idling away their lives in soiled underwear.
Male entitlement, in brief, is something that men also need to be rescued from. It creates, both literally and metaphorically, awful men.