The women of Ghent have been vocal about this for a number of years. Last year, they even brought up a Belgian court case, which, somewhat strangely, they lost. According to local reporting, the deciding judge declared that ‘men are pigs who will urinate on national monuments if not provided for’, while women, as a supposedly more civilised race, can be counted on to act a little more decently and therefore must make the necessary sacrifice. After all, it would be way too complicated to provide toilets for both sexes – right? Imagine an establishment that did THAT. Yeah. Crazy. I just blew your mind.
Now, I’m not advocating that we all start streams in the streets – let me clarify that this is a bad habit and indeed something that should not be a habit at all. But it happens, and apparently the only way to equalise Ghent’s situation is to make sure it happens a lot more from the girls’ team. So anyone out there who’s an occasional squatter needs to get involved – with your voices or your urethras, I’m not too fussed.
Things have been done in the past to try and even up the pissing imbalance between men and women, but as in most areas, progress remains a little bit stilted. The notorious SheeWee – a cardboard funnel to place over your vaj and give you a penis-like aim for the purpose of ‘female urinals’ – exists, but is disliked by 90% of the female population (an entirely spurious statistic that I came up with after a brief ask-around of friends.) Optimistic standing-to-pee types give them out every time Glastonbury rolls around, promising impossible riches and revelations, but all you end up with is a soggy cardboard cup and a fistful of your own pee in a field utterly devoid of hand-washing provisions. Willing to take that risk? Wouldn’t you rather squat down in the nearest hedge and be done with it? Thought so.
Squat toilets – common in Asia, if you’ve ever gone backpacking and been freaked out by what you saw behind the cubicle door; not so common in Europe, where we raise our asses unnaturally high off the ground to do our business – may be a solution here. Or perhaps a celebration of the undignified female pissing experience. Or perhaps, most sensibly, Ghent needs to stop pouring money into providing more troughs for the men that they think are pigs, and put up a fuckload of free unisex cubicles instead. That way, we all get to choose the way we pee, and none of us have to pay to let our bodies function in the way they were intended (you know, after we consume copious amounts of fermented grapes and hops to the point of extreme intoxication, just like the Earth God said we should.) But either way, in a world where transgender toilets in schools are now being implemented with only the occasional hiccup, are we really stupid enough to divide the lasses and lads at one of the biggest festivals in Europe according to their peeing style?
Women were the original squatters; some of them are SheeWee converts; some men love to sit. And we can’t fall victim to the stereotype of ourselves as ‘the fairer sex’ in any situation, no matter how trivial it is. We’re pigs as well and we’re proud – and we’re not afraid to get our fannies out if you don’t provide us with doors to lock them behind.