The Vagenda

The Shee-Pee Conundrum: Bring Back Squatting

Generally speaking, I quite like leaving the house from time to time. I don’t find it difficult to gain enjoyment from watching bands and going out to eat food that I can barely afford, not to mention drinking various liquids: a habit which I’ve found conveniently successful in keeping me alive. Separately, I am able to partake in these activities with virtually no hassle – though as soon as the two are combined, all-annoying-hell breaks loose. 
Having been brought up in the UK where it seems to be valued as somewhat of a national institution, I am no stranger to queuing. I’ve done my time waiting patiently in lines, and sometimes it’s even worth it. However, there is one queue that has pushed me to my limit one too many times – and that is the queue for the female toilets. I certainly don’t intend to undermine the importance of a little privacy during certain toilet-based rituals, but how many times have you stood cross-legged in a queue that’s snaking its way out of the building whilst your male companions skip in an out of the gents quicker than the time it takes you to say ‘I’ve just pissed myself’?
The main argument I have encountered during all of my campaigning (whining) about the toilet-equality situation is one of logistics. To be blessed with the genitalia of a woman is indeed to be robbed of the coveted privilege of the stand-up pee. My question is this; who decided that peeing standing up was so dignified in the first place? I ask you to cast your mind back for a moment to the last time you had no choice but to crouch behind a car/tree/lamp-post/friend because you were literally teetering on the peripheries of kidney failure (like, each and every time I even look at a double gin and tonic.) Squatting down to pee is hardly the most arduous task – and even if you do accidently fall drunkenly into a puddle of your own urine, it can just be that cute secret you share with your closest friends; plus, it’s character building. 
The shame and secrecy that society has embedded in ‘the vagina that dares to do anything but take a penis’ has fooled us into thinking that the ‘male’ model of urinating is the cleanest, most dignified and therefore most effective way of expelling things. This notion perpetuated so far that it brought about the (ultimately very well-meaning) she-pee. Anyone who has actually used a she-pee, which is kind of a penis-imitating funnel that allows you to pee like man, will know that although it might be hilarious and good at cutting down queues, it’s hardly the most practical invention and more often than not ends in what can only be described as ‘pee hand’. Not ideal, and, in statistical terms, usually much more hassle than the underrated squat.
Despite my rallying, I haven’t 100% decided on what the practical solution to this dilemma is, though it is a challenge I present to our more entrepreneurial sisters. All I know is that it doesn’t feature funnels, sticky locks or isolating cubicle doors (ready yourselves for the best episode of Dragon’s Den ever.)
Before all of this happens, we need to address the common misconception that it is somehow ‘disgusting’ or ‘unladylike’ to pee in front of each other. Don’t let your body’s functionality be dictated by the patriarchal belief that the only things that should come out of vaginas are orgasms and perhaps gentle lute music. The concern is surely not that other people will be eyeing up your vagina. Men pee together all of the time, multiple times a day, and, as far as I’m aware, come away from the experience relatively unscathed after having encountered very few untoward glances at their dicks. 
In order to cut down the queues and subsequently avoid missing out on almost entire second halves of gigs, endings of films and life in general, we must relinquish control of our bladders and respect each other’s desperate need to pee.  Get the hell out as quickly as possible. That means embracing the squat so often reserved for drunken nights behind parked cars. 
Maybe we should even introduce a high-five on the way down. 

9 thoughts on “The Shee-Pee Conundrum: Bring Back Squatting

  1. Nooo, the she-wee is amazing! I do a lot of hill walking and it saves me having pull my trousers right down and expose all areas to the cold wind – nobody wants a frost-bitten foof… Also excellent for the speed-pee in totally open areas. Seriously. These things are useful!

  2. Are you suggesting we urinate out of our vaginas?

    “Don’t let your body’s functionality be dictated by the patriarchal belief that the only things that should come out of vaginas are orgasms and perhaps gentle lute music.”

    You managed to get a fundamental biological error and a painfully misplaced and unjustified dig at the patriarchy into one sentence. The ‘shame and secrecy’ of women’s situation, and the ‘undignified’, ‘unladylike’, and ‘disgusting’ nature of women’s urination are negative views perpetuated by yourself here, and are in no way held by the majority of womankind. Importantly, there is a difference between shame and the desire for privacy. I neither accept the premise nor the language of this article as in any way accurate or helpful.

    The notion that the she-wee is perpetuating misogynistic beliefs of what the vagina is for (a completely irrelevant point here, by the way) is preposterous – it’s a practical tool, not a social commentary. It would not be so popular if many people could not get it to work, including myself, though I don’t much get the chance to use it.

    PS. To “eye up your vagina”, fellow urinators would have to be extremely close, and at the correct angle. Correct terminology, especially when referring to one’s own genitalia, and especially when they form the basis for an article, is incredibly important. Please return to basic biology (and basic womanhood) and understand the difference between the urethra, vulva and vagina. Inform yourself of the facts of the topic which you are writing an article about.

  3. I’m too scared to use a shepee as usually they’re festivals, where I might be consuming alcohol and therefore quite likely to wee on myself and have to live with it for two days. Every time I’m in a giant queue, I vow to practice at home, sober, with stolen shepee funnels.
    However, I wouldn’t squat at a festival (which this post seems mainly aimed at) unless in some sanitation enabled situation like those hole-in-the-ground loos as some have major issues with pollution due to the number of people peeing freely in bushes Tec (here’s looking at you, Glastonbury). The queues suck, but I’m also not mad keen on getting my arse out or helping damage water based ecosystems by adding some extra nitrogen. This is an un-feminist related comment, I know.

  4. Had my reservations about the she-pee but the queue to the portaloos before the Arctic Monkeys this weekend was so ridiculous I had no choice but to embrace it. The premise behind the she-pee isn’t about abandoning the squat per-se, though one of its benefits aside from speed is not getting other people’s piss, and other substances, all over you every time you go to a festival toilet. It’s a push by WaterAid to cut down on flushing, and I’ve gotta say I’m a convert.