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Today is World Toilet Day

07-24-2013toiletday

I was going to write up something today about International Men’s Day, the me-too what-about-the-menz holiday that’s so meaningless that even Men’s Rights activists can barely remember to celebrate it. Do we really need a day to “celebrate [the] achievements and contributions” of men? Don’t we get quite a lot of that already? Do we need a day given over to “highlighting the discrimination against [men]” as if this is really a thing?

But then I discovered that today was also World Toilet Day, and realized it was probably more worthwhile to promote this event, as the lack of toilets and proper sanitation — a widespread problem in parts of the developing world, particularly in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa — can have devastating public health consequences.

Some disturbing facts, from the UN, which I clipped from this CNN story:

  • 2.5 billion people — one in three people in the world — do not have a toilet or access to sustainable sanitation
  • Diarrheal diseases are the second most common cause of death in young children in developing countries
  • They kill more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined

Learn more at the official website. Also, Al Jazeera has a useful infographic.

And just a note to the MRAs who have somehow concluded from this post that I am comparing men or men’s issues to toilets (!?), let me try to make my point very clear: I am contrasting a sharply focused activist campaign aimed at a very real problem — lack of toilets and proper sanitation in large parts of the developing world — with large consequences — disease and death, of adults and children alike — with a badly thought out International Men’s Day that seems largely driven by jealousy that “women get a day so why can’t we have one too.”

How halfassed is International Men’s Day? Here’s a screenshot of the International Men’s Day website’s “resources” page.

resources

Generally speaking, you would expect a “resources” page to list facts and figures and possibly link to relevant other groups. All you get at the International Men’s Day site are some posters made from stock photos.

What I found on the site’s “about” page was much more troubling. The site was put online by a group called the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation, working with the founder of International Men’s Day, Dr Jerome Teelucksingh. The Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation, as I discovered with a bit of Googling, turns out to be a virulently homophobic and transphobic organization that is also behind a site called Gendermatters.com. A quasi-manifesto on the site titled 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters asserts, among other things, that:

Transsexuality signals a deceptively fierce disorder. Elective castration, mastectomy, hysterectomy, etc., are futile non-solutions. The cruel, permanent disfigurement of so-called gender reassignment is not the answer. Transsexuals need psychological and spiritual insight that frees them to celebrate the chromosomes they received at conception.

So, yeah, a halfassed men’s “day” that’s associated with transphobic assholes. Not exactly a winning combination.

Look, if you’re concerned about making a difference in the lives of men, pick the issue that matters most to you, and work on that. If you want to increase funding for prostate cancer research, work on that. If you want to raise money to help male victims of domestic violence, work on that. Actually do the hard work of activism. Don’t just have yourself a “day” and pretend that it means something.

EDIT:  Rewrote part of the first paragraph and added all the stuff after the Al Jazeera link to clarify the point of this post, because clearly some people have missed the point entirely.

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Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

MOISTURIZE ME!!!

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

Okay, so not just me! I need to consider installing Chrome on this iDevice…

BRB, going to bathe in gutter water.

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

@Alice, I’ve long given up on Safari and gone with Firefox.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

Firefox over Safari, and definitely over Explorer.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Chrome — FF was giving pecunium issues earlier. And I prefer chrome myself (though, that’s in good part because of the developer tools)

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

It put the lotion on its skin, after a nice hot shower, and is now not trying to claw its skin off.

Alice — Thank you for sparking the idea of moisturizing body wash before MOISTURIZE ME!

Now that I can think straight, I have a footer to finish!

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
7 years ago

Argenti, I also get reallyreallyreally dry skin in winter, to the point where I claw my legs bloody. This week, I started rubbing coconut oil all over. It absorbs really quickly (unlike bag balm), and has helped immensely. I might even make spring without adding new scars. About a tablespoon will do my whole body. (I use a soup spoon to dig it out of the jar, and I have a little left over on the spoon when I’m done.)

Tofu: before I had to quit soy products, I found a recipe for soba noodle salad that included firm tofu, cubed, and marinated in teriyaki sauce. Which is to say, press the tofu to remove liquid, cube it, and toss it in teriyaki sauce while you assemble everything else, and then add it in. It would be pretty good stir-fried with broccoli or greens, too. Add some fresh garlic and ginger, which makes everything better, up to and including ice cream.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

I have to work on Thanksgiving, but we’re having a potluck at work (and having Thanksgiving on means having Xmas day off, which I’m cool with). And the way my MIL cooks, there will be leftovers forever.

@Alice

Also, if anyone else is on an iDevice, does Safari crash on occassion when you load a page here?

Yes, all the time. Never mid-comment for me, though; it tends to happen sometime in the loading process.

Tofu: I love it fried. You can slice it and dredge it in flour, and fry in olive or canola/rapeseed oil with a dash of sesame oil. You can marinate it in soy teriyaki or a blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar, then bake or fry it until the edges are crispy. You can pan fry it with spicy sauce, Korean style.

Also:

http://youtu.be/Ized1XMRp_I

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Bleh. I… am probably going to not be doing anything for Thanksgiving. Nowhere to go and nobody to do it with, you know? I’m probably just going to pretend it doesn’t exist; that seems to be the best thing for me. I’m just trying to survive till I’m in Cincinnati. Everything else is just days to burn.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
7 years ago

LBT, don’t respond if you don’t want to, but I’m curious. Does your system do in-system events? Or do the other members not really get excited about things like Thanksgiving?

I’m with you on the “hunker down until you get through the bleh”. Winter’s hit me harder than usual this year, and my new years’ tropical vacation was cancelled, so I feel like I have nothing to look forward to. I had big plans to do Nano and edit before spring, but I can’t seem to bring myself to have the energy for anything besides work and keeping myself fed / hygienic.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: Unimaginative

*sigh* Honestly, the rest of my system is more festive than me. I’ve just been in a pretty crappy mental state, and I know it’s likely only going to get worse as December comes. It just seems easier not to play, you know? Though I do feel bad; we didn’t celebrate anything last year, and I felt bad not getting the kids Christmas presents. We just couldn’t do it then. I suppose we could this year. I dunno. It just seems so much effort to even try, y’know?

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
7 years ago

I know EXACTLY how that feels. It sucks, and feeling guilty about feeling that way sucks even more. *offers good vibes*

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

It’s okay. Just… bleh. I hate feeling like I have so little energy for anything. Even the shit that makes me feel better seems like so much effort!

Bleh. Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep covered in blankets. That sounds good.

lana
lana
7 years ago

I for one think its a much more worthy way to spend the day bitching about men’s issues who that’s where it ends for most of them .Than 1/3 of the world living in feces and urine.

vaiyt
7 years ago

^ Try writing in English next time, it helps.

lana
lana
7 years ago

^ Try writing in English next time, it helps.

Are you speaking to me ?

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