Categories
actual activism all about the menz announcements

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

666 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Quackers
Quackers
7 years ago

those are some interesting facts about toilets, David. Thanks for posting! 😀

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

Toilets > MRAs.

Someone had to say it!

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

I’m sure Joe1 will come along to remind us of this Very Special Day. The shitfit he threw last year when I said every day was Men’s Day was adorable.

Toilets are way more useful and important than MRAs.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

This is a more important cause. Sanitation for all!

kittehserf
7 years ago

hellkell – it’d be just like MRAs not to get the difference between “world toilet day” and “throw a shitfit day”.

LadySunami
LadySunami
7 years ago

The adult person on the poster is a woman too! Do you think only women and children deserve toilets? Mysogony! (That counts as mysogony, right? That plus the whole “ignoring men’s day” is like double mysogony!!!)

Hry
Hry
7 years ago

As a feminist, I don’t necessarily see any problem with an International Men’s Day. Firstly, International Men’s Day was definitely not invented by MRAs in the Roosh/AVfM/Spearhead/Rope-of-Holy-Yoghurt sense. Secondly, MRAs are so marginalised, far from the mainstream and filled with crackpots that it doesn’t have to be tarred with their despicable misogynistic brush: the vast majority of people wouldn’t associate it with them even the teeniest bit with the internet nutcases. Thirdly (as no-one here needs pointing out to them) social issues faced by men don’t preclude those faced by women. If done right, I think it could be a positive thing, though I know that’s asking a lot of humanity.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I dunno, Hry; International Men’s Day sounds like International White People’s Day to me.

Hry
Hry
7 years ago

Except white people have literally zero ways in which they have it worse. Men do disproportionately face a few serious issues, like suicide and homelessness, and it’s a mistake to not address these in a mainstream, public manner (which I think a Men’s Day could do, if done right), because otherwise you give batshit internet MRA woman-haters a few real issues to hide their extreme misogyny and bile behind – which they do.
Most importantly, I think a well-envisioned Men’s Day would shy away from any hint of claiming victimhood for males: something which some of the themes of the International Men’s Days have done, but others haven’t.

kittehserf
7 years ago

That’s the thing: I don’t see any sort of Men’s Day not turning into a simultaneous claiming of victimhood for being male and chest-beating about how wonderful “traditional,” toxic masculinity is, with a side order of “why don’t women appreciate their rightful masters more”.

And that’s before any MRAs get hold of it.

cloudiah
7 years ago

So… Over on r/mr, one of the misters blamed feminists for the fact that IMD is on the same day as World Toilet Day. Because feminism is behind everything.

cloudiah
7 years ago

OMG you have to read this r/mr thread; I am practically pissing myself laughing:
http://www.np.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/1qzqah/international_mens_day_as_recognized_by_the_un/

Bad_dog
Bad_dog
7 years ago

Thanks for posting this 🙂 Also some of us with proper sanitation are apparently doing our best to wreck it… http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/bus-sized-blob-of-fat-found-in-u-k-sewer-1.1399231

cloudiah
7 years ago

And here was the original post he commented in, before he made a separate thread:
http://np.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/1qyw0n/happy_international_mens_day/cdi2fed

So much laughage.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Poor little Ashtone, how tragic. All he can see is a men = shit message, not things like billions of people not having sanitation, and the huge number of deaths as a result.

Way to go, whineydude.

mitsuko golberg
mitsuko golberg
7 years ago

They are not getting them sitting toilets right?
You are meant to squat, not squatting gives you a load of bowl disease problems later on.
Only in them countries the city people of slav and mongaloid countries do not die and are more healthy while the poor squat on shit/dirty ground.
What they need is squatting toilets and more of a clean place overall.
I also assume the poor do not have wiping stuff for their ass.

cloudiah
7 years ago

We seem to have some kind of toilet troll in the thread.

kittehserf
7 years ago

We do indeed.

Granted squatting is supposed to be better than sitting, but how does one explain all the people who sit and don’t have bowel disease or problems?

And “Slave and Mongoloid countries”? WTF?

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

mitsuko golberg – Even latrines would be better than just shitting on the ground, which is what happens in many of these countries. That and shitting upstream of the one water resource for a certain village, which is why dysentery exists.

Also, WOW. How privileged do you have to be to think that saving thousands if not millions of people from dying of diseases preventable through proper sanitation is less important than sating your own disproportionately large egos?

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

That being said, although it is true that sitting toilets have a higher risk of hemorrhoids, you could, I don’t know, have a stool to put your legs on when using a sitting toilet?

There’s one group I know of that digs latrines in India; proper latrines places far away from a water source help cut down cases of dysentery and other preventable illnesses.

Ally S
7 years ago

They are not getting them sitting toilets right?
You are meant to squat, not squatting gives you a load of bowl disease problems later on.
Only in them countries the city people of slav and mongaloid countries do not die and are more healthy while the poor squat on shit/dirty ground.
What they need is squatting toilets and more of a clean place overall.
I also assume the poor do not have wiping stuff for their ass.

[TMI warning]
No one is meant to squat. That doesn’t make any sense.

To my knowledge, it’s true that squatting is a healthy defecation position; it makes it easier to empty out more feces, and that’s good for your colon. (I may be wrong, though.) However, the risk of bowel diseases later on in life is far, far less significant than that of the risks associated with a lack of access to sitting toilets. And squatting doesn’t do anything to protect people from the various diseases and illness that people can get due to a lack of access to such toilets.

katz
7 years ago

Hry: Obviously I’m in favor of finding solutions to those kinds of problems, but a day dedicated to men isn’t going to be much help. First, days are mostly good for awareness of marginalized groups–not just their problems, but also their accomplishments and the fact that they do, in fact, exist even though they’re not usually portrayed by the media. But everyone already knows that men exist. And second, a day just called “men’s day” doesn’t actually direct people towards the actual problems; people’s automatic associations aren’t going to be homelessness and suicide, but Masculine Stuff, so if you’re looking to work against problems caused by hypermasculinity, a day for men is not a good way to do it.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Ally – yes, living long enough to worry about any illnesses in later life would be a bonus, wouldn’t it?

I’d also ask what people who can’t squat are supposed to do if it’s so preferable. I know squatting would be out for me, my knees aren’t up to it, and anyone less mobile still would be in trouble. Somehow standing up to take a dump doesn’t appeal …

katz
7 years ago

I quite like that the toilet troll has a brown avatar.

kittehserf
7 years ago

katz, do you know how painful it is snorting cheese through one’s nose?

katz
7 years ago

I assume zie meant Slavic, but I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

Poor little Ashtone, how tragic. All he can see is a men = shit message, not things like billions of people not having sanitation, and the huge number of deaths as a result.

Many of those the deaths of men and boys, of course. But not the kind of men and boys that the MRM cares about.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I think the people behind (heh…) World Toilet Day should be mad that a bunch of whiny MRAs are now associated with their day!

Biot
Biot
7 years ago

@Bad_Dog: holy shit. o_O

Rick
Rick
7 years ago

Soooo…..a day which brings awareness to a health issue concerning men is comparable to toilets because men aren’t human worthy of consideration?

I didn’t know men’s lives were valued so poorly…thank you for showing the world how equality is done.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

augzilliary – Basically, it’s a sanitation issue. Toilets require indoor plumbing, which means that feces don’t end up in the water supply. That’s why toilets are important: because it means that people aren’t drinking poop in their H2O.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

cloudiah – LOLOLOL

No, MRAs, we’re not saying that you’re toilets. We’re saying that every single day is Men’s Day, and that sanitation is a much bigger deal.

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

My mother’s baby sister died of dysentery during World War II. She was 11 months old. And this was in Germany, where clean water was at a premium, especially in refugee camps. My mom’s family fled Serbia when the Russians invaded in ’44.

Toilet trolls with weird racial/nationalistic ideas about sanitation can bite my ass.

kittehserf
7 years ago

auggz – “slave” was my typo, not Toilet Troll’s.

Of course we’re not saying MRAs are toilets. Toilets are extremely important and help keep large populations healthy.

katz
7 years ago

holy shit. o_O

katz
7 years ago

Pun intended?

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

Toilets require indoor plumbing, which means that feces don’t end up in the water supply. That’s why toilets are important: because it means that people aren’t drinking poop in their H2O.

No. You don’t need indoor plumbing connected to septic tanks or centralised sewage processing facilities for effective sanitation.

Latrines, the traditional “long-drop” toilets in Australian country areas, even composting/ worm farm/ reed-bed systems and other natural-based processing – all of these serve the purpose of keeping human waste away from all water supplies until its negative components have been neutralised or reprocessed into harmless compounds.

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

Also, I’m not sure you realize this, but roughly half of all of those affected by the lack of toilets and proper sanitation are, you know, male.

Well, sure, but is Rick likely to be one of them? Because if not, I’m pretty sure it’s not a real men’s issue.

cloudiah
7 years ago

They are really mad about this World Toilet Day thing.

@David, I think the reason they’re mad about World Toilet Day is because it helps women and girls too. Which makes it bad.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Rick, please cry more, I need to make eye cream.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Aren’t dudebro tears too heavy on the bitter salts to use for that?

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

They’ll do in a pinch if there’s no foreskins handy. The trick is to let them age.

La Strega
7 years ago

When I was in Afghanistan some years ago, I stayed with a family who had lost half their children to dysentery before the age of two, and considered that an unremarkable but tragic occurrence. I don’t expect things have changed much.

Public sanitation has done more than any drug to reduce the spread of infectious disease, so I lift my glass in salute of Toilet Day.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

mildlymagnificent – You’re right. I’m used to sanitation systems. >_<

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

La Strega, that is just so heartbreaking.

Biot
Biot
7 years ago

@katz: yes, that was intended as a pun.

Quackers
Quackers
7 years ago

So a men’s center actually opened in Canada (I forgot where cuz I just skimmed the article in the National Post) those CAFE MRAs managed to get donations.

Will it legitimately help men fleeing from abuse or who are feeling suicidal? I hope so. But given the track record of what happens when a bunch of dudes feeling victimized by women/feminism come together online, it leaves me skeptical of it being any better when they come together offline.

In the r/MR thread about it, from last i saw, 2 MRAs said radfems will soon firebomb it. Yeah…sorry guys. It wasn’t us who’s websites host manifestos to firebomb places we don’t like, nor do we routinely use violent rhetoric. That would be your territory.

1 2 3 14