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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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katz
7 years ago

This comment: Two shots, including one for misusing “defunct.”

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

I can take criticism …

So someone said that, only today. Who was that, now?

katz
7 years ago

This comment: Two shots for defending the misgendering.

katz
7 years ago

This comment: Two shots, assuming kitteh wasn’t in any legal trouble, which I don’t think she was.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

LOL at defunct asshats.

Moma Sita
7 years ago

and unless your going to take my comments seriously, go through it and read it to debate the subject matter than you are just trolling.

kittehserf
7 years ago

LOL you don’t know the difference between laughing at your idiocy and needing to “get over something”? Also priceless. See, that’s part of your problem: you don’t get it when people are laughing, both at you and amongst ourselves.

Legal trouble? Nope, sorry, you’ve got the wrong person. Again.

How’s Uncle Monty doing?

katz
7 years ago

This comment: One for misusing “did.” (Seriously?)

And I’m also adding a shot every time she defends herself about a shot, so one more.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Just fuck off already.

Bored now.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

In this edition of “ALICE BASHES TROLL”, we have this lovely gem, from our beloved Moma Sita, who has been melting down since the night before.

Here is the whole post, so that you can see that I’m not leaving anything out:

Just to toss this out there; but is it probable you all have mental illness and because you feel disempowered in real life, probably live check to check on some government housing you come on this forum and troll, bully and generally unfairly attack anyone who doesn’t agree with you so via hostility and online violence you can build yourself up? You are the emblem of pathetic. Also you don’t help ableism and stereotypes regarding those with mental health issues by acting vicious and irrational, you only perpetuate these stereotypes regarding the contributions of people with mental illness. Really you are all a bunch of useless fucking hypocrites.

Whew! Can this get any hotter?

Now, for the bashing!

Just to toss this out there; but is it probable you all have mental illness

Poisoning the well and loaded question. Strike one and two!

and because you feel disempowered in real life,

Because everyone here is on an ego trip EXCEPT Moma! Strike three!

probably live check to check on some government housing

Because let’s add on some classism and stereotyping into the mix! Strike four!

you come on this forum and troll,

Obviously we’re trolling. Trolling means saying “hey, your post was racist and this is why”, right?

Strike five!

bully and generally unfairly attack anyone who doesn’t agree with you

Because apparently calling everyone else mentally ill welfare queens isn’t an attack. Strike six!

so via hostility and online violence you can build yourself up?

Oh my gods! Saying that you’re wrong on one issue is equivalent to violent acts such as domestic abuse, homicide, and the like! Strike seven!

You are the emblem of pathetic. Also you don’t help ableism and stereotypes regarding those with mental health issues by acting vicious and irrational, you only perpetuate these stereotypes regarding the contributions of people with mental illness.

Obviously Moma doesn’t comprehend what she’s saying. We got “using mental illness as a pejorative”. “welfare queens leeching off the government”, and “everyone here has daddy issues” in this one post. Strike eight, nine, and ten!

Really you are all a bunch of useless fucking hypocrites.

And strike ten for inability to follow Matthew 7:3-5!

That’s it for now everyone! Stay tuned for another episode of ALICE SMASH TROLL!

katz
7 years ago

This comment: One shot for misusing “trolling.”

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Thanksgiving break? Are you in college? That would explain a few things, no offense to our younger posters who are not defunct asshats.

Boston Baby?

katz
7 years ago

Alice: Whoops, in that comment people should finish their drinks yet again for accusing us of attacking her while attacking us!

kittehserf
7 years ago

Oh, this is the best pic I could find for viperous jackals. It’s a pretty cool drawing.

http://www.wallsave.com/wallpapers/1366×768/monster-inc/417725/monster-inc-dog-twigs-snake-fantasy-photo-on-the-417725.jpg

CassandraSays
7 years ago

defunct asshats, the decontruction

You are suffering from chronic constipation, which is uncomfortable, and you thought that a nice festive hat placed over the affected area might make you feel better, but sadly it didn’t work. Defunct asshats!

katz
7 years ago

I’m just waiting for us to be called a defunct jalopy viper clique.

If that happens, drink a whole bottle.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

AND! Moma, you need to address this post, where I already established WHY your post was racist. Apparently you never got to that point, and this is the fourth time I had to link back to it.

serrana
serrana
7 years ago

Kitteh, that drawing is awesome.

serrana
serrana
7 years ago

David, we could talk about toilets.

Or Thanksgiving dinner. Your choice.

katz
7 years ago

Well, anyone who was doing the drinking game will be over a toilet by now.

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

I have my great grandmother’s recipe for plum pudding ( I mention this since it’s stir=up Sunday, this weekend). Sadly, I don’t like plum puddingso shall be creating my famous “dried fruit haters’ Christmas pudding” at Christmas (steamed lemon & nutmeg sponge with treacle & pecans in the base)

kittehserf
7 years ago

It is a great drawing, isn’t it?

So, Thanksgiving. I guess turkey’s on plenty of menus. What are the vegetarian/vegan Manboobzers having? D’yall have special dishes you like for Thanksgiving?

CassandraSays
7 years ago

Mincemeat pies! Mr C doesn’t get why I feel like they’re an essential part of Xmas.

kittehserf
7 years ago

titanblue, that sponge sounds yummy!

kittehserf
7 years ago

We live on mince pies and leftover pudding for days after Christmas. 😀

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Never had it, auggz. I had to look up what it was. Sounds good.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

Also this year I’m going to buy stollen, since I found a place that makes it well.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I’ve never eaten it, auggz.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Thank you David.

So, thanksgiving. I realized while doing another round of pre-shopping that I failed to order my home made apple pie. I will not be getting my delicious pie this year and have a sad over this.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Never had stollen, but it sounds like panettone, which I do not like. Not a fan of the fruit cake, it’s the raisins/dried fruit.

katz
7 years ago

Our family downgraded from traditional Thanksgiving dinner to a Costco lasagna a few years ago. Unfortunately, it looks like it will stick.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Stollen sounds good. I just looked it up, and I’m glad they roll it in butter; for some reason it looked like it’d be quite dry. I like my fruit cakes very moist.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

Stollen is a lot more moist than panettone (which I don’t like either). That and hot cross buns are my favorite seasonal pastries.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

That looks like a sweet lavash! Which could be tasty.

katz
7 years ago

I was thinking it looked like lavash. It would probably make tasty wraps.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

There’s a traditional Scottish sweet with potatoes as a base, so I can see that.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

You guys are making me hungry. DAMN IT.

kittehserf
7 years ago

That lefse looks delish! Reminds me of a good old Swiss roll, though bread not sponge, of course.

… I haven’t had a Swiss roll in ages.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Now I want Greek food, I don’t know. But my chances of finding a good Greek restaurant here in Austin…I’d have a better chance of sprouting wings and flying.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Come to Melbourne! There should be some good ones here, we’re one of the biggest Greek cities in the world (second only to Athens for years). 🙂

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

There was a place in Seattle called Costa’s that was legit. I could really go for some of their skordalia or agvolemono soup right now.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

But I would love to go to Melbourne!

It just seems like a plane ride that would test my endurance.

kittehserf
7 years ago

It would, you’re right. It’s about eighteen hours.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

For the first time in ages, my wife and I don’t have any thanksgiving-ish plans. The weekend after, though, we’re going to a role-playing game convention.

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

What does Aussie Xmas dinner look like? Is it basically just British Xmas dinner? Plum pudding and all that?

Yep! But we haven’t traditionally done brussels sprouts, now that they’re available year round frozen I expect that some people would add them in. But our family has things like tomatoes baked with onion, cheese, breadcrumb topping which isn’t a common feature of the Brit xmas meal afaik. And I presume the fresh apricots and cherries adorning the table are not a feature of the mid-winter northern hemisphere either.

Several years ago mum and my sister and I, the family elders now, suggested that we might do a more Aussie Xmas. Cold lunch of prawns, maybe lobster depending on the prices, and salads. Roars of outrage from the two older sisters of the next generation. Said roars were a bit muted because one was living in Alice Springs at the time and the other was in London. We went ahead regardless.

As kittehs pointed out, there are no guarantees that Xmas Day will be sunny, let alone hot. So it turned out to be a cool, rainy day. The “told you so” phone calls that day are now part of family lore.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

My favorite bit of family lore since moving to the US was when my MIL bought a Thanksgiving turkey and didn’t realize it was going to be frozen rather than fresh. So, she sent Mr C to pick it up on the day, he gives the name, they hand him the bag, he takes it back to her, and she screams and yells about how he must have picked up the wrong order and what was he thinking and so on. And then we found the ad she ordered from and yep, it clearly stated the turkey would be frozen.

And then we had to try to defrost the damn thing so we could cook it. Good times. MIL still insists that none of this was her fault, somehow.

kittehserf
7 years ago

LOL at those phone calls, mildlymagnificent!

Mum and I tend to manage the will-it-be-hot-or-cold thing by having hot or cold chook. This’ll be the first Christmas for a few years when my sister and BiL won’t be here (they moved back to Queensland) so I suspect we’ll just buy a cooked chook if it’s going to be a hot day, or just do drumsticks as a usual Sunday dinner if it’s cool.

cloudiah
7 years ago

We have turkey cooked on a Weber kettle grill (which is delicious), my mother’s stuffing, my mashed potatoes, someone else’s green beans, my sister’s gravy (which is made with tons of port), and then tons of pies.

I am not even going back to read the rest of this thread. I think it would fry my last brain cell.