WRITTEN BY SAMI ROSS
DESIGNED BY HANNAH SMITH
There’s a topic whispering in the wings of offices everywhere. It’s on the tip of our tongues, hiding coyly behind an oh-so-perfect emoji. It’s become fodder for long, wine-stained dinner parties, maybe even first dates if you’re that kind of millennial. However, no matter how much we share during our off-hours, when the stall door closes on Monday morning, here’s the thing: we’re not pooping.
Let’s clarify. (In)significant research leads me to believe that the men’s bathroom doesn’t suffer from the cheek-clenching, sweat inducing psychosis that seems to be running rampant in the sisterhood. Perhaps there’s something seemingly “masculine” about just letting your shit fly free. That’s research for another day. OH YEAH AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT THEM FOR ONCE (I kid.)
Scanning the usual rags, Refinery29, Jezebel, and so on, it seems like the p-word has taken over mainstream media. There’s no lack of fluff pieces about analyzing the color of your shit. So, why do we clam up the second we hear a pair of heels click-clacking on the bathroom tiles? Has corporate pooping become the new relationship fart?
Instead of feeling confident in one of our few safe spaces, we turn inward and mask ourselves from our peers. The woman innocently touching up her lipstick in the mirror becomes a monster – our sworn enemy. The two friends quickly catching up by the sinks become heartless airheads – don’t they have work to do? Hiding behind the stall door, silently rolling into ourselves, we physically succumb to our bitterness.
In a perfect world, our offices would be built to fit our needs. Stalls with floor to ceiling walls and white noise machines. Especially in open space offices, our privacy is precious, and it’s almost maddening when even the bathroom doesn’t offer a respite.
Unfortunately, work sucks! However, so does constipation. If you work forty (LOL fifty) hour work weeks, and can only poop when the bathroom is completely coworker-free, you’re setting yourself up for a career of gassy, backed-up misery. Taking this a step further, is it possible to do your best work when you’re focused on your next release and how you’re going to get it? Our bathroom issues don’t just affect us physically, and frankly, it could be holding us back from reaching our full potential.
As feminists, let’s challenge ourselves to let go of outdated ideals that have no doubt worked their way into the deepest depths of our subconscious. Girls don’t make noise. Girls don’t smell. Girls are clean. Girls don’t poop. We don’t want to believe that progressive gals like ourselves are affected by that kind of rhetoric, but it’s hard to deny when you find yourself in a silent battle with the person in the stall next to you.
You deserve to feel comfortable in your office- whether that’s in a meeting or in the bathroom. Who says the stall can’t be a place of empowerment? Take your time, take up space, and in the name of self-love, take a shit.