POOP or a Modern-day Fairy Tale
By Cory Nicastro on February 08, 2013
Poo. Shit. Excrement. Stool. Dookie. Number 2. Kaka. Black banana. Turds. Crap. Bowel movement. Dump. Load. Doodoo. Brown snake. Diaper bomb. Coprolite. Loaf. Mr. Hankey. Scat. Dingleberries. Dropping the kids off at the pool.
The original version of this article was intended for and posted on my (pretty much defunct) blog over at MyFitnessPal. It was in reaction to the number of forum posts created by people who are perturbed by frequent daily weight fluctuations. Although it still confounds me that a person with 1) a question and 2) access to the interwebs would bypass The Google entirely, I was moved to write a post, the (hopefully) edifying nature of which was meant to make weigh-ins more pleasant for my fellow MFPers; sadly, however, my post ain’t did shit on that front (go on, check out the forums—I DARE you).
Poop remains on my radar, though, because I do it daily—on some days, I even do it twice , thrice, or quorce (which is a word I coined specifically so as to be able to say the phrase “I have thusly shat quorce this day!” once that actually happened. What? I appreciate regularity and amusing speech). Was that an overshare? Of course! Do I think it should really be classified as such? No: why oh why is feces STILL such a taboo topic for human beings? For Christ’s sake (literally), some people are even shocked by the suggestion that Jesus “might have had severe diarrhea” on more than one occasion. No wonder so many damned women feel compelled to make a huge deal out of this one act.
In the last few months, my concern for the concern most women have about shitting has reached fever pitch (read: I’ve thought about it quorce). This is specifically because a friend mentioned she had been too embarrassed to take what was sure to be a massive dump at work, so she held it several hours until her lunch break. HOURS. This made me soooo sad because it’s sad, and because I recall often feeling that way in the past: while working in retail, I once volunteered to pick up supplies from another store several miles away so that I could do my bidness in relative privacy, aka known as a stall in some stank mall bathroom, as opposed to the luxurious-yet-shared-by-all facilities on-site.
I felt the mostest sad when I reflected on the fact that I’ve never personally heard a man voice such concerns (at least not that he would allow himself to feel actual physical discomfort so as to avoid social discomfort). All people are probably embarrassed about public or semi-public pooping on some level (there is even a phenomenon known as “parcopresis”, which is a seemingly-legitimate social disorder centered around non-private defecation), but I just have a hard time believing it’s as stress-inducing for men as for the wo-mens. Since I was (thankfully) forced to get over my fear of dropping deuces in unisex bathrooms once I got into management, I’d like to try to pass on this feeling of liberation if I can.
Once my friend revealed her experience to me (and trust me, she is so not the only woman I’ve had this type of discussion with: an ex-friend once told me she wadded up toilet paper and shoved it between her asscheeks before allowing the gates to be opened so as to spare her boyfriend the knowledge that not only does she take craps, she sometimes takes them LOUDLY), I suggested that we start a website wherein we aggregate stories of women who proudly declare that they shit at work on a regular basis. She doubted that I would be able to find enough women willing to support the cause. In an effort to prove her wrong (one of my main pleasures in life, natch), I took to The Google…and found some real gems:
__ I can’t speak for the guys, but as for the ladies, we all loathe the anxiety and humiliation that goes along with using the bathroom at work. Peeing is one thing — not really a big deal — but when nature really calls, it’s pretty much Armageddon for so many women.—that’s from an article entitled “Blush and Flush: How to Poop at Work (And Not Get Caught!)” courtesy of The Blush. EIGHTEEN “tips” are included and…I fear this post was not created in jest.
__ If your boyfriend has any respectability, he will accept your need to poop as perfectly natural and healthy, and thus will not bother labeling it as ‘gross and unfeminine’. Think of pooping with him nearby as a test of his merit.—the idea that your boyfriend not being grossed out by the fact that you take shits should be an indication of his merit as a partner is somewhat amusing; however, the fact that this is a worry of so many women (including myself once upon a time) is just depressing.
__ Now relax, you will get over the embarrassment. Trust me, he is not listening at the door when you have to go. Frankly he could not care less and most men do not find such a thing as much of an embarrassment as some women do.—this was in response to a woman asking for advice about how to get over feeling too embarrassed to poop when her new husband is at home. I included this because my research did yield a veritable trove on the topic of feces-related embarrasment—for both sexes. Yet, I still believe it’s a much more fraught experience for women, and I’m glad that CindyLu agrees with me. And besides, just because people write about something does not necessarily make it true: 99% of the Bible, anyone?
Let’s change this nonsense—now. I strongly believe in the incomparable powers of education, and if we understand poop more, maybe we’ll be more comfortable with the whole shit-bang. So:
__What is feces? It is “bodily waste discharged through the anus”.
__Where does said bodily waste come from? Well, it comes from the food we eat.
__ If you are exceptionally stupid, you might be wondering: What is food? Shockingly, food is one of the things that keeps human persons alive. Annoyingly, almost every variety of food on the planet is useless to the human body until it is digested.
__What is digestion? Looooooong story short, “digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy”. Phew. Since all food sources on earth did not evolve specifically for hoominz (sorry if this is ruining your day, I guess—now get the hell over it), a lot of bootless things are packaged along with the useful. The first part of the digestive tract (from the mouth to the small intestine) handles the “good” stuff, and then The Colon and Co. handles the rest. End result? Poop…and other stuff, but I think it’s best if I stay on point today.
__Why is digestion important? Because “if you can’t break down and appropriately assimilate what you eat, at best you are wasting your money on grocery bills. At worst, you are generating rancid, fermented, putrefied and toxic compounds that can reap havoc on every organ and system in your body. Quality digestion cannot be under-rated…Every part of the body and mind depends to the extreme on proper digestion to supply it with nutrients necessary for functioning.”i
Moving one’s bowels is the end result of one of the most essential facets of human functioning, so let’s get empowered and move beyond this humiliation business, mmmkay? If non-scary facts haven’t yet convinced you, then I suggest you consider this one: should you ever find yourself suddenly unable to poop anymore, not only would you be miserable, you would eventually be dead. Okay, so myself, young children, all boys, and Dave Chappelle equate scatological humor with high art (because they are one and the same, duh); however, that still doesn’t mean that the scatological doings of women (or anyone else, I guess) should be a source of ridicule or anxiety—especially given that many women have taken and will take an ACTUAL and unintentional shit in front of a room full of people while bringing a tiny little person into this world: isn’t that traumatic enough? Leave ladies alone, please and thank you.
I’d like to think that anyone who reads this (preferably on your smartphone in a public restroom while LOUDLY and PROUDLY evacuating whatever it is you need to evacuate…) will henceforth no longer have any reservations about doing what must be done WHEREVER it needs to be done, but I’m also a realist so…not so much. With that in mind, I urge you to keep things in perspective by considering the very sad case of “The Human Windbag”—now be thankful you CAN shit, do so if the spirit “moves” you, and then get on with your life.
Well, this is delightfully validating: a serious journalist named Maryn McKenna (whose work has appeared in venues such as SELF, Scientific American, The Guardian, and countlessothers) has been on the poop bandwagon muuuuuuch longer than myself! Please do yourself (and maybe someone else in your life, you never know…) a favor and give thisarticle a thorough read…whenever and wherever you want!