Graham Smith Professor Desormeaux English 101 August 4, 2009 Male Restroom Etiquette From the time a young boy can go the restroom on his own to the time he can be accountable for all of his own actions, he learns the unspoken rules of restroom etiquette. “Ever since man crawled out of the primordial ooze, he has built himself structures to contain the processes of bodily waste removal” (Wallach) For many men, the etiquette in restrooms is imbedded in their brains. There are many guidelines that are set to keep men comfortable during their joyous visit to relieve themselves.
All of these guidelines are promoting men to become more proper. With these guidelines, taking a trip to the restroom has almost become an annoyance for males today. When a man first walks into the restroom, he is presented with a decision. He must choose which stall he is going to use to do his business. Obviously, if he is going to need to sit down on a toilet, he can just go and use a toilet.
However, when he has to urinate, there is a list of options for him to choose from. If he is the first into the bathroom, he can choose whichever stall he pleases.
If there is already another man in the restroom, he must decide which stall to use. Choosing a stall can be a very complex decision for someone. There is nothing more uncomfortable than when “Two urinals [are] crammed in a two and a half foot space [with] no stall divider present” (Flannery). The number one rule for male restrooms is to never stand next to another man (Wicks). If there are no open urinals, he is to wait for one to open. As Rob Wicks comments on a situation, when “only one urinal is taken…[you choose the urinal furthest away] to minimize the chance of contact whatsoever with the person. In his example, there are five urinals and the far left one is being used. In this case, a man would use the far right urinal, keeping the most distance between him and the other person- three urinals. This keeps enough personal space between the two men so that neither of them can be too uncomfortable. When kids are growing up, we teach them to be friendly and open to people to a certain extent. Then why is it wrong for a grown man to stand next to a friend of his or in-between two men if there is no other option? If there are 4 urinals open and someone chooses the urinal next to him, it is seen as an invasion of privacy.
It is said to be one of the worst situations in a public male restroom. However, this rule can be ignored if there are privacy dividers between the two neighboring urinals. A second rule or guideline that is set for male restrooms is the no conversation rule. Wicks again comments in a post about speaking in public restrooms, stating that, “Speech is your enemy. Never, ever, under any circumstance say a single word while within a bathroom. Not to a friend, not to a lover not to Jesus himself. Not only does this grate against all good things and the way of nature, it ruins the efficiency of the bathroom. When people speak, the tendency is for things to slow down. It’s easier for somebody to lose track of what they were doing when they try to multi-task. Because of this, the time spent in the restroom increases and causes less efficiency, especially during busy times like a sporting event at halftime. Men are more known for flatulating than women but it is seen as rude to do it in public. In order to flatulate with respect, men are expected to go into a restroom or somewhere away from the public to do it. However, one of the unspoken rules of restrooms is to not make any noise while in the restroom (Wallach).
With the opposing view points on making noise in a restroom, what is it doing to the alpha male? Is he supposed to become more proper and feminine by hiding their bodily functions or continue the “tradition” and do it in the restroom? Lastly, a rule often followed and for most men, a great thing is to make no eye contact at all costs (Wicks). This goes along with the personal space and privacy issue. When a man sees another man looking at him in a restroom, automatically, he thinks he is comparing sizes. This makes most men uncomfortable because it brings out an insecurity that a lot of people have bout themselves. Also, if someone else in the restroom catches a man staring at another man with his private area exposed a little bit, in he is seen to be gay. He might just be seen as a little weird; though in most cases, people would think otherwise. Even though going to the bathroom may seem like such a simple task, with the way society perceives actions, it too has become an annoyance to think about what to do. As Phil Rice stated in an interview online, “increased cultural diversity has necessitated the exposition of previously unwritten rules regarding the use of male restrooms. Although we try to make things easier as technology advances, it seems that some things will only continue to get harder and harder. Works Cited Flannery, Blake. Www. hubpages. com. Ed. Blake Flannery. 4 Aug. 2009 http://hubpages. com/hub/How-to-Behave-When-Using-a-Urinal-Man- Etiquette-in-the-Bathroom Rice, Phil. 2009. 30 July 2009 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Male_Restroom_Etiquette Wallach, Dan. “Male Bathroom Rules”. August 1, 2009 http://www. cs. rice. edu/~ssiyer/x/humour/funny00002. html Wicks, Rob. “Male Restroom Etiquette”. August 4, 2009 http://everything2. com/title/Male+restroom+etiquette
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