Privy Prop

Unlike many of my fellow gender-mates (women), I am not fussed whether the seat is left up or down. But apparently it is a cause of grave consternation to some.

Men have spent years being told off for their uncivilised or ungentlemanly behaviour leaving the seat up after they are done using the loo. But nobody came up with anything.

In the true spirit of ‘child is the father of man’, a 9-year old boy in Iowa has invented the “Privy Prop”. It is basically a foot-activated loo seat lifter, which can lower or raise the loo seat. The idea is no different from the foot-pedal-activated soft lids on bins, common in modern households. It is also, you may note, perfectly green. It does not use paper, wipes or electricity which may contribute to the carbon-score of the loo.

So in volatile households, the seat could just be left down and men could use the Privy Prop to lift it temporarily for their use. End of problem, no?

Now that we have a potential solution for the problem at home, what do we do about women’s well-placed suspicion of toilet seats in public lavatories? Do we strain our grey cells now, or do we just wait for a smart 9-year old girl to come along and invent something?

* Ack nod: my friend, Atul, the reluctant everything.

36 thoughts on “Privy Prop

  1. 😛 (tongue firmly in check oops cheek)

    I object! To your gender-biased assumption that the “seat could just be left down and men could use…to lift it temporarily for their use…”. The assumption of default position for the seat itself is subject to gender stereotyping. Which man wouldn’t like to return home after a few at the local watering-hole, and relieve himself without care or concern – this is something that would happen only if the default position was Up. Converse is true for women (that they’d like to have it Down, not that this would happen when they would be heading out to the watering-hole…although…hang on…!). Hence the only politically correct solution is a compromise position i.e. diagonal default position – pointing at a 45 degree angle. The additional beneficial side-effect is also that this would discourage inadvertent usage by either gender…

    🙂

    Like

  2. 😛 (tongue firmly in check oops cheek)

    I object! To your gender-biased assumption that the “seat could just be left down and men could use…to lift it temporarily for their use…”. The assumption of default position for the seat itself is subject to gender stereotyping. Which man wouldn’t like to return home after a few at the local watering-hole, and relieve himself without care or concern – this is something that would happen only if the default position was Up. Converse is true for women (that they’d like to have it Down, not that this would happen when they would be heading out to the watering-hole…although…hang on…!). Hence the only politically correct solution is a compromise position i.e. diagonal default position – pointing at a 45 degree angle. The additional beneficial side-effect is also that this would discourage inadvertent usage by either gender…

    🙂

    Like

  3. I like the way you say fellow gender mates..
    I could write about the theory why men prefer the toilet seat up, but its kinda disgusting to mention, so I would just leave at saying its practical and hygienic in my opinion because of just one reason.

    Like

  4. I like the way you say fellow gender mates..
    I could write about the theory why men prefer the toilet seat up, but its kinda disgusting to mention, so I would just leave at saying its practical and hygienic in my opinion because of just one reason.

    Like

  5. @ Ah my darling Sirius: Read the first line again. I am not fussed either way, so you may need to pick a fight with some other woman.. 😉

    Besides, many households have not just a couple. Households have children too and their gender may determine the power balance, so to speak, and hence the rules that rule the household.

    Potty training, as is useful in real life which includes using public toilets, is difficult for young female children, as I have observed in case of my nieces and friends’ children. So the issues are more complicated that grown-ups fighting about chivalry and manners alone.. That is why it takes a child to solve the problem. No?

    @ Rambler: You don’t say. Trust me all women know the theory already but as I said I am not one of them who is fussed either way. I just find the whole thing amusing.

    @ Amit: That is _exactly_ what I do, especially when visiting people who make a big deal of it. That is fair and square in my view.

    A friend of mine in California just sent this piece of news about the World Toilet Summit, which of course puts these petty gender-political skirmishes about loo seat positions into perspective.

    Like

  6. @ Ah my darling Sirius: Read the first line again. I am not fussed either way, so you may need to pick a fight with some other woman.. 😉

    Besides, many households have not just a couple. Households have children too and their gender may determine the power balance, so to speak, and hence the rules that rule the household.

    Potty training, as is useful in real life which includes using public toilets, is difficult for young female children, as I have observed in case of my nieces and friends’ children. So the issues are more complicated that grown-ups fighting about chivalry and manners alone.. That is why it takes a child to solve the problem. No?

    @ Rambler: You don’t say. Trust me all women know the theory already but as I said I am not one of them who is fussed either way. I just find the whole thing amusing.

    @ Amit: That is _exactly_ what I do, especially when visiting people who make a big deal of it. That is fair and square in my view.

    A friend of mine in California just sent this piece of news about the World Toilet Summit, which of course puts these petty gender-political skirmishes about loo seat positions into perspective.

    Like

  7. In India there is no such concept! 🙂 I mean any such obligation on women. I am not talking of the westernized men ofcourse.
    The others feel that women should keep the toilet seat up and the men…well they needn’t do anything except pee.
    the fact is that both genders need it down when they do certain things…

    Like

  8. In India there is no such concept! 🙂 I mean any such obligation on women. I am not talking of the westernized men ofcourse.
    The others feel that women should keep the toilet seat up and the men…well they needn’t do anything except pee.
    the fact is that both genders need it down when they do certain things…

    Like

  9. You all have it wrong.

    – The LID shall be left DOWN between uses, that is proper and hygienic behavior. Besides, have you not dropped something into the void, accidentally?

    – At an opera the sexes had to share a one person men’s room – one at a time… When I emerged from my endeavor I proclaimed, “Alas, a reason to leave the seat up with purpose, and you, ladies, shall be happy to agree and do so as well.” They were appalled. Fools. Explanation: since the chances are high that the next occupant will be a male and possibly a lazy jerk, help him help you, leave the seat UP in public stalls.

    – “Gender mates”: Since gender is “A grammatical category used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs”, do you not mean, “sex mates”?

    Like

  10. You all have it wrong.

    – The LID shall be left DOWN between uses, that is proper and hygienic behavior. Besides, have you not dropped something into the void, accidentally?

    – At an opera the sexes had to share a one person men’s room – one at a time… When I emerged from my endeavor I proclaimed, “Alas, a reason to leave the seat up with purpose, and you, ladies, shall be happy to agree and do so as well.” They were appalled. Fools. Explanation: since the chances are high that the next occupant will be a male and possibly a lazy jerk, help him help you, leave the seat UP in public stalls.

    – “Gender mates”: Since gender is “A grammatical category used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs”, do you not mean, “sex mates”?

    Like

  11. The problem with the prop-lever thing that would push up the seat up or down is that the men would invariably squirt a bit on it, the younger ones for target practice, and the older ones because of their off-target practice.

    Like

  12. The problem with the prop-lever thing that would push up the seat up or down is that the men would invariably squirt a bit on it, the younger ones for target practice, and the older ones because of their off-target practice.

    Like

  13. @ Shefaly

    Men like to have their seat up for they do their job standing. And they do not want to make the toilet seat wet. Hence these problems. I am reminded of the news item “She pees”.

    @ Rambodoc

    The way you make us laugh….amazing.

    Voracious Blog Reader

    Like

  14. @ Shefaly

    Men like to have their seat up for they do their job standing. And they do not want to make the toilet seat wet. Hence these problems. I am reminded of the news item “She pees”.

    @ Rambodoc

    The way you make us laugh….amazing.

    Voracious Blog Reader

    Like

  15. @ Nita: Thank you for reminding us of other uses of the loo, requiring all to sit down..

    @ Ann O Nomis: I have never dropped anything in the loo ever accidentally, but someone I know dropped her toothbrush on the first day after her marriage; yet another dropped her wedding ring and asked her husband to take it out. But I see your point.

    Help them help us indeed! I shall remember that next time.

    And on the third point, you know enough about me to know that I shall not fall for _that_ trap, much as I love to get into semantic fights with you. So nice try, sweetheart, but, er, no… I shall continue to call them gender mates.

    @ Rambodoc: The original Key-Hole-O! I do not have the experience and expertise that you seem to have in all matters pertaining to the bathroom, so I shall have to take your word for it. 🙂

    @ VBR: I think all has been said…

    TO ALL OF YOU: My faith in humanity is restored, when so many erudite and articulate adults choose to spend so much time on a precious Sunday discussing human excretionary behaviour and associated gender politics and innovation! If I were a politician, I would kiss your little children, however grubby and tell you I love you all. Alas, I am NOT a politician…

    This isn’t the first time however that I tackled this amusing subject. Try searching for Sheryl Crow and you will discover past posts on similar topics, framed in environmental-friendliness terms.

    Now if you will excuse me, I gotta go… Not sort of. (A friend recently explained the difference between ‘gotta go’ and ‘gotta go, sort of’ and I am grateful to have my language skills bettered every day with his advice).

    Like

  16. @ Nita: Thank you for reminding us of other uses of the loo, requiring all to sit down..

    @ Ann O Nomis: I have never dropped anything in the loo ever accidentally, but someone I know dropped her toothbrush on the first day after her marriage; yet another dropped her wedding ring and asked her husband to take it out. But I see your point.

    Help them help us indeed! I shall remember that next time.

    And on the third point, you know enough about me to know that I shall not fall for _that_ trap, much as I love to get into semantic fights with you. So nice try, sweetheart, but, er, no… I shall continue to call them gender mates.

    @ Rambodoc: The original Key-Hole-O! I do not have the experience and expertise that you seem to have in all matters pertaining to the bathroom, so I shall have to take your word for it. 🙂

    @ VBR: I think all has been said…

    TO ALL OF YOU: My faith in humanity is restored, when so many erudite and articulate adults choose to spend so much time on a precious Sunday discussing human excretionary behaviour and associated gender politics and innovation! If I were a politician, I would kiss your little children, however grubby and tell you I love you all. Alas, I am NOT a politician…

    This isn’t the first time however that I tackled this amusing subject. Try searching for Sheryl Crow and you will discover past posts on similar topics, framed in environmental-friendliness terms.

    Now if you will excuse me, I gotta go… Not sort of. (A friend recently explained the difference between ‘gotta go’ and ‘gotta go, sort of’ and I am grateful to have my language skills bettered every day with his advice).

    Like

  17. Shefaly,

    //gotta go (sort of)//

    A friend from the midwestern US once educated me with “I gotta go and see a man about a horse.” I don’t suppose that works in HM’s domains. Also it smacks of a certain gender bias.

    Like

  18. Shefaly,

    //gotta go (sort of)//

    A friend from the midwestern US once educated me with “I gotta go and see a man about a horse.” I don’t suppose that works in HM’s domains. Also it smacks of a certain gender bias.

    Like

  19. Vivek:

    I happen to live in an erstwhile Coach House and stables (albeit converted with all mod cons), so I think such a remark could be very much a possibility in HM’s territory too. 🙂

    And I do not think it smacks of any gender bias; may be in Texas, but not here. The Queen is a good rider, and her daughter and grand-daughter are Olympic and European level equestrian sportswomen.

    Like

  20. Vivek:

    I happen to live in an erstwhile Coach House and stables (albeit converted with all mod cons), so I think such a remark could be very much a possibility in HM’s territory too. 🙂

    And I do not think it smacks of any gender bias; may be in Texas, but not here. The Queen is a good rider, and her daughter and grand-daughter are Olympic and European level equestrian sportswomen.

    Like

  21. Shefaly,

    //I happen to live in an erstwhile Coach House and stables//

    You mean mews? Well, m-e-e-o-o-w!

    Yes I know about the entire house of Windsor-Mountbatten being enthusiastic equestrians (unfortunately too many them seem to have the physiognomy of the company they keep). As for the gender bias, I am sure none of their ladyships would go to see a man about a horse! 🙂

    Like

  22. Shefaly,

    //I happen to live in an erstwhile Coach House and stables//

    You mean mews? Well, m-e-e-o-o-w!

    Yes I know about the entire house of Windsor-Mountbatten being enthusiastic equestrians (unfortunately too many them seem to have the physiognomy of the company they keep). As for the gender bias, I am sure none of their ladyships would go to see a man about a horse! 🙂

    Like

  23. Vivek:

    No, it is not a mews. Mews were smaller, private stables. A coach house by definition is larger and spacious enough to have accommodated 3 or more coaches.

    Au contraire, I think the ladyships do see men about horses. 🙂

    Like

  24. Vivek:

    No, it is not a mews. Mews were smaller, private stables. A coach house by definition is larger and spacious enough to have accommodated 3 or more coaches.

    Au contraire, I think the ladyships do see men about horses. 🙂

    Like

  25. What ho! Two whole days gone
    And no more micturational maunderings?
    I trust that all is well on the Rialto!

    Like

  26. What ho! Two whole days gone
    And no more micturational maunderings?
    I trust that all is well on the Rialto!

    Like

  27. Yay! It took an innovative 9-year old to give a “fair shake” to men everywhere. No more grabbing of nasty toilet seats, or harrassment from women who seem to embrace equality of the genders in every other way than the stupid “toilet seat rule”. Good for him. I hope the family changes their mind and opts to patent this little invention.

    For more comments, please visit my blog post on this at:
    https://angrylabrat.blogspot.com/2007/11/privy-prop.html

    Like

  28. Yay! It took an innovative 9-year old to give a “fair shake” to men everywhere. No more grabbing of nasty toilet seats, or harrassment from women who seem to embrace equality of the genders in every other way than the stupid “toilet seat rule”. Good for him. I hope the family changes their mind and opts to patent this little invention.

    For more comments, please visit my blog post on this at:
    https://angrylabrat.blogspot.com/2007/11/privy-prop.html

    Like

  29. I think a men’s style urinal should be a standard fixture in bathrooms, along with the toilet, sink and shower. We men don’t have to worry about raising the seat, women don’t have to lower the seat, men don’t need to aim properly (who actually does that anyway at 3am in the morning?) and from an environmental pov, it’ll use much less water.

    Like

  30. I think a men’s style urinal should be a standard fixture in bathrooms, along with the toilet, sink and shower. We men don’t have to worry about raising the seat, women don’t have to lower the seat, men don’t need to aim properly (who actually does that anyway at 3am in the morning?) and from an environmental pov, it’ll use much less water.

    Like

  31. @ Angry Lab Rat: I agree with you. They should indeed patent the design though Amit has a better idea. 🙂

    @ Amit: Where in the urban match-boxes, calling themselves apartments, would this extra facility fit, I cannot say. If someone has space, the best idea is to have ‘his’ and ‘her’ bathrooms. End of. No?

    Like

  32. @ Angry Lab Rat: I agree with you. They should indeed patent the design though Amit has a better idea. 🙂

    @ Amit: Where in the urban match-boxes, calling themselves apartments, would this extra facility fit, I cannot say. If someone has space, the best idea is to have ‘his’ and ‘her’ bathrooms. End of. No?

    Like

  33. Shefaly, I have confidence in the human brain to come up with a design, though it’s less challenging in bigger bathrooms, or newly designed ones. As they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. 🙂
    I personally find the ‘his’ and ‘her’ (or his&his, or her&her) bathrooms somewhat wasteful and not quite aligned with my green ideas. Though a review that shows two separate bathrooms are more green/less wasteful will convince me otherwise. But then again, I like to sing duets in shower. 😉

    Like

  34. Shefaly, I have confidence in the human brain to come up with a design, though it’s less challenging in bigger bathrooms, or newly designed ones. As they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. 🙂
    I personally find the ‘his’ and ‘her’ (or his&his, or her&her) bathrooms somewhat wasteful and not quite aligned with my green ideas. Though a review that shows two separate bathrooms are more green/less wasteful will convince me otherwise. But then again, I like to sing duets in shower. 😉

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s