Public Piss Pods and Other Small Patriarchal Injustices
Sunday, August 28th, 2016. My first time at FYF (Fuck Yeah Festival). Located in the heart of downtown, right near USC, the festival name is just as fratty as most of the patrons. But I’m gung-ho to go because Charles Bradley, Beach House, and my husband Joshy, AKA Josh Tillman AKA Father John Misty AKA Daddy are on the lineup. I’m willing to deal with frat bros, Barbie armies, overpriced sub-par Sauvignon Blanc and miles of hot cement for that lineup.
To my pleasant surprise, the entrance of the festival contains a REAL bathroom for women — none of that porta-potty nonsense. Real bathrooms replete with stalls, toilet paper, sinks, and mirrors. Mirrors which, by the way, are crowded to the brim with sixteen-year-old girls piling on makeup. *eye roll* I must remember this isn’t Bonnaroo. There aren’t any dread heads here, no Green Peace tents. This is an LA music festival which means it’s also a fashion show.
Daddy Misty is on at 6:50 PM. My group and I head toward the Main Stage. We’ve got our wine, our salmon-stuffed rice balls flanked by delicious, mildly sweet seaweed crisp, our indica, and our tapestry. We’re good to go. We’re ready to bulldoze straight for the front of the stage, through the sea of white girls and boys all just as enamored of and horny for Daddy Misty as we are.
But oh no — I’ve got to pee again. I just peed like 30 minutes ago! Damn this uterus pushing on my bladder. Damn that Sauv that I downed like water. I break from the group and look for another real bathroom. Yet to my horror, the closest place to relieve oneself near the Main Stage is the…por…por…porta…puh..puh..pottty. NOOOOOOO!!!! I’m quite bloated because it’s the end of the month — the time the feminine gift falls upon me — so I’m much more likely to touch the sides of the 88” by 44” by 48”crap dungeon. And I’m in overalls — meaning there’s a good chance the straps will touch the warm, piss-covered, plastic floor. Let the nightmare begin.
I get into the long line. I have to piss like mad. I’m already dreading the work ahead. The squatting in the dark. The holding of the breath which really doesn’t help because the smell and the heat inside that thing is so thick you can taste it while breathing through your mouth. It makes you want to vomit on top of the already present molly and magic mushroom vomit. The line moves up. The well-dressed, clean, attractive man ahead of me turns around with a large inhale and a raise of the eyebrows, a “wish me luck” kind of look. He enters the dungeon.
I see the men behind me move out of line. I look to my left to see where they’re off to. To my horror, they’re filing into what I can only describe as open-air piss pods. (See picture below.)
The phrase that immediately crosses my mind: male entitlement. “That’s not fucking fair!” I fume, in my mind. I really have to pee! Why didn’t the festival planners present this option for women? Why weren’t we given public piss pods? Personally, I’d rather pee in a lovely, open air contraption than the stank dungeon. Now the guys have two options while we ladies only have one?!
After ruminating on this small injustice, I try to give the festival planners the benefit of the doubt. I came up with a few justifications as to why the FYF peeps maybe withheld the public piss pod option from us ladies.
1) Perverts. Perverts always tryna sneak a peek. There are plenty o’ pervs installing cameras in private stalls, like this winner, so perhaps the FYF planners were “protecting” us. And perhaps the festival planners didn’t want to pay security guards to stand by the women’s piss pods. This pervy/rapey/voyeuristic culture in which we live, a culture created by men that victimizes women, is a very sad reality, and I don’t have a solid solution for it at present. Yet even with this unpleasant truth, I believe the female FYF-goers should’ve been given the choice. If men get public piss pods, we should too. It’s called equal opportunity. LOL ‘Merica.
2) The female body is offensive and overwhelming to many people in the United States. As we all know, female breasts should only be used as cum pillows. They don’t have any other function. They’re solely sexual. Oh wait, they do have one other function — FEEDING INFANTS. Yet even with this basic biological fact, women who breast feed in public are given a hard time. So if a woman can’t feed her child in an open space without judgment, ridicule, and even a fine (kindly emerge from the dark ages, Idaho), it would be ludicrous to assume she can peacefully pee in an open space.
3) Gendered assumptions. Society tells us females that we should be “ladies”, that we should be “demure”. Cross our legs. Cover up. Don’t ask for trouble. Don’t pee in the open. It was assumed that we wouldn’t be comfortable using one of those contraptions, but that choice should be ours!
I couldn’t help but get very angry over this as I watched drunk frat bros proudly whip out their dicks in joyful comradery and piss in the public pod. Yes, the dudes were technically not exposed, but we knew they were pissing. We KNEW it!
Now, why weren’t women given this option?
Could it be that a woman publicly and unahsamedly acknowledging a basic bodily function be too much? Even for open-minded festival goers? Because women don’t shit and women don’t fart and women don’t masturbate as often as men do, right? Ladies, take pride and solace in privacy. Stow away in darkness and “modesty”. Here’s a revolting dungeon to piss in. Bros — you get the open air. You have no shame. Let those higher-paid sex organs fly.
Anyway, I make peace with the fact that I do not have the option to pee in a nice airy contraption, take a big deep breath, and sadly drag my feet into the foul dump closet.
After a rapid-fire pee through which I hold my breath and squat, I quickly sanitize my hands and bust out. I head straight for the Main Stage, leaving my feminist hang-ups at the porta-potties, and get giddy, waiting to hear my husband croon “Bored in the USA”.