I wasn’t going to say anything. Really, I wasn’t. But then a Twitter friend, Emily, commented that the “dudes” she was sharing a cabin with talking about “how long it takes them to take a dump.” And at breakfast, no less. I couldn’t help myself. I had to respond.
So what is it about dumps and deuces, farts, leaks and writing one’s name in the snow that so engages the “men” among us?
As I pecked out my response, I recalled
A.J. Jacobs's 2010 Esquire article on how to raise sons, which includes a list of behaviors commonly associated with having a Y chromosome, including “intrigued by bodily functions.” Unfortunately, Jacobs does not explain why bodily functions are so central to male bonding…er, tribalism, according to the article.
Emily and I are not alone in wondering why the tail end of the human digestive system so often figures prominently in male conversation. Early this year,
Margo Kelly asked pointedly, ” What is it with men and poop?”
Another dad (that is, in addition to Jacobs),
Craig Grella, points out that men are simply “proud of their flatulent abilities” and consider “bagging” one’s first pull-my-finger victim to be a right of passage. In Grella’s experience, men’s pride in flatulence and related bodily functions is the result of their parents’ failure to teach them manners.
Interesting. That is exactly what contemporary
guys say. In response to a girl’s query about the import of a male friend’s unabashed discussion of farts, a couple of guys say that this friend has no manners. Or he’s just really comfortable.
Despite men’s apparent comfort with their own bodily functions, many of them continue to have issues regarding the just as natural, and far more predictable, bodily functions of the women with whom they share their lives.
Yashar Ali likely goes to far by claiming that men’s interest in women’s reproductive biology is limited to the function of their vaginas in sex; however, I’m guessing that the reality of everything they heard about in sex ed. does not hit a lot of men until the first time they purchase tampons – solo.