Why can’t men…???

Last Sunday, while I was standing in front of a restaurant in Quezon City, a man obliquely across the street stopped walking, positioned himself between a post and wall and urinated. An all too familiar scene in Metro Manila.

Yes, men and women have biological differences. Women menstruate, get pregnant, give birth and breastfeed, and men cannot do any of that. But in terms of bladder functions, men and women are no different. Yet men seem to be able to control their bladder less and see nothing wrong with urinating in public rather than wait until they can get to a toilet. They urinate on walls, behind electric and telephone posts, on car tires. Just like dogs. The only difference is that human males don’t lift a leg after the deed is done.

No, it’s not the indecency that bothers me. Urinating is a natural function and there shouldn’t be any question of decency involved. We all do it, male and female of whatever race and color, rich and poor, educated or otherwise. The issue is one of sanitation. If we were living in the jungles where urinating and defecating directly into the soil can even mean fertilizing it, there would be no issue. But in cities where concrete roads and sidewalks cannot absorb the urine and where it has to stay as a breeding ground for bacteria and for everyone to step on until the sun can dry the concrete (the stench will remain though especially if the same spot is urinated on several times a day), it is an altogether different situation. Ergo, public urinals without plumbing and flushing water equipment are no answers.

And that was where the MMDA’s project of installing pink urinals with no flushing mechanisms all over the metropolis failed big time. It seems that the project was focused more on providing an opaque curtain so that the public does not have to watch while men urinate in public places. And that was all that pink urinals managed to achieve – save the public the trouble of having to look the other way. Never mind protecting the public from the effects of the unsanitary practice.

But while passersby were saved the trouble of going wide-eyed with the “indecent exposure,” they still couldn’t ignore the stench and invisible bacteria that only grew worse with every hour. Men who used them urinated directly on the ground which leads to the all-too obvious conclusion that the urinals weren’t placed there for sanitary reasons but, rather, to conform with the moral standards of Bayani Fernando and his definition of indecency which, according to friends who are long-time residents of Marikina, go so far as to ban men from wearing sando (sleeveless undershirts) or going totally bare-chested outside the perimeters of their houses.

But Bayani Fernando and his pink urinals aren’t really the point right now. The urinal project might have been scrapped for all I know. I’ve seen many of them rusting so the MMDA can’t be seriously maintaining them. I merely mentioned them to point to one obvious fact — government’s attitude towards the issue of men urinating in public places has never been related to sanitation.

Why? Why is government taking the attitude that it is all right for males to urinate just about anywhere instead of developing the discipline to hold their water until they can get to the next gasoline station? Does government hold the findings of some secret scientific study that says males will fall ill and die if obliged to wait to make use of proper toilet facilities like women do? In the cities where government seems to think the urinals are most necessary, there is no shortage of gasoline stations with toilet facilities. In fact, in the most congested areas, there is often more than one gasoline station in every block. So why can’t men use them?

The answer, of course, is because culture tolerates their unsanitary habits. And with the way culture finds itself into the law and government policies, government comes up with projects like the waterless urinals which, ironically, does nothing but encourage men to continue with their filthy habits.

Oh, don’t shake your head and say the average person doesn’t tolerate it. I’ve attended fiestas and parties where, instead of bringing their young sons to the host’s bathroom, mothers too busy gossiping waved them off and told them to go pee in the garden or behind some post with the usual explanation to their friends, “Lalaki naman ‘yan.” As if that made it all right.

No question about it. The tolerance Filipinos show for these inconsiderate males is just one of the many double standards in our culture. It is all right for men to pull out their penises and urinate in public because they are men. But if women lift their skirts and urinate in public, it is disgusting and downright unacceptable. It’s the same mentality that says it is “normal” for men to engage in extramarital affairs.

I already anticipate responses from men saying then let females pee in public to make things equal if that should make me happy. So, I’ll preempt them by saying, “Just because you’re too weak to overcome your bad habits and weaknesses doesn’t mean we women want to be dragged down to the level of your filth.”

35 thoughts on “Why can’t men…???

  • January 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm
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    (EDIT) …and the LIKE…

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  • January 7, 2009 at 6:54 am
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    Hey, E, wherever did you get the idea that I was generalizing about ALL men. Wrong use of the term misandric.

    Re “there are more female whores, strippers, gold diggers, and the line, than their male counterparts”

    Wow, talk about missing the point. This is NOT a morality issue. Next time, read and reread first before commenting.

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    • January 7, 2009 at 11:17 am
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      Nice juxtaposition with the dog picture by the way ;)

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      • January 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm
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        This filthy habit..wait for it… PISSES me off!

        LOL…Hope I got you to smile.

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        • January 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm
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          Sa probinsya, nung bata pa ako, naalaala ko pa yung mga matatandang tindera sa palengke ng Batangas. Nakapalda sila abot hanggang sakong, tapos pag naiihi sila eh uupo lang sa isang tabi tapos medyo iaangat ng konti yung palda. Yun na! Malaman mo lang na umihi pala sila kaya umupo dahil pagtayo nila eh basa yung iniwanang lugar. Ooops, sabay dura nga pala ng nganga nila dun sa inihan nila. Nag progress na siguro ang mga matatanda babae dun, pero malamang eh naiwan pa rin yung kaugalian ng mga lalaki na binanggit mo.

          I am always amused watching my shi-tzu after he urinated, kicking violently his both hind feet on the location as if he is scratching on the ground and covering it. Problem is, he usually hit the rear wheel of my van. :) Cats I think also do that. Seems animals are more sanitation-conscious than human.hehehe

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          • January 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm
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            Yah, but we’re talking about NOW in CITIES where toilet facilities are available and accessible.

          • January 8, 2009 at 8:59 pm
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            I get where you are coming from. Men should be a bit more discreet, but in all fairness, I think that if we as women could just pull it out and pee without exposing our entire behind then some of us would. I have a 5 year old little boy whose bladder just can’t go very long without peeing. So, on long trips we have certainly pulled over on the side of the road to let him pee. He sometimes just can’t hold it till the next gas station. If men are somewhat hidden and they just can’t hold it then I really don’t see the problem.

          • January 9, 2009 at 12:13 am
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            April, I think sanitation is a serious problem. And there are portable urinals (jingle bags) for long travels.

          • February 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm
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            Kadiri talaga.

            Actually I’ve seen some men do it here as well in alleyways and other dark corners. Never mind what I was doing there.

            Mas prevalent lang sa atin dahil talagang sobrang daming tao nakakakita wala lang silang paki. Sarap sigawan.

          • February 20, 2009 at 9:26 pm
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            Ahhh, so even in a First World country like the UK, men are the same. LOL

          • January 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm
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            I used to walk in this kanto below MRT-Ayala Station to ride The Fort bus. Aah, grabe talaga smell courtesy of the taxi drivers na pumipila there and i think the vendors too.

            Naglalakad kami in the middle of the road and not on the sidewalk kasi dun lang talaga sila sa wall nag-aano and nakakatakot baka mabasa ung shoes. =P

          • January 20, 2009 at 4:00 am
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            I was guilty of this too when I grew up in the Philippines. I didn’t know much better then when bad habit was common.

            Guys don’t realize how messy is pissing. Those streams or driplets can bounced and end up in your feet or pants. Ew!

          • January 26, 2009 at 4:56 am
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            Just read this today. This is really a disgusting habit of some men. Once, a Vietnamese girl in my office recounted how she saw some Fil. guys urinating in her Filipino neighbour’s backyard (there was a barbecue going on, I think), and she made a generalization about Fil guys. I had to cut her short and told her, “don’t generalize, as you would not want me generalizing on some Vietnamese traits.” But this habit of some Pinoy men are really embarassing for us, other Pinoy males.

          • January 26, 2009 at 6:32 am
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            Gene, so it’s not always true that when in other countries, Filipinos are more careful about showing their bad habits.

          • March 22, 2009 at 9:39 pm
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            I am working on a plate in my Ergonomics class that has to do with public urinal for men in the Philippines. Since the MMDA doesnt quite work around here, i have to redesign it. more like improving it. if you could give me some ideas on hwat changes i can make, that would be great. this is due on wednessday.

    • March 22, 2009 at 9:08 pm
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      HAHAHA AWESOME REPLY

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  • January 8, 2009 at 2:26 am
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    It must be a contributing factor to such a population growth. Imagine the audacity to flaunt ones dick in public. Unbelievable… Envious even.

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    • January 8, 2009 at 9:54 am
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      I am a reader of this blog, a Filipino male, and I am not ashamed to admit that I have peed on walls, on the ground, a tree, an anthill, a bush (but not george w.)… I’m sorry but I’m on a diuretic and there are just some places where toilets are not that accessible.
      I think men have difficulty holding and controlling their bladder because I really do. I have asked a bus to stop in the middle of nowhere to pee on a canefield and I became a mini-hero for lo and behold a lot of male passengers soon followed. Is there a urologist who can shed light on this bladder-gender thing?

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        • January 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm
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          This practice is not a monopoly of male. Way back in 70s and earlier, when wearing long loose skirt (yung style na pang palengke o kaya pang naglalako ng nakabilao)for middle aged women and older were prevalent, they were also doing what men have been doing. Beneath their skirt, they were not wearing panties. What they will do was to find a conspicuous place to take a pee. Once a place was found, all they will do is to slightly lift the portion of their skirt that is slightly below the front waistline and it’s on the go. They do it standing up.

          Up to the early 90s, this habit or practice was still popular with middle aged women specifically in rural areas.

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    • January 8, 2009 at 11:13 am
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      Well, I just want to say that this is a really nice topic to talk about. As Ms. Connie have said just because they are men this can be tolerated.. And the one who proposed it is also a man, so that figures.. It is so wrong for men to pee to just everywhere and us ladies are not envious of that filthy habit.. Just like what other people had commented, it is only forgiving if you have peed on the forest, but in a city like manila it is so downright disgusting..

      I also think that the MMDA does not think through their projects, they do not analyze first its advantage and disadvantages, like what do you call that word “SWOT!”.

      Like their new project now. The one where they are building something like a bird cage for humans! yoU KNOw the rehas or the barricades for the passengers so that they will not easily get on a bus. This project is so annoying, passengers has go to the proper entry way in order to get catch a bus. It is not like before, you can load anywhere.

      P.S. Ms. Connie can I plz post your blog on friendster coz i’m in the grup called Political Science GRaduates and Students..

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  • February 9, 2010 at 2:15 am
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    I’m the late reader again.
    Anyways, urinals are ok if only MMDA designed it in such a way where all urine will be collected and will not spill over.
    I don’t know if ladies are aware of this but a lot of male comfort rooms in malls are replacing conventional urinals with water-free urinals. Unlike the old type, water-free urinals does not require any flushing. All the urinary fluids go beneath the bottom to a reservoir which has a gel-like substance which kills the bacteria and odor of urine. These are cleaned by spraying some sort of disinfectant/deodorizer (flushing can destroy the gel) The new MMDA urinals for women (and cross-dressing men) are equipped with water-free toilets. Being water-free also means they can only be used for peeing and not for dumping. I just doubt if people will understand it.
    On colder climates, where men pee more often, thorough urinals are used which are filled with ice which help neutralize the odor (this also saves money as there’s no need for a lot of maintenance. In Amsterdam, there are also public urinals for men, only difference is that theirs are high-tech, and only comes out at night (they are installed underground and goes up at nighttime). It was made for men who are too drunk to find a toilet.
    I think we should be less tolerant of urinating in public, One way of doing this is by installing something funny above corners where a lot of men pee. Signs like “wow ang liit ng putotoy!” or “Ang umihi dito maliit ang ano” could actually make filthy men hesitant to pee.

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  • February 9, 2010 at 2:20 am
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    P.S.
    Holding your jizz can actually help men treat premature eruptions in bed. I think the same muscle/vein which holds the flow of urine and semen is the same.
    Now if only men knew about this before they peed all over the metro….

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  • January 6, 2009 at 8:32 pm
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    YOU ARE MISANDRIC. not all men are like that, only those brought up to think that peeing in the middle of God-knows-where isn’t gross. if you talk about low, there are more female whores, strippers, gold diggers, and the line, than their male counterparts.

    you’re points about the stupidity of the pink urinals and the Philippine culture’s tolerance of this are dead on, though.

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  • January 6, 2009 at 9:19 pm
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    True. In a hot and humid country like the Philippines, the stench of urine on the streets and walls can be too much to bear. There you have men; where I live in Chile, we have dogs that pee and make everywhere. It seems the city government doesn’t care much about controlling the dog population so there are actually gangs of dogs roaming the streets. And the stench of urine and poop in many places is enough to ruin your day.

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  • January 7, 2009 at 3:45 am
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    This is so true. It made me think how I managed call of nature when we were still living in Cavite with the so unpredictable travel time. I brought my own arinola (any plastic container). I usually wait for the next public washroom to do my thing but with the kind of traffic at coastal road you can never tell how much longer you have to wait or if the filth in the washroom is too much for me to tolerate. This is where my arinola comes in handy. Of course, one can only do this in the privacy of his/her own vehicle.

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  • January 7, 2009 at 5:42 am
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    Your article reminded me of an incident that happened in a park in Redondo Beach, CA. A newly arrived kababayan seeked the privacy of a bush to urinate. Unfortunately, there was a family picknicking nearby who saw him do his thing. They called a cop and reported that there was a man who was exposing himself to them! Actually that is what they though he was doing instead of what he was actually doing, which is to relieve himself. The poor guy was arrested and charged with indecent exposure where his only fault was urinating in public which is a common practice in Pinas. By the way, that was not me LOL..

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  • January 7, 2009 at 5:43 am
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    my husband taught himself to pee sitting because he wants to keep a clean toilet at home. and he avoids using public toilets coz of that, too. kung kaya nyang magpigil, bakit kaya hindi ibang mga lalaki? here in europe, you’d see moms’ letting their kids pee in public corners, too. as with grown ups, they do them in the middle of wilderness so you cant see them, hehe. mas marami lang sigurdong woods and trees dito to cover them.

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  • January 7, 2009 at 11:38 am
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    Our house in the province has this huge vacant lot in front of us. A past time is to sit by the window and look at passersby etc. Our enjoyment always get spoiled by tricycles and trucks stopping to make a pit stop in the bushes. Always annoyed me. It’s not as if we’re not in the center of the city. Had asked that question myself and even aloud a few times.

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  • January 7, 2009 at 6:54 pm
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    Hi. I’ve been living in Manila for the past four months and I agree, this is a habit that I find disgusting and shocking as it something that is uncommon in the United States. This behavior is certainly a sign of a low class, uneducated person.

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  • January 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm
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    Dexie, ah, that’s the advantage of having a hard drive overflowing with photos. That photo was taken over a year ago and the dog has passed away.

    Geri, exactly. If the situation was like decades ago as Nani describes, or in some remote rural area, it would be understandable. But in the city? That’s plain impunity.

    Pinayhekmi LOL PISSES me off BIG TIME hahahaha

    Nani, yes, cats dig and cover their poop and pee — even in the litter box!

    Emily, the irony is that even highly educated males do it.

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  • January 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm
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    Spot on! this is one question that I had asked a couple of times before, why can’t some men hold it off until they can use the proper facility? But I have also observed that urinating in public is something that i only see in the Philippines. I believe that this is also a question of discipline.

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  • January 8, 2009 at 1:39 am
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    hay, one of the many things wrong with the country that is so ingrained it will take several generations to ~wash away~

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  • March 22, 2009 at 9:02 pm
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    aw..ur offended. this is about men peeing in public so dont go off topic. its really gross that men pee just about anywhere, you are so polluting the counrty.peace.

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