When I told my girlfriend that my ex-wife had told my son and me that we had to pee sitting down, she said, "That's so emasculating!"
I notice that somewhere in the first three pages of every other issue of any of these nouveau Feminist magazines like Bust, there is invariably some piece about how somebody has discovered some new way for women to pee standing up, as though this is the last obstacle to women being "equal to men."
As Simone de Beauvoir points out in the first few pages of Le Deuxième Sexe, there is nothing inherently undignified or humiliating about having to "squat to pee." "Society" (whatever or whoever that is) denigrates women, and therefore denigrates anything inherently female, namely, anything to do with the female anatomy and physiology, e.g., having large breasts, menstruating, being on average 10% shorter or having less muscle mass, or not having a little "pee hose" with which to direct one's urine.
American women seem uniquely obsessed with this. Non-Americans seem to take it more in stride. Or at least they forego the incumbent drama when they interrupt their stride, squat, sometimes behind a tree, urinate, and resume said stride.
The fact is that it's not easy to pee standing up. There are risks. One has to take aim. Sometimes one is on a bumpy train or airplane (where there is seldom enough room to stand in front of the toilet, by the way). One cannot always tell where it's going to go until it's going there. As somebody who's been doing his Kegel exercises and can therefore pee in Morse Code if I want, I worry a lot less since if things start running awry I can immediately stop them, but not all men can. For most men, even if it starts running down your leg, into your pants, onto the wall or the floor, or onto the man standing next to you, you're committed. I encourage the reader to look up Jim Carrey's film Me, myself, and Irene for a particularly ringing example of this. For the lucky few who still have their foreskins, or have restored them, the question becomes whether to roll it back or to dribble it out. Both work, and each presents its own challenges. Oh, and those of you who have not taken hydrodynamics or who don't have a penis, the penis, like any hose, is a potential water trap. This is the nightmare of zipper flies that don't go down low enough. The penis flops up over the bottom of the fly, and when it is put back, the fluid trapped in the bottom end all runs out. If a pair of trousers has a short fly, they'd better also be dark in color. Finally, imagine the man with prostate problems, and all men face this, who must stand, awake, concentrating, keeping aim, alert for the moment, potentially for hours, simply because he doesn't have the permission to sit down, maybe read a nice book, or even nap, while waiting for that yellow light to turn green. Buddy Hackett did a bit on this back in the 1980s which is worth viewing, by the way.
All this would be fine if there weren't so much social humiliation associated with wetting oneself. I guess men and women share a common enemy here. But men must stand right next to one another when urinating in a public restroom. I've known adult women who actually did not know this. Again, men are expected to perform in public, the consequences dire as ever, and you can cut the homophobia with a chainsaw2. And all that's if you have a "normal" penis. Intact foreskin or not aside (which is already a huge issue), there are things like fistulas and malformed meatuses that make it all the more nerve-wracking to have to perform a standing urination out on stage in front of everybody. Oh, and if there should be any problems, there is no roll of toilet paper available.
When getting potty-trained, a little boy is taught that he has to stand there, his goods on display, and in addition to understanding all of the feelings and what is going on for the first time, having to stand steady (no mean feat for a toddler) and somehow aim and spray everything into the commode, risking ridicule and shame should he fail. I've heard self-congratulatory mommies talk about great ideas they've come up with, such as throwing Cheerios® breakfast cereal into the bowl so their little son will have something to aim at. These same mommies also never tire of berating their sons, and boys and men in general, as being "slower at toilet-training." How is this not bullying, denigrating, and humiliating men based solely on their gender? Protests of wanting a "level playing field" are conspicuously silent in this and many other noteworthy areas.
On a lighter note, my dad told a story about a female coworker, whom he described as being "a little bit gross", who bet a male coworker that she could pee further than he could. Of course1, he took the bet, but when our Casey stepped up to the plate and prepared to grip his bat, there was no joy in Mudville as she called out, "No hands!" and he didn't even get it out of the infield, as you can imagine. She then peed down her own extended leg and won the...gold.
In other words, it's not that men can pee standing up, it's that they have to pee standing up, by decree of "society", by their potty-training mommies, by women in general, and probably by other men, even when it's patently ridiculous to attempt such a thing. They need permission to squat to pee, they shouldn't, but they do, and women are really the only ones who can give it to them.
So come on, Feminists, give us guys a break on this, in the spirit of gender liberation and equality. As with most all issues in this domain, it's not that women need to pee standing up more, but that men need to pee standing up less.
1There are any number of reasons why a man would accept such a challenge from a woman, but that’s somewhat beside the point here.
2Another huge issue for men, but again, somewhat off the point.