Men peeing in public: Neither funny nor masculine but movies think otherwise
Men peeing in public: Neither funny nor masculine but movies think otherwise

Men peeing in public: Neither funny nor masculine but movies think otherwise

Films normalize and celebrate this act which speaks of an utter lack of civic sense.

Peeing in public is the one male privilege Indian men exercise all the time without thinking twice about it. In a country where sanitation facilities are scarce, it's understandable that sometimes, there are no options left. Obviously, holding your bladder is too "womanly" an option. 

The long lines of men liberally hosing walls as their womenfolk look away discreetly at tourist destinations dotted by Volvo buses, is a sign of the perfect Indian family. He who doesn't hold back and she who is full of forbearance. Gents do, ladies wait. 
Peeing in public must play a significant role in being masculine. It's only this that can possibly explain the wide range of emotions that men seem to attach to the act. They say women never go to the bathroom alone, they always need company because well, women are stupid and silly like that - never mind all those horror stories women grow up hearing about that one little girl who went to the toilet alone and never came back.
But what about men who go to the bathroom together even when there's no bathroom? Is it a prehistoric instinct, marking territory? Or is it just fun to see who can shoot the furthest, never mind sanitation and all that?
Take a look at this picture that Aamir Khan tweeted two years ago:

Apparently, the true sign of a friendship is peeing together in public. And if you thought this sentiment was restricted to Big Bad Bollywood, you couldn't be more wrong.

Here's the poster for Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru (2016) which has RJ Balaji and GV Prakash peeing on a wall in public in celebration of their bromance. The same film has a cringe-worthy comedy sequence that involves the two friends trying to find a place to defecate in the open.

Arguably, cinema takes inspiration from reality and it's not as if films should only portray perfect people and their perfect lives.

After all, when men do pee in public together, why shouldn't it be shown in film? However, what's interesting is how peeing in public is portrayed as some kind of male bonding ritual and normalized just as a number of other essentially "masculine" acts like violence and aggression are.

Then there's comedy. Potty humour is fine. It can be really funny too. But why is just showing a man peeing funny?

This is a popular comedy sequence from "Chocolate" in which Prithviraj, a student in a women's college (yes, you read that right), opens the newspaper cover of a sanitary napkin package thinking it's bread and then proceeds to trying to find a place to pee in a women's college because his bladder is full. 


In the same movie, there is a scene where the three male leads pee on the road after getting drunk. And there's the famous "kindi" joke from "Manichitrathaazhu" which dutifully made it to all its remakes. There are so many examples of this celebration of male "privilege" which are meant to be comedy. But why are we expected to roll around in our chairs just because a person with poor civic sense is spraying the road like an animal?

Comedy requires effort and brains. Whipping an organ out to provoke laughter is all right till you're about five years of age. After that, it's about as funny as disease.

There are millions in the country who do not have access to sanitation facilities and are forced to relieve themselves in the open. The Tamil film Joker has dealt with the issue sensitively and comprehensively.

But on the other hand, we have enough people with access to sanitation facilities, educated people who are aware of the health issues that arise from poor sanitation, coolly performing an unhygienic act only because they can get away with it, thanks to their gender and the acceptance that society offers. Frankly, the situation stinks.

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