Five minutes before my friend broke up with her boyfriend, she sharted*. Walking down the stairs of her house to open the front door, she felt a small fart brewing but didn’t think much of it. (You know how those falafel pockets can be sometimes.) So when she let it rip and felt a warm wetness in the bottom of her pants, she realized that the worst had really happened. She. Had. Sharted. OMFG. Opening the front door and greeting her oblivious soon-to-be ex with a shart in her corduroys, she ushered him inside. I wish she had just told him what had happened right then and there. He probably would have dumped her on the spot, avoiding a three-hour tear and snot filled dialogue that caused more agony than anyone would have expected. Okay, maybe I’m kind of joking. We—the collective that is a friend group—would have been PO’d had he dumped her because of a helpless, human and gender-neutral occurrence.
You, reader, might be disgusted. You might be appalled and angry. You might even be cringing. But I promise I’m not trying to be vulgar. Really, I’m not. It’s just that, to make clear the reality that females’ bodies function in many of the same ways as males’ do, I thought I needed an over-the-top, I-really-didn’t-need-to-know-that story. Of course, sharting isn’t nearly as frequent a happening as, say, a casual fart that slips out in class or a subtle public nose pick that you think no one notices. Yet, sharts do happen: to boys and to girls, to men and to women. I hate to break it to you, but it’s a gross reality we just have to accept.
I work very hard to negate those thoughts that many people have or want to have that generate “Ew girls don’t poop!” or “Girls definitely don’t burp” statements. Since I was small, my dad has said I burp like a truck-driver, a comment I’ve taken as nothing short of a compliment. I frequently engage in burping contests and I’ll never stifle a soda burp in the Blue Room or at home. I am even less shy about discussing poop. At late night dance rehearsals, I’ll openly apologize for missing fifteen minutes of warm-ups due to a bowel movement. Everyone probably assumes anyway, so why not just take initiative and own up to what my body needed to do? With my housemates, we’ll openly announce a successful bathroom experience every now and again. Its just feces, right? No shame. That’s my motto.
You may think I’m being abrasive and/or crossing the line of good manners. It’s not that I don’t have boundaries—I’m not about to go into an interview and discuss how regularly I talk about and acknowledge these human tendencies. And I’m not going to flaunt one of those truck driver burps on a date or in the classroom. So yes, I have standards. But within the context of daily life, I don’t quite understand where this inherent shyness about bodily functions stems from – particularly women’s bodily functions.
So ladies, just own up to it. You let a mousey fart accidentally slip in the stacks during finals? Chuckle it off. You didn’t know that time of month had arrived and you stain your pants? Tie a sweatshirt around your waist like we did in 5th grade say, “I’m bringing the 90s back!” And lastly, if you need to poop but another girl is in the Blue Room underground bathroom: don’t wait it out for her to leave, she might be trying to do the same. Just let it all out.