let it go?
March 9, 2015 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Who Farts? And Who Cares? "Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally."
This study is a great example of what social scientists call doing gender, modifying our behavior to conform to gendered expectations. Generally, women are expected to have better control of their body, to be more polite, and to avoid offending others. All of these things are consistent with being more discreet with farts and poops.

The interesting data from non-heterosexual men and women may be explained by the conflation of sexual object choice and the performance of gender. It’s not universally this way, but in the U.S. today gay men are feminized and lesbians masculinized. This is a stereotype, but also gives non-heterosexual men and women some permission to deviate from gender rules. As one non-heterosexual man explained: "Only around people that I’m regularly naked with would I be comfortable with them knowing what I was doing in the bathroom. I’m on the self-prescribed “pretty pill”—where you don’t fart, sweat, burp, or use the bathroom… I learned it from my diva friends." Similarly, some non-heterosexual women may feel a little less pressure to be as girly or girly all the time.
New Statesman - Why farting is a feminist issue
To exhibit any kind of bodily function in public – whether it’s pissing against a wall, spitting in the street, picking and flicking earwax while one waits in a queue – is still seen as a male thing to do. We might consider such things disgusting, but men can assume the right to be disgusting in a way that women can’t. It’s understood that male bodies are a part of what men are. Female bodies don’t have the same status. Even though, on a basic level, we know that they work in much the same way male bodies do – we shit, we piss, we perspire, we snore – we don’t really want to know this. A female body remains a thing to use, to own and to look at. It’s not something which does things suggestive of some real, human messiness inside.

These days the phrase “real woman” is associated with Dove adverts, not with women who fart and burp and might occasionally want to cough up some phlegm while out on a jog. I’m not saying these are pleasant things to do – nor am I proposing we organise a feminist fart-in (unless it’s held at Claridge’s) – but I do think we need to ask ourselves whether the perceived “maleness” of bodily functions is harmful to women. If we pretend that other women don’t snore, sweat or have smelly feet, how much more ashamed will we feel of our own bodies, simply for existing in their natural state? (Even in writing this, I’m fighting the urge to add “obviously I don’t do any of these things”, just in case it is just me.)

Changes in sexual mores have allowed us to pretend that women are no longer under enormous pressure to be “ladylike”. However, being ladylike and being chaste are not the same thing. If anything, the more flesh we are permitted to have on show, the greater the pressure upon us to make said flesh hairless, unscented and perspiration-free...

In contrast to the female body, the male body is simply allowed to be: to fill the room, legs spread wide, adding its own sounds and scents to the air. To assume the right to be a little bit revolting – to spit on the street, to jokingly raise your arse cheek to fart – is, I would argue, a form of privilege. It expresses an ownership not just of the body, but of the space around it. We don’t see it as such because we presume men and boys are “naturally” into this sort of thing. On several occasions my sons have been bought books on wee, poo and snot because it’s assumed “boys like that”. Presumably girls don’t, or at least they know they’re nott meant to, given how fragrant and pristine a little girl is supposed to be (she might want to pick her nose as well, but it’s not funny when she does is). It’s not that I think we should be encouraging all children to delight in eating bogeys, but the current imbalance does suggest that, somehow, girls aren’t meant to experience themselves fully in their bodies in the way boys do.
We Hunted The Mammoth - The Fart Gap: Why Red Pillers think that women should never fart — or fart-shame their flatulent men

Sara Barron - On Farting and Feminism
I arrived at the following conclusion: there’s a lot of latent, insidious sexism surrounding farts, and farting. Most men and women I know love to run their mouths about gender equality, and yet undercut these messages with seemingly benign but nonetheless dangerous actions. We let men fart while pretending we’re not capable of such things, and in so doing teach ourselves and our children that – despite identical biological predispositions – men are allowed to be gross, while women must be demure. We attach a boys-will-be-boys mentality to a man’s fart…to a man’s acknowledgement of his fart, while attaching a she-must-be-crazy mentality to a woman’s acknowledgement of the same. What this does, then, is teach us that men can be funny on this subject, while women cannot. It teaches us that farts are masculine, when in fact they are merely human. And attitudes that do that, that assign a quality to one of the genders that in fact belongs to both the genders, are harmful and corrosive, a toxic instructional manual that reads: Girls, you be like this. Boys, you be like this. And isn’t this attitude patently anti-feminist?

I do not mean to say that the path forward is to encourage all women to fart on public transportation, for example, and have a good laugh about it, and call it a feminist act. (Although that does sound pretty awesome.) What I do mean is that is that there is value in women gathering their strength and pushing aside their vanity, and approaching the topic in a manner that is identical to that of the men in their lives. I mean that there is value in ensuring that a woman who does so is treated no differently from a man who does the same.
*The Frisky - Girl Talk: Pooping Is A Feminist Issue
*National Post - A poop of one’s own: Is office defecation the last taboo for women at work?
*Quills and Frills - Let It Go: Pooping in Public Restrooms (a comic)

(previously: the smell never bothered me anyway)
posted by flex (78 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
 
Frankly, being in a marriage where we're frank and jokey about our fartiness is damn awesome.

(For the record, I win at SBDs and he wins at Sound but no Fury.)
posted by Kitteh at 6:39 PM on March 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


We both just blame it on the cat...
posted by jim in austin at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2015


Celiac here After going out to dinner with my companion(s) I warn them
posted by robbyrobs at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2015


Farting For Feminism: A New Wave of Freedom
posted by oceanjesse at 7:03 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


*lights match*
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on March 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


To exhibit any kind of bodily function in public – whether it’s pissing against a wall, spitting in the street, picking and flicking earwax while one waits in a queue – is still seen as a male thing to do.

Yah, no? It's a cultural thing. I see it as Brits pissing on the wall, Chinese hoarking gobs in the street, and earwax flicking? Who the heck makes that much earwax? America? Toenail clipping on transit. Canada? Probably pick-and-wipe-underneath.

Rule One of Civilization: You Do Not Share You. No one wants to see/step in/inhale/hear that.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:11 PM on March 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


Even though, on a basic level, we know that they work in much the same way male bodies do...

Nah, everybody knows that horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow.

And as far as releasing gas, my grandmother used to call it making a little wish. Or you could call it a love puff.

Aren't we sweet?
posted by BlueHorse at 7:14 PM on March 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Rule One of Civilization: You Do Not Share You. No one wants to see/step in/inhale/hear that.
...which is why MRAs who want to give men unlimited privilege to do that kind of thing are the biggest threat to Civilization today. (well, a lot of their demands are)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:15 PM on March 9, 2015


LET HER RIP!
posted by unmake at 7:16 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for shouting, I just couldn't.. hold it in.
posted by unmake at 7:18 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


relevant AskMeFi: So wait. People can hold farts in?!?
posted by flex at 7:20 PM on March 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


Farting For Feminism: A New Wave of Freedom

Fifth Wave? Filth Wave?

One of my fondest couple memories comes from a trip we took that involved me encouraging the joint consumption of a milkshake, despite that fact that he had enjoyed a beer with dinner (turkey and swiss melt). Now, we were early in the dating process and I did not know of his issues with dairy. He tried to politely decline the milkshake, but I forged ahead. To say this was a mistake on my part is a serious understatement. It all became very clear to me that night in the hotel room. The teeny, tiny Red Roof Inn room, where there was nowhere to go and nothing to do but laugh. And laugh we did, even though laughing was hazardous to your health in that room. It was the zenith of farting for us as a couple, maybe even the top 10 of couples everywhere. And when it was my turn on some other trip, for reasons I do not recall, he laughed, and wasn't horrified, and neither was I, and so I proudly take my place in this wave of feminism, whatever we call it.
posted by dawg-proud at 7:21 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


top 10 of couples everywhere

Since the invention of the fart there have been five farts that were rated the most earth-shattering, the most deadly, this fart left them all behind...
posted by dawg-proud at 7:25 PM on March 9, 2015 [22 favorites]


A female body…. It’s not something which does things suggestive of some real, human messiness inside.

Says who?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:26 PM on March 9, 2015


…which is why MRAs…

Are a minority group of social outcasts who need life counseling, and aren't representative of modern Western culture.

I'll say no more about them.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 PM on March 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


A data-driven paper like this is nothing without pie sharts.
posted by zippy at 7:34 PM on March 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


We both just blame it on the cat...

My husband always blames it on the Pit Bull. But I can tell when it's Zoe, because she can clear the entire neighborhood with her eye-searing farts.

There are only two rules about farts at our house. 1) Not in the kitchen, if you can at all help it. Go fart in the furnace room, it's right there and well ventilated. 2) If you try the Dutch Oven trick, it's OK to murder you. Elsewise, fire when ready!
posted by MissySedai at 7:36 PM on March 9, 2015


Anyone who claims to have never gambled on a fart and lost is a liar.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:37 PM on March 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Changes in sexual mores have allowed us to pretend that women are no longer under enormous pressure to be “ladylike”. However, being ladylike and being chaste are not the same thing. If anything, the more flesh we are permitted to have on show, the greater the pressure upon us to make said flesh hairless, unscented and perspiration-free...

Oh my gosh, I want to copy this on flyers and wallpaper cities with it. I want planes to skywrite it. I should find a musical friend to turn it into a jingle for my voicemail. It is so truthy.
posted by averysmallcat at 7:43 PM on March 9, 2015 [22 favorites]


I fart. And everyone cares.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:52 PM on March 9, 2015 [8 favorites]




giggle
posted by halifix at 7:57 PM on March 9, 2015


Since the invention of the fart there have been five farts that were rated the most earth-shattering, the most deadly, this fart left them all behind...

"You keep passing gas. I do not think it smells the way you think it smells."
posted by cashman at 8:00 PM on March 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh, what I wouldn't give for a holocaust cloak.

(Personally, I advise everyone to follow the advice of the learned Mr. Franklin.)
posted by radwolf76 at 8:12 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


oooh I have a story about farts and being a woman! At work no less.

So I went to work on this job site which was about 20 guys and me. When new people came they always hid a remote control fart machine and let it rip when the new people finally went to the little bathroom off the office area, and then laughed their asses off. By new people I mean guys. So before I arrived I guess a big argument broke out whether or not they should play the fart machine joke on me, because I was "a girl". While there were some arguments against on the premise that I would be super embarrassed because "women don't fart," the majority were for it because if I wanted to "work in a man's world I should know what a man's world is." That's a direct quote - I don't know what that actually means. That guys fart on the job, I guess? I suspect there's more to it than that, but whatever.

Anyway, so I get there, they hide the fart machine in the bathroom behind the toilet, and wait. Finally there's a group safety moment and afterwards, when most of the guys are still in the room - which is what they've been waiting for - I go into to the bathroom. I should have known something was up by the way nobody was dispersing or how quiet it got.

So I sit down and start peeing. And suddenly - this is a bathroom in essentially a construction trailer so it's pretty small - this huge ripping RREOW-ART noise comes out from behind the toilet. I'm like, WTF? Then these two tiny little squeak-pips emerge, and suddenly I know what's going on. I guess being in a man's world means I'd been exposed to fart machines before.

So picturing the look on their faces when a fart noise came out without them pressing the remote, I internally gathered as much tempest as I could manage and blew out the prettiest fart I could. If farts were mountains, it was a beautiful, tall, well proportioned mountain - none of that Appalachian stuff. It was the Matterhorn, nay, the Eiger of farts. It was a tooooooot. And without missing a beat, into the COMPLETE SILENCE of the room outside, I called out, "TOOT TOOT! Train's coming in!"

Afterwards I felt simultaneously like these guys truly believed women didn't fart and and that I had struck a blow for farting women everywhere. Today I learn it was a fart for feminism!
posted by barchan at 8:17 PM on March 9, 2015 [141 favorites]


They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting

Ctrl-F "doorknob" and "safety" yields no results. Kids today.
posted by LionIndex at 8:24 PM on March 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


The first link is quite funny, as it's couched in scientific language:
"Heterosexual men were the most likely to think it was funny and the most likely to engage in 'intentional flatulence.' Almost a quarter said that they 'often' did so, whereas only 7 percent of heterosexual women said the same. 'Guys would say it’s raunchy and then say "Nice one," explained one heterosexual guy, 'because if it’s strong it’s more manly. You know, because women would not try to clear a room with a fart.'
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:38 PM on March 9, 2015


Nice one.
posted by parki at 8:56 PM on March 9, 2015


'because if it’s strong it’s more manly. You know, because women would not try to clear a room with a fart.'

Is this one of those things like vet school, where if women would just start engaging in "intentional flatulence", it would end up being a feminine avocation, with men insisting that they would never do something as ladylike as farting audibly?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:58 PM on March 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


Anyone who claims to have never gambled on a fart and lost is a liar.

This would be known as "a failure of the fart/shit separator".
posted by dr_dank at 8:59 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh look, another relevant AskMeFi: Are there separate fart and poop muscles?
posted by flex at 9:02 PM on March 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


You know, because women would not try to clear a room with a fart.

Such folks have never met my mother.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:16 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've lived in the southeast, NYC and now SoCal. Where are these hordes of men who love bragging about their farts? Oh, yeah, they are in college. Can we stop writing cultural histories based on 20 year-old men now?
posted by 99_ at 9:18 PM on March 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


I learned this lesson in my own relationships. If you hold it in, it will come out in your sleep. This goes for anything you repress — poop, gas, or psychological issues.

I dated a woman for years who was extremely demure when it came to anything gastrointestinal related. In nearly four years together, I can only recall her acknowledging having to use the bathroom to poop once, and that was when we were on a cruise together, sharing a room that was about the size of a shoebox (and the only reason she brought it up at all was to tell me to take a hike for awhile so she could do her business without being self-conscious). I never heard her fart, ever.

Yet she had a habit of somewhat frequently waking me up in the middle of the night to yell at me for stinking up the room by farting in my sleep (and she was right that the room smelled absolutely awful whenever she would do this). Now, I'm not saying I know for an absolute fact that it was actually her doing the farting. All I'm saying is that nobody I dated before or after ever made the same complaint, including my wife who I've shared a bed with for over a dozen years.
posted by The Gooch at 9:21 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, and this is the best post in the history of Metafilter.
posted by The Gooch at 9:26 PM on March 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


I deal with it but I really don't enjoy my husband farting at me, or in bed, or while I'm spooning him for fuck's sake. I don't like the fact he just wanders in and out while I go to the bathroom, or he leaves the door open while pooping. I understand that it is some essential squeamishness associated with femininity but at the same time my fucking cat does it in private.
posted by geek anachronism at 9:30 PM on March 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


This would be known as "a failure of the fart/shit separator".

spontaneous phase transition
posted by ryanrs at 9:38 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


or he leaves the door open while pooping.

Honestly is this so hard for couples to negotiate (really would like to hear from dudes here)? I've dated women who shit with the door open, and that was fine, and had male and female roommates/partners I honestly never knew the first thing about their gastrointestinal habits. Maybe it's because I tend to be more responsive, I just roll with what the first signal of 'normal' is. You learn to not fart in a meeting, you learn to not fart in bed. I don't think it's a fast signifier of anything, except one's willingness to be flexible. The reality is that people who are more circumspect have a harder time being open than the reverse.

I snore, pretty badly at times. I've been told that a sharp elbow does the trick. I hope it does, even though I get reprimanded occasionally. But I've never been with a woman who didn't snore. I never throw an elbow because I sleep like the dead, and I am quite sure am louder by a magnitude or two.

But overall, it's worth noting that culture isn't the only trigger. I've had friends (male and female) with Chron's and family and friends with similar / psychological issues around defecation. Even having this sort of conversation is really hard for them. I'd rather not see it thrown up as a by the numbers gender binary.
posted by 99_ at 9:44 PM on March 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and this is the best post in the history of Metafilter.

100% agreed. Best post ever and very well put together. Thanks, flex!

Also I hope I'm not the only one who read the post intro on the front page and then giggled at the [more inside].
posted by barchan at 10:10 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Intentional flatulence." I love that term but at the same time, way too many memories of gross heterosexual male roommates (gay male intentional flatulence -- is that a thing? I don't know, but if it is, I've not experienced it) in college and after who thought that loud, explosive farting (followed by guffaws of obnoxious laughter and pointing) was a perfect illustration of their expansive masculinity. Like all the empty beer cans, SI swimsuit posters, high-volume cock-rock, and reeking armpits weren't illustrative enough.
posted by blucevalo at 10:11 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and this is the best post in the history of Metafilter.

Metafilter: Over-eating a plate of beans.
posted by dawg-proud at 10:24 PM on March 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


For further reading on the topic there's also It's a Gas: A Study of Flatulence where you can learn about the ancient fart-god Bel-Phegor. And a bunch of other fart related stuff.
posted by PHINC at 10:33 PM on March 9, 2015


He called the shit poop!
posted by Brocktoon at 10:46 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not masculinity. At least, not adult masculinity. It's boyish amusement. It's a study of college boys, not men.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:51 PM on March 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or if you prefer, let's go with childish amusement. Point is, it's not gender or even age, it's maturity. Farts remain funny, but context and decorum become important.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or as a wise person said:
When I was a child, I thought like a child, I joked like a child, I farted like a child. When I became a man, I put the fart jokes of childhood behind me. Mostly.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:58 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Yah, no? ... [a lot of other stuff]"

I'm caught between the fact I don't want to make this personal or get into a back-and-forth, and don't have the free time to anyway, and the feeling this needs to be said: five fresh fish, please stop disagreeing with a study based on the contents of your navel and blind assertions. It is shown to be about gender.
posted by traveler_ at 11:22 PM on March 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


When the day is long and the night
The night is yours alone
When you're sure you've had enough
Of this gas, don't hang on

Just let one go, 'cause everybody toots
And everybody farts sometimes

Sometimes everyone is wrong
Now it's time to poot along
When your day is night alone
(Don't hold on)
If you feel like letting go
(Don't hold on)
When you think you've had too much
Of this gas, don't hang on

'Cause everybody poots
Take comfort in your toots
Everybody farts
posted by kirkaracha at 11:25 PM on March 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


#SilencedAllTheirLives
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:39 PM on March 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Can't help thinking of the immortal John Hartford: ... people grinning at the fart, the fart, the little fat fart. Stomp-uh your feet and give a little snort for the fart.

Just for you, gibt es ein Ohrwurm.
posted by key_of_z at 12:14 AM on March 10, 2015


I'm pretty sure we've had an FPP about this that I can't locate right now, but women farting is the subject of the oldest joke in the book: looks like it's something we as a civilization have been holding back for quite a while.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:58 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who's not crazy into farting & pooping as a social thing? Or are we the - ahem - silent majority?
posted by univac at 1:03 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


The one thing that for certain gives me... lift gas, is deviled eggs. Which are among my favorite foods. Probably hard-boiled eggs of any kind, but deviled ones really add both power and volume.
I could tell my sweetie (and some of my friends) truly loved me when they made and served me deviled eggs, even when they knew we'd be in the car or tent together, later. One friend even got me a kasherable pewter egg plate, so I could use it wherever I wanted, yet still have it in my kosher kitchen.
But they prefer my enjoying the pretty stuffed eggs on picnics, windy beaches, or motorcycle trips where we ride separately.
posted by Dreidl at 1:17 AM on March 10, 2015


Were the beaches windy before you had the eggs?
posted by radwolf76 at 1:33 AM on March 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am a man who farts. Uncontrollably and sometimes noisily and stenchily. And believe me, there is plenty of shaming and castigation around.
posted by biffa at 2:51 AM on March 10, 2015


We also live with a farty cat. Like clockwork, around 7:30 am she wants to be picked up and held. So like a sucker I do it, knowing full well during the moment I reach down and lift her, she will emit the foulest butt smell known to man.
posted by Kitteh at 3:14 AM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


So I once dated a guy who was basically Ignatius J. Reilly in real life - priggish, lived with his mother, fastidious...(it was a personal low point). But he had IBD, so,he was also similarly flatulent.

And strangely, one of the few good memories I have of the guy now was about a fart - the first time he let one go in bed, he apologized - then a beat later, he reached up and gently pinched MY nose shut. He was a jerk, but I have to admit, that was kind of sweet.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:37 AM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


traveler_: please stop disagreeing with a study based on the contents of your navel and blind assertions. It is shown to be about gender.
Quoted for truth.

Also: if women tell you that their experience shows them that a certain thing is about gender, you can't make that not true by repeating over and over that it's not true. And that behaviour is in fact a gendered thing too, and there is a very clear and succinct word for it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:56 AM on March 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


No
posted by pxe2000 at 3:58 AM on March 10, 2015


This is what fart culture looks like.
posted by dr_dank at 4:32 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Actually, it's about ethics in my underwear.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:46 AM on March 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sort of an aside, one of the reasons I struggle to take red pillers seriously is because they share their vocabulary and theory with one of the weirder genres of fanfic. I must admit that a world where the existential search for "game" offers less englightenment than receiving anal sex (involving knotting and self-lubricating man-pussy) has a certain degree of ridiculous appeal.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:57 AM on March 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


I was at a Mexican restaurant, and a couple introduced themselves to each other and sat down. Clearly they were on a blind date. After a few minutes of chatting, they each pulled out a small bottle of Beeno and set it on the table. I hope they are happy.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:15 AM on March 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


Wow! Just wow.

Is anyone under the illusion that no-one farts?
posted by adept256 at 5:52 AM on March 10, 2015


Hoof hearted?
Ice melted.
posted by Floydd at 6:13 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I farted.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:18 AM on March 10, 2015


I care
posted by Golem XIV at 7:22 AM on March 10, 2015


I'll stop doing it when you stop laughing.
posted by asperity at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are a lot of sexist double standards out there. Yes, generally, the standard for femininity involves more repression and decorum, sometimes to detrimental effect. However, this does not mean that the masculine standard is the ideal.

The masculine standard, all too often, involves imposing yourself on others. That is not something I aspire to, and it's not something I want to see more of out in the world. Most of us should probably be a little less apologetic and take up a little more space than we're socialized to, but the masculine standards of behavior are the ones that need the heaviest tweaking most of the time, especially when, as in this study, the masculine standard is that of college boys.

It would not be awesome if women stopped attempting to hold it in in public spaces, especially enclosed ones like public transportation. Sure, sometimes it can't be helped, and it shouldn't be a source of eternal shame or something we need to pretend doesn't happen, but that doesn't mean that we need to draw even more attention to it or encourage it.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've posted this before, but apparently, at one point during junior high or high school my husband and his gang-of-buddies-since-fifth-grade somehow discovered that one of them had it in his head that girls didn't fart. "Duh, man, what do you think girls do when they get gas if they don't fart?" his friends demanded.

"I dunno…" he said, "…explode?"

So pretty much ever since we met, any time I fart my husband beams at me with affection and says, cheerfully, "Not gonna explode!"
posted by Lexica at 10:09 AM on March 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yet another Metafilter FP topic where James Joyce and Sarah Silverman are in perfect agreement. My day is made.
posted by drowsy at 10:11 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am not squeamish about farts. I definitely have announced to my boyfriend when I had a particularly good poop. I don't feel the need to douse the bathroom in air freshener. I enjoy the silliness of goofing around about farts now and then, and not feeling like we can't be ourselves around each other. And I absolutely shit in the office bathroom -- there's no way I'm causing myself intestinal issues just so as to not offend some coworker for doing the thing in the room that's designed for doing it.

But I do kinda hate how lax my boyfriend is about farting. No apologies (unless it smells really bad), seemingly no shame about farting when we're both in bed together, lots of lifting one butt cheek... I just, I don't know, it kind of annoys me. It seems rude. He claims if he doesn't let it out he gets lots of gas pain. My point is go somewhere more appropriate like the bathroom to let it out, not hold it in forever, but oh well. Not a dealbreaker, just a daily annoyance.

Personally I just don't have to fart all that often, and usually without any effort to control (or even think about it) it usually comes out when I'm in the bathroom.
posted by misskaz at 10:15 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Margaret Cho certainly isn't squeamish about it. Or rather, squeamish about things that are a whole order of magnitude much, much worse.

Because of her, I can't take persimmons seriously. For me, they contains worlds of digust and hilarity all at once. If you're unfamiliar with her bit on the topic, you'll see what I mean.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:22 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really can't get behind the basic premise here that there won't be justice in the world until everyone is farting and spitting with abandon.

Honestly, everyone should be more considerate. While it's true that that people take it less seriously when a man takes on the role of "the gross dude" -- nobody really likes that guy. Nobody wants to hang out with him for very long.
posted by the jam at 11:07 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and this is the best post in the history of Metafilter

Not hardly! Standers vs sitters to wipe beats this by a manure covered country mile.


Now pull my finger.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:34 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


A fart contest once broke out between two little eight year old girls I was babysitting -who had the loudest, longest, worst, etc. I can't remember what they ate, but it resulted in a lot of eight year old fart humor. Second graders are the worst about this stuff, in either gender.

Okay, whatever, farting shouldn't be gendered. But let's leave what we can in second grade, yeah?
posted by EinAtlanta at 4:53 PM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here in Queensland we've actually banned farting in buildings and in public spaces like shopping malls. What this means is that to get into a building or shopping mall you have to run the gauntlet of farters clustered by the entrances, who are doing their next three hours' worth of farting before they need to get back to work. "Off for a fart break," you say to your colleagues. In the old days they used to call it "farto". "Time for farto?" And managers hate it. "You've been down for ten fart breaks today." "I know boss. I'm trying to get off the farts but the patches just aren't working."

A lot of us started using e-farts but they banned those too. As for me, I use special Swedish mouth farts. They come in little pouches like tea bags. I am chain-farting all day long and people don't even know about it. Totally safe, they did studies. It's pretty great.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:07 PM on March 10, 2015 [14 favorites]


My mother used to say, "Here, let me blow you a kiss," and then spin around and blast you with a fart and cackle like a madwoman. I always figured it was because she was high a lot of the time, but now I know it was subversive feminism. Kudos, ma.
posted by palomar at 8:23 PM on March 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


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