If you haven’t read Taro Gome’s 1977 classic Everyone Poops recently, I strongly recommend it. In an age when the human family seems to agree on nothing, there’s one thing we all have in common: Everyone Poops.
However, not everyone poops in the same way. While many cultures across the world and throughout history have pooped by squatting, Western/modern cultures sit on a toilet. Like all cultures, they think their way is the “right” way and put signs up on trains in places like Britain saying that squatting on the toilet is WRONG.
However, this is not a case for moral relativism. The Western way of pooping is WRONG. How do I know? I’ve felt the difference. In my 20s, I’d already developed hemorrhoids and through some surreptitious Googling found out that squatting might make all the difference. I found images like this.
I’ve never looked back. But until now, I haven’t come out of the Water Closet as a squat pooper. People might think I’m weird. After all, this isn’t the way my culture does things. Except…my culture is the weird one. Literally. In the scientific literature, the culture I grew up in is called W.E.I.R.D. It’s Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. And our way of pooping reveals just how W.E.I.R.D. it is.
By now, much of the world has seen the Squatty Potty ad. It beautifully breaks down why squatting to poop is literally the RIGHT way to poop. Squatting opens up your bowels so that poop can flow.
The problem is that when you grow up in a culture your culture’s way of doing things makes perfect sense. You have blindly downloaded a culture through the emotion of awe.
And then, at a certain point, this thing that all the other humans around you do seems like the “right” way. Sitting while shitting makes sense to people in the West. After all, you can definitely come up with rationalizations. It’s more comfortable. It’s more sophisticated. And there probably are advantages to sitting like a lower risk of getting your own poo on your own feet. Sitting while shitting makes sense emotionally. But does it make sense anatomically? Nope.
There are ways that our body is set up to operate and so many of our modern problems like hemorrhoids are because we’ve let our W.E.I.R.D. culture and our fear of not fitting in get in the way of working with our biology. This goes way beyond pooping. One-horned horses with hemorrhoids and constipation is just the beginning. There’s also striped horses without ulcers.
Cultures have a tendency to go on doing their insanity for a very long time. That’s because of something scientists call naive realism. That’s the brain’s ability to make us confuse feeeeeeeelings for facts. For years, I felt like pooping sitting down was the right way. And then, I had a conversion experience. For a long time, I struggled. I had these urges to squat and poop. But this sign existed in my head that said I had to sit and that squatting was wrong. And then, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I can no longer live a lie. I cannot stay in the Water Closet anymore.
Judge me. Condemn me. Do what you will. I know what your Squatophobia REALLY is. It’s your naive realism at work. It’s a fear of breaking from your culture…even though your culture is making you butthurt. My doctor talked to me about fiber, water and surgery for my hemorrhoids. Turned out, there was an easier answer. Stop being so W.E.I.R.D.
Whether your culture is W.E.I.R.D. or some other form of insanity, there’s a place you can come to help evolve a better culture. It’s called Mixed Mental Arts. And we’re going to take the best of all times and places to evolve a better culture than anyone has ever seen before.
You are a rainbow-pooping unicorn. So why don’t you admit it and come out of the water closet too.
Love to all humanity – Toto