ISSN : 2266-6060

Standing


Paris, April 2018.

It is in the first pages of The Second Sex, “Childhood”: one of the founding events that make little girls aware of their difference (the so-called castration anxiety) is the inability to urinate standing. In 2018, there are several ways to consider the cure of anxiety. Firstly, the differentialist way that everyone knows about: the double door, “Ladies and Gentlemen”, as there was “Black and White” in the segregationist states. Secondly, the emerging cyborg way which passes by the equipment of a stand-to-pee, these new devices which bloom at the festivals. Thirdly, there is the gender-neutral way: a toilet for everyone, since it is the lowest common denominator and the seated position, would guarantee a better hygiene and a greater respect for the maintenance staff.
Well. That being said, it is surprising that some cities (which have been believed since the 1970s to have adopted the universalist way with the sanisettes) are moving back and re-installing urinals in some places that are considered dirty — here a train station. “What about a female urinal?” qsks the graffiti. Soon perhaps, but what is certain is more than a century after the test of Richard Mutt’s Fountain alias Marcel Duchamp, the urinal public object remains the subject of fierce controversy.