Now it’s okay for men to pee sitting down, here are a few other changes they could make

Brianna Parkins: It also turns out that seeking help from trained professionals might not make a medical condition worse

More and more men are sitting down to pee, it seems. Why stand and miss when you can sit and score? It avoids potentially unhealthy splashback and, according to researchers in Germany, lets you empty your bladder faster and more completely.

Apparently it’s common for men in Germany to sit to pee, especially at home. Nor is it unusual in Japan, and, anecdotally at least, it seems to be getting more common in Britain.

But the German word for a man who sits to pee, Sitzpinkler, is used negatively, to imply unmasculine behaviour, “something like ‘wuss’ in English”, according to the Guardian. So that newpaper’s well-reasoned arguments for having a seat while taking a slash will have made men question their core beliefs: they had to ask themselves if a standing wee is just a byproduct of toxic masculinity.

It caused women to ask ourselves how men – them lot who can’t aim their pee in the toilet without it getting on the ground – ended up in charge for so long. The mind boggles.


Seeing the success of men adopting practices formerly considered “women’s business”, here are some other ways men could benefit by becoming more like women.

Visits to the doctor

Groundbreaking research has shown that seeking help from trained professionals might not make a medical condition worse – and could even get rid of it. Similarly, in results that have turned the medical community upside down, many men have discovered that pretending an ailment isn’t there won’t just make it go away.

Thousands of men who went to the I’ll Be Grand School of Medicine and who suffer from a condition that could be cured with some tablets, a cream and a doctor’s visit could be the big winners here.

After spending time with his little brother, my partner came home complaining of a fever and a rash in his ear. But, he added, “It’s fine, it’ll disappear on its own,” waving away my diagnosis from Google photos of: “Could be a form of shingles. Would you just get it looked at, FFS?”

It did not disappear on its own – it was, in fact, a sort of ear herpes quite common in kids going to preschool. “The doctor said it could have spread to my brain. Lucky I caught it when I did,” my partner said. It’s almost as if he has someone to thank for that. Not me, though. Apparently it was my fault for teaching his little brother to whisper in people’s ears that led to the infection in the first place.

Non-sexual affection with friends

Look out on to the busy streets of any Irish town you’ll see women touching each other. Not in the way a 16-year-old might excitedly think after his first trip on the internet with the parental controls disabled. Older women link arms with each other as they go around with shopping bags, laughing with their heads together at whatever stories they’re trading.

The younger versions of themselves grab on to each other on nights out as precautions against falling on unforgiving stone pavements in high heels. Sometimes they clutch each other for warmth, their heads down as they forge into the wind in flimsy dresses. We do each other’s hair and make-up, too, all acts of being cared for. Of being looked after.

I don’t know if a lot of men get that in their lives the way women do. They play-tackle friends and slap each other on the back. I suppose they have sports, but playing rugby seems like a high price to pay just to get a rough cuddle every now and again.

The ability to find things

It’s amazing that if you keep looking for more than five minutes, and in places other than the three where you think an item might be, you actually find it most of the time. No need to inconvenience yourself shouting out to the nearest woman in the house and getting her to interrupt what she’s doing to come and locate the missing object by simply lifting up the pile of papers on the table.

Save yourself the hassle, give yourself a break, and just spend a little longer looking, sometimes even under other things.

And the one that counts

But that one’s not going to change the world. The one that would really count, just off the top of my head, would be getting men to inflict less violence, both sexual and physical, on women.

In Ireland, Women’s Aid has registered 256 violent deaths of women since 1996. Of the 200 cases that have been resolved, 87 per cent of the victims were killed by a man they knew. In Australia, where I grew up, five women have died from violence allegedly committed by a man in the first month of the year, according to Counting Dead Women Australia. In 2022, 56 women there suffered the same fate.

But bringing those numbers down would be more of a benefit for us women and, say, for society as a whole. Is that a selfish thing to ask for?

If you have been affected by domestic violence, support is available. The Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline, at 1800-341900, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides support and information to callers experiencing abuse from intimate partners. You can also get help through the organisation’s website