Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Urinating in Sweden - you can do it standing up

One of things that Sweden is well-known for, at least in the world of internet news, is attempts to ban men from urinating standing up. (Try a Google search.) There are claims that Swedish feminism has gone too far or that "Young Swedish women demand that their men use the lavatory in a strictly sedentary posture". Even Tyler Cowen thinks it worth spreading news on this important topic (see link 4).

I have recently returned from Sweden. I'm sure I will give more considered comments on other issues in due course but I think it is worth delivering the news that male urination in the conventional manner is alive and well in Sweden. Indeed, you could say that it is pretty widespread in everyday life, judging by these examples:

- in one place we went, there was a urinal in the communal (i.e. hand-washing) part of what was billed as a unisex facility. I can't have been the only person to use it;
- in one restaurant, there were only urinals in the gents (so far as I could see);
- in another place, my son had to wait while a man used the only child's urinal (despite the fact that adult urinals were free at the time). (Actually, I'm not sure what that example shows, other than a lack of sensitivity. Perhaps just that the existence of urinals for boys shows that the habit is not about to die out.)

But don't just take my word for it. The opening of a new football stadium in Stockholm was celebrated in the local newspaper with the photospread below, flaunting photographic evidence that Swedish men are still pretty traditional in that department. (I've been to that herrarnas and can confirm that it is very r├Âtt.)

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