Breaking news: Women use the bathroom at work.
In a column on The Daily Beast, Laura Dimon unearths the insane lengths some women go to cover up a bowel movement in the office.
One 27-year-old at a financial services firm in New York City brings her BlackBerry along while she does it, and sends an email during the experience so that she has an “alibi.” A popular national morning TV show host in her 40s—who, like most others interviewed in this story, asked to remain nameless to avoid embarrassment—said that she walks 10 minutes to another section of her midtown office building to do it, and still then only does it when no one in the hallway sees her en route.
Others go to different floors, refuse to go when other women are in the bathroom or even lift their feet off the floor so coworkers can’t identify the culprit by her shoes.
A New York City psychologist, who did not want to be identified, told Dimon that because females are not as biologically exposed as males, there remains an aura of mystery surrounding their inner workings.
And apparently women are afraid to break the image that they’re delicate, immaculate beings.
The office environment takes this anxiety and kicks it up a notch. “The workplace still remains men’s space. Women may be more hypervigilant of not breaking rules of gender by monitoring their femininity even more,” Kwan says. Harvard anthropologist Kimberly Theidon agrees. “Office space is already pre-determined as a masculine space and women enter it,” she says, adding that there is a “long history of women trying to manage their bodies in their workplace,” and a struggle to not be identified with or associated solely with their bodies.
Though the column only focused on women, we’re pretty sure that odd smell in your office is from the men’s room. Blame Ed in accounting.