Peeing in the Street

Public urination is a big thing in other countries. In the U.S. it is illegal to urinate in the streets, or in any public place that is not a designated bathroom. You can be charged as a sex offender if you are caught publicly urinating. That is why public urination isn’t a very big in America, but in other countries this is not the case.

When I was in Italy public urination (and when I speak of public urination I mean men urinating), was a very common thing. There are certain alley ways where men go to relieve themselves. They did this because in Italy to use a stores bathroom you must buy something first or pay a fee to use it. Instead of spending money to pee they go out in the open. I never actually saw men pee when I was there I did not really look it out because I did not want to see it, but I often smelt it and saw the marks on the streets.

What I didn’t think of was how this affects the people around men who publicly urinate. In an article by Jen Barr, called When the city is your urinal, Barr discusses the power dynamic involved with public urination, specifically in India. She discusses how men who urinate in the streets there are reaffirming their dominance over women. It is socially acceptable for a man to urinate in public but not a woman. This allows men to urinate and by doing this they are exposing their most vulnerable part of themselves to the world. This exposure shows ownership. These men own the streets by claiming them as their bathrooms, and the women are intruding on this.