Friday Ephemera
Not Hearing His Own

Sweating From The Effort

Apparently it’s the duty of every female Guardian contributor to air her feminist credentials at regular intervals and to find a feminist angle for pretty much anything that moves. So you can imagine the pressure bearing down on the paper’s feature writer Sophie Heawood, who, deadline looming, strains heroically to make a feminist point. Any feminist point:

My daughter has recently become obsessed with the size of her poos – and they are all big, according to her, whether they look to me like they came out of a greedy Jack Russell or a sickly church mouse. “Big poo, Mummy,” she says, in awed tones – awed by her own bottom. “Big poo.” 

Stick with it, she’ll get there. And there may be some classic sentences to file along the way. 

I, in turn, have become desperately proud of her pride. I’m so in love with her big poos that I can’t bear the idea of them stopping.

No. Don’t. Bad dog.

Now brace yourselves because here come the guts of the article, the meat of it, wrapped with a single-ply tissue of regulation feminism:

[I can’t bear the idea] of her realising that they aren’t things you want to show off about. Of the day when somebody makes it clear to her, whether by accident or design, that sweet little girls aren’t supposed to describe the massive steaming achievements cruising out of their bums.

Curse the patriarchy, stopping little goddesses finding triumph and validation in the size of their stools.

That curly little blondes such as she should desire to be small, and contained, and clean, and dress up as pink princesses. And shut up about their dirty selves; already, enough. I dread the day those whopper turds have got to go… And I think about how much of what girls do is about making themselves smaller. Wanting to suck their waists in and be thin. To not have said so much in public, with such an impact. To be like Hello Kitty – all smile, no mouth.

Sorrows such as this must be shared with friends.

A friend told me yesterday that her four-year-old announced she had done a poo “like a brown dolphin.” Another friend remembers her little sister sitting on a potty and saying, “Look! It is a beautiful golden sun!” before they all waved it goodbye, discussing the beautiful sunset as they flushed it down the loo. I know I must, but I am resistant. I do not want to flush my daughter’s beautiful sunsets down the loo.

Hey, don’t blame me for lowering the tone. Julia found it.


Ms Heawood’s logic is somewhat unobvious and readers may not be entirely swayed by her various assumptions. For instance, the assumption that little boys, unlike little girls, are positively encouraged to announce their bowel movements, loudly and in detail, whenever someone is in earshot. Likewise, the assumption that not finding such announcements appropriate or interesting is therefore, somehow, damning evidence of The All-Pervasive Patriarchy™. And then of course there’s the assumption that a toddler’s fascination with the size of her bowel movements can be caused by a visit to the West Coast of the United States:

Of course, it’s no coincidence that her current fixation with size has ballooned while we are on holiday in California… Everything in America is so much bigger than it is at home. The fridge in the place we’re staying is enormous. 

Yes, faecal preoccupations are caused by big fridges. 

Incidentally, Ms Heawood is also the author of an article titled Capitalism Kills My Vibe, the point of which isn’t at all clear, let alone persuasive, even by the standards set above. We do, though, learn that Ms Heawood was disappointed by some free VIP passes to a Jay-Z concert and that therefore something must be done about capitalism.