Thursday, September 06, 2007

The American Male Code Of Public Restroom Conduct

Disclaimer: I really, really, really want Senator Larry Craig to hang in there and fight to keep his senate seat!


Duh. If the thoroughly embarrassed Republican leadership forces Craig to resign, the Republican governor of Idaho will appoint a replacement, who will be a stronger candidate in next year's election. Also, Craig's determination to remain the GOP poster boy of hypocrisy keeps the country talking about GLBT discrimination and what we can do about it.

But today's post concerns Craig's statements v The American Male Code Of Public Restroom Conduct...

Flushing character

You've heard the Larry Craig punchlines: "Brokeback bathroom" and "getting flushed."

And based on behavior he admitted engaging in, the U.S. senator from Idaho earned the right to be called all sorts of names -- including "stupid."


Women may make small talk -- very small, such as "Hi" -- in a public rest room, but I'm told that is not done in the men's room.

"No talking," my husband said. "You go in, do what you need to do and get the heck (my word not his) out. If you see somebody you know, you talk to him once you leave the bathroom."

From what I gather, men turn into royalty once they enter a public restroom. There's a secret code -- and they all know it: We've already established the no-talking rule. But there is room for a minor adjustment. It's the male acknowledgement noise. Men are allowed to sort of grunt if they see a person they may have known for years. Even so, there is absolutely, positively no looking.

Back to the royalty thing -- in a public restroom, under no circumstances is one man to ever look directly at another. And a man who dares to make lingering eye contact with some stranger in the men's room might literally have to fight his way out of the situation.

This is pretty standard male behavior. It's part of the American male code of public restroom conduct. In our culture to deviate makes one deviant. If I know this, why wouldn't Craig?

According to documents posted on and, Craig was playing adult versions of peek-a-boo through cracks around the stall door. He was tapping and touching feet. At some point his feet were extended into the neighboring stall.

His "stall tactics" definitely got him into a situation he later seemed unprepared for.

Men, can you verify this "code of public restroom conduct," as it relates to your own personal history of public restroom behavior?

Tomorrow, we'll discuss police sting operations.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--


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