“Toilets are no mere receptacles for waste, but a domestic feature that connects us to the world: that which exits our bodies goes somewhere, whether we choose to think about it or not.”
– explains Dr. Lucy Pickering, a Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences Adviser of Studies, and Lecturer, at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in her paper ‘Toilets, Bodies, Selves: Enacting Composting as Counterculture in Hawai’i ‘ (Body & Society Vol. 16 No. 4, December 2010).
The author looks at the everyday defecatory practices of hippies and drop-outs in Hawai’i, who :
“… rejected multiple bathrooms, indeed indoor bathrooms altogether. They did not believe that ‘American toilets are the best’ but abandoned them in favour of hand-made receptacles of varying design.”
Citing previous toilet-focussed works from Slavoj Žižek, Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, and of course Sigmund Freud, the author concludes that perhaps there could be a political dimension to the composters’ bathroom-rejection?
“Through toilets, the people with whom I worked generated multiple connections with their immediate environment – and through that with each other – and enacted a daily critique both of male gender as bounded and of US toilets (and therefore the USA?) as ‘top of the evolutionary or civilizational scale’.”