The other day I was innocently surfing Facebook and, while visiting my profile page, noticed an interesting looking ad on the right side. The product in the ad was called “Shewee” and from the picture of it, I surmised that if I clicked on the ad I would be introduced to a whole new world the likes of which I had never experienced. It was a “Matrix” red pill, blue pill kind of scenario. I could choose to ignore the ad and continue living my life the way I’ve always known it. Or, I could follow the ad down the rabbit hole and come out the other side more knowledgeable but potentially more disturbed. Seeing as it was a Thursday morning and I was bored, I decided to let my fingers do the walking and find out what a Shewee is all about.
Well, let me tell you, it is exactly what you think it might be. A Shewee is a portable urination device which allows women to pee standing up. Ummmm…. what the hell? My first thought was that this must be some type of novelty item, like those squeezable stress balls made to look like boobs. No respectable woman would ever actually use one of these molded plastic “tubes” would they? And if they ever did, where would one use such a thing? And why? And what happens after you’ve used it? For years men have perfected the “shake twice” method of flinging the last remnants of pee away from them. But the Shewee device could not be so easily “cleaned” I imagine. And then you’d do what with it? Put the urine soaked piece of plastic back in your purse? That doesn’t sound very “convenient” to me.
Of course the website espouses all the benefits of owning a Shewee. Among those is this statement: “Travel the world with the comfort of home in your pocket.” That was going a bit far for me. I mean, if that were true then where is my Aloe and Vitamin E toilet paper for sensitive bottoms? And where is the reed diffuser with my absolute favorite scent that smells like Sampaguita, the national flower of the Philippines? And the soft lighting that makes me look 10 years younger? Can the Shewee provide those comforts from my home? I didn’t think so. And the idea of putting the used Shewee in my pocket made me gag worse than the idea of putting it in my purse. If I wanted pee stained pants I’d just skip the Shewee and let the river run. Talk about convenience!
I decided to Google Shewee to see what others were saying about it. What came up were mostly link after link to stores that specialize in outdoor equipment. Hmmmm… okay, I guess I could see where enjoying the outdoors and making wee wee in the woods go hand in hand. I decided to look Shewee up on Facebook since that was where this whole thing started. This was what I was looking for… pictures. Yes! Pictures of women lined up at a “trough” peeing standing up with one hand triumphantly in the air. I was surprised that instead of being disgusted, I actually kind of got a lump in my throat thinking that women’s equality might have taken another big leap forward. Although, I was still not convinced it’s a step that needed to be taken. I read further.
I found out this “trough” was called a “Shewee-inal”- a female urinal. I would have called it a “Her-inal” but maybe that was already trademarked. It looked like this “Shewee-inal” was set up under a big tent at some sort of festival. Again, I surprised myself by understanding the practicality of such a thing. However, I was disappointed that the picture of the outside of the tent showed a long line of women waiting their turn to pee, just like the regular bathrooms. Wouldn’t that be the point of using one of these devices? No more toilet paper nest building or strategic squatting. No more wiping and retucking and zipping and buttoning. Peeing standing up is supposed to be faster, right? There are hardly ever lines outside of the men’s room. Of course, they don’t have to take a tube out of their pocket, place it correctly, pose for pictures, clean themselves and the device up, and put themselves back together.
Then there’s the picture of a woman who supposedly wrote “Shewee” in the snow with her pee. Priceless! Although, the writing was a bit too neat to be believable. Plus, the letters weren’t connected and to do that you have to have a lot of control. Clearly a woman who hasn’t given birth yet had performed this stunt. Also pictured is a woman squatting in a beautiful African plain. As her pants are around her ankles and she clutches her roll of toilet paper, she is oblivious to the lion stalking her from behind her back. Shewee could make their new slogan, “Shewee, preventing animal attacks around the globe”. That’s an idea I can get behind.
From their Facebook page I also learned that they sponsored Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman ever to climb Mt. Everest. Suddenly I was feeling less like making fun of Shewee and more like embracing it as a symbol of feminine power. (Although I did picture Bonita Norris wearing one of those jumpsuits that race car drivers wear with the sponsor’s patches sewn all over. I imagined the “Shewee” logo placed strategically and appropriately on her crotch.) Even their actual slogan, “Stand up and take control!” makes me feel empowered! The fact that the company was started by a woman, Samantha Fountain, drove home the point that women can do ANYTHING. Ms. Fountain believed in her idea to liberate women from disgusting toilet seats so deeply that she stopped at nothing to see her dream come true. Now thousands of women worldwide can thank her for their clean bums and relaxed thighs. Her company has boomed and what began as a home based business in England has now grown to include distributors in 19 countries. That’s inspiring.
So too is one of the applications of the Shewee- assisting women confined to bed. I was on bed rest for seven weeks when I was pregnant with my youngest and although most of the time I could get up to use the restroom, there were times right after I had hemorrhaged that they wouldn’t let me move. I made my stomach hurt from “holding it in” just so that I wouldn’t have to use the bed pan. It’s humiliating. Placing a petal shaped cup against me and peeing through a tube into a container or the absorbent pouch Shewee sells would have been a much nicer option. As a matter of fact, I can think of lots of times when having a Shewee would have come in handy. Most recently, when I had to use Squeaky and Jeff’s Port-A-Potty at the NASCAR race in Charlotte.
Other times the Shewee could be a Godsend: camping, hiking, or jogging. You don’t really think about it, but when you’re running in a race with thousands of people, the sparse Port-A-Potties are popular and there’s usually a wait. Nothing makes you loose your motivation for running 13.1 miles more than standing in line to pee. Also, giving urine samples at the doctor’s office would no longer be a messy affair. It takes a lot of coordination to squat, hold a cup at just the right spot and control your stream of pee so that it not only goes in the cup but fills it just enough but not too much. Try coming away from that without getting piss on your hands, arms, underwear, toilet seat, floor, or all of the above. Then try doing it while you’re nine months pregnant. If ever I had penis envy, it was after something like that. Well, be envious no more!
As a matter of fact, I should get one for my daughter’s friend. She and her brother have a designated “pee tree” in their backyard. I imagine it’s a lot harder for her to hit the tree than it is for her brother. I know, I’ve tried. No, not with their pee tree! It was after my friend’s wedding reception. I had had too much to drink and we were on our way to the car. I realized I needed to go right then and it couldn’t wait. I found a suitable bush next to the car and proceeded to squat right there in one of my best dresses. Classy! I don’t know if hiking my skirt up and sticking a tube in my crotch would have been much classier but at least I wouldn’t have mooned her aunt and uncle and that alone would be worth the price of a Shewee. Of course, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for them to add “drunk late night emergencies” to their list of practical uses on the website.
And speaking of practical, the person that I expected to be most disgusted by the idea of women peeing through a tube- my most practical and level headed neighbor- was unphased. “I’ve known a lot of people on mission trips who use it.” she said. Really? Wow. Well, color me embarrassed. Here I was only thinking of myself and how it could benefit my hiney by not coming into contact with all manner of germs from a public toilet or save me precious minutes at a festival or Disney World. There ARE people who travel to remote parts of the globe helping others who of course don’t have running water (or water at all for that matter) and who only have pee trees. Of course a Shewee would be a suitcase essential in that case.
So here I am with my Shewee pro/con list and to my utter amazement I have more “pro” items than “con” and find myself thinking I should order one. They do come in five different colors, have a handy carrying case (no pee pee in the purse I was happy to discover), an extension tube and gel filled absorbent pouches for when you have no tree or suitable container to speak of (in the car on long trips when your husband refuses to stop, for example). The only thing standing in my way is this word I’ve read in people’s comments: practice. I guess like any new “toy” one must learn how to use it. But I can say with almost 100% certainty that I have never set out to deliberately pee on myself. I had visions of myself standing in front of my toilet at home dribbling and spraying and leaking urine on myself, my clothes and the floor as I perfect the placement of the cup and the aim of the tube. Then I read you should practice in the shower. Ah. That would make more sense. This is all new to me. And it’s not just the physical logistics of using the Shewee, there are also social mores, boundaries, to overcome. For eons women have sat down to pee. It makes me wonder, you can lead a girl to a trough, but can you make her take a leak in it? I for one am surprised to hear myself say that I wouldn’t mind having my very own cute, pink Shewee to find out.
PS- In case you missed it way up there in the third paragraph and want one of your own, this is Shewee’s official website: http://www.shewee.com.
Copyright 2010 by Me