The Accidental Specialist


In university I didn’t narrow down my focus enough to write a thesis so I could go on to graduate studies. I like learning and thinking about a broad range of topics, or so I thought. It turns out over the past while that my focus has narrowed to a specialty – not in career, not in education, but in what I tend to rant, rave, and write about: the bathroom.

I’m still interested in many widely spread areas. There are a lot of arenas of dialogue that I fantasize about jumping into as a public voice, of sorts. But the corner I often push myself into is to narrow things down to this biological function and its associated social behaviours. I’ve written here about gender politics, peer judgment, and restroom politics a few times already. Almost all of us are regularly confronted with these scenarios, but I am not only an overthinker who needs to deconstruct the political implications of it all – I get more inspiration to write from being embarrassed in a washroom than I do about government, the economy, popular culture, or other current events.

If I went back to school maybe I would write a thesis on gendered expectations in excretion and human sanitation. Maybe I could work with communities around the world to help women lead the way in establishing better sanitary practices in areas where the growing human population makes such a thing an even more urgent matter of public health. I could publish books and go on promotional tours to make loads of cash off of being so upfront about a taboo topic.

But what I’m actually doing is shying away from writing the same thing over and over again, and solving all of my feminine insecurities by plugging my own ears so I can’t hear myself shit, assuming no one else can either.


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