Girls fart too

I have been farting for as long as I can remember. I fart at work, I fart at school, and I have heard that I even fart during my sleep. I probably even farted at my high school graduation. And the thing is, I am not ashamed to admit any of this.

Original photo from Rookie Yearbook, photo illustration created from original in Photoshop.

Original photo from Rookie Yearbook, photo illustration created from original in Photoshop.

There is a particular fart that I remember vividly. Probably because I was so mortified by it at the time. In 8th grade, I was sitting in my geography history classroom watching a War of 1812 documentary with the rest of my class. About halfway through the film, I started to feel it brewing. A big, round, loud one, getting ready to break free. Whatever I had eaten for lunch was clearly not digesting as well as it could have been. I tried my best to hold it in, clenching my butt cheeks together and praying that it would pass.

A transition in the film left the screen black and the music quiet. For dramatic effect, the music soon stopped all together and suddenly, the War of 1812 was not the biggest battle going on in that classroom. I clenched my cheeks so hard that they began to grow sore, and of course, that is when the class clown decided to crack a snide remark that I thankfully did not hear amidst my intense concentration. The class erupted in laughter, and I saw opportunity in the noise. I tried to sneak the fart out as carefully and quietly as possible, but my teacher, unamused by the joke, yelled and startled me. As many of you may know, trying to hold a fart in when you get surprised like that is nearly impossible, and it just needed to come out.

After being stifled for too long, the fart had grown too large. The sound was amplified against my plastic chair and reverberated through the room. It sounded as if someone had popped a balloon – only several decibels louder and far lower pitched. It was sudden, but everyone knew what had just happened.

Even though everyone had heard the sound of a fart before, what happened after was predictable. Laughter spread through the room like it always did when someone would “let one loose” in middle school. But once everyone had their giggle, they looked around the room for the embarrassed culprit. Many eyes went to the young boys in the room. I got a few confused side glances from the people close to me.

Was it her? I could feel them think.

Now, at the time, I was mortified by the experience. But looking back made me wonder why everyone immediately looked to the boys for a confession or a look of guilt plastered on their face. Girls fart too! I want to scream it at the top of my lungs! We cut the cheese. We let ‘er blow, we toot, and we can clear the savannah if we want to – just like Pumbaa.

The stigma that surrounds farting – especially girls farting – is incredibly stupid. The idea that girls don’t fart, or should fart less, heightens hyper-feminine stereotypes and is in its essence supporting societal gender roles.

A girl should be able to fart as much as she pleases without feeling ashamed. Next time I walk down the street I want to hear you toot! Whether you’re pulling the walking fart and leaving a trail of stink behind you, letting big ones blow, or farting in rapid succession like machine gun fire, you should not feel bad about it. It’s a bodily function and it happens for a reason.

That being said, try to be considerate of your friends and be polite, this goes for guys too! Try your best not to let the super-stinkers out while you’re enclosed in small places together.

And yes, I did fart while writing this.