BATHROOM GRAFFITI SERIES
When i send my daughter to college, I will tell her to make her first stop the restroom to inscribe all her important thoughts and questions on the walls of the cubicle, visit it daily making sure to follow the advise etched under her questions, being careful not to flush any comments with her waste products.
“How often do you masturbate? and how long does it take you to reach an organism?”
“I reach organism through masturbation, but never while having sex”
“What does it feel like? is it incredible, will i ever reach it? please help”
“Have you discussed this with your lover? If not do so. Have your lover, him or her pleasure you the same way you do during masturbation. Try more foreplay, and by the time you get around to intercourse there shouldn't be too much problem. On the other hand, not all women climax during intercourse. See a sex therapist, if all fails try god. He gives good head”
Before you send your daughter off to college, pay the exorbitant tuition, buy her a personal computer and give her a mastercard. Insist that she refrains from using the public johns, and if by chance she must, forbid her to read any of the scribble on the walls. No telling what she might learn, or the ideas she might ponder.
If your daughter's roommate calls you up and says your daughter refuses to leave the john, that she visits it daily, even cutting classes, taking her notebook and computerin the stalls staying in there forever,
scribbling frantically before she emerges, don't hesitate, call the dean of students at once. Demand that scrubbers and painters be dispatched to the john, have all the wallswashed and laminated, and call the degraffiti john counselor immediately. Your daughter will need all your support. Total recovery is almost always impossible.
Your daughter comes home between spring break. You notice she has gained weight and she seems obsessed with food. You invite her to go jogging with you, but she stares at you hard, then shaking her head sadly begins to admonish you.
“you should love your body and eat healthy for life, don't try to be a 90-pound stickor go on crash diets”
You look at her as if she's lost her mind. She leaves you feeling stupid and locks herself in the bathroom. Confused, you pace around. Five minutes pass. Your daughter is still in the bathroom. Ten minutes twenty. Concerned, you knock on the door
silence then a flush
Your daughter emerges with a grin on her face. You go to relieve yourself. Then you see the scribble on the wall:
“Fat disempowers women”
“Bullshit, only if you think it does”
arrows connecting both responses
You fight back tears, your poor daughter, stressed from the pressures of school. You go to wash your hands and between the sink and the medicine chest, sprawled in red"
“Diets disempower women, love your body”
You wash the tears from your eyes, take a deep breath, and plan what to say to your daughter. But words leave you, for the bathroom door reads:
“Lack of self-esteem disempowers women, because it makes us vulnerable to all kinds of psychological manipulations”
You nod your head in agreement, and enter the kitchen feeling very thin.
Opal Palmer Adisa, Bathroom Graffiti Series "Feminist Studies" Vol.20, No.3. (Autumn, 1994)pp.558-563.