This Sexist Ad For Children's Urinals Is Exactly Where Toxic Masculinity Takes Root
Picture this: You’re on Facebook one day when you see a weird and sexist ad for a patently ridiculous item for children. The item is a urinal for children shaped like a frog. The ad copy tells you, “Don’t Let Your Boy Pee Like A Girl!” What do you do? You do what Sam Chaplin did: You take a screenshot of it and you post it to Twitter with the funniest commentary you can think of. And then you wait for the reactions to roll in, because you just know it’s going to be good. Right? Right.
That is exactly what happened earlier this week. On Monday, Sept. 4, Chaplin, who is one half of the duo behind the podcast Cinema Swirl, posted a tweet that has, as of this writing, been liked 96,000 times and retweeted29,000 times — and honestly, it’s not hard to see why: This whole thing is absurd. The tweet features an ad Chaplin presumably saw on Facebook for a urinal shaped like a frog meant for children —but although that’s kind of frightening enough on its own (do kids really need their own at-home urinals? What’s wrong with the toilet? Why does it have to be shaped like a frog? Why do kids need to peein a frog’s mouth?), the kicker is the ad copy: It reads, “Don’t Let Your Boy Pee Like A Girl!”, while the post itself uses the text, “Grow Your Boy To Be A Men!”
It’s… truly something else. And Chaplin’s commentary on the ad nails it:
PISS IN THE FROG'S MOUTH LIKE A MEN!! pic.twitter.com/FbwPkKDOUf— Sammy (@SamChaplin) September 4, 2017
I can’t get over the whole “encourage your kids to pee in a frog’s mouth” thing. I just can't.
On top of which is, of course, the fact that the ad copy is blatantly sexist and reinforces toxic masculinity — and it's for a product that’s for kids. Yes, do let’s start teaching kids to disparage things coded as “feminine” from an early age and tell boys that it’s shameful or embarrassing to do anything “like a girl,” let alone pee like one. What a wonderful idea. In that really, really, not wonderful kind of way. I feel like this shouldn't need to be said, but everyone is free to pee however they like — whether that's sitting down, standing, or something else — no matter how old they are or how they identify. Just, y'know, clean up after yourself if you make a mess. That is literally the only rule.
The item is a real item, by the way (in case you were thinking that this whole thing was so bizarre it couldn’t possibly be real); the website featured in the ad Chaplin found is called Baby’s Steps. The frog urinal can be purchased at that site for £11.00 (a little more than $14). It comes in four colors: Blue, yellow, green,and “coffee,” which appears to be a brown frog with a white mouth. The website also seems to have a bit of a typo problem, so in that context, the whole “Grow Your Boy To Be A Men!” thing makes a little more sense — not a lot more, but some.
For what it’s worth, Baby’s Steps seems to be quite new; according to its WhoIs data, the babys-steps.com domain was registered via GoDaddy in Essex in the UK on Aug. 2, 2017. This matches up with when its social media pages were launched — the Baby's Steps Twitter page was created in August of 2017, and its very first Facebook post dates back to Aug. 7. Going by its reviews on Facebook, it also seems to have had something of a rocky start; all nine of the reviews that are currently live rate Baby Steps at one star. (Ouch.)
I also, uh, ran a reverse image search on the blue frog urinal and found out that you can buy it on Ali Express for about seven or eight bucks. So… there’s that.
(This story ended up going down a much deeper rabbit hol ethan I was expecting. Just sayin’.)
In any event, Twitter is having a field day with this whole thing — both the ad and the item — so come. Let us revel in the internet’s collective wit together. Here are some of the best reactions to… well… everything:
the alpha males are here and they want to teach you to piss in a frog's mouth pic.twitter.com/pVQnYCpHr7— jay (@jaydestro) September 4, 2017
Such masculine. Much wow.
Sorry, real men sit to pee. IMHO— Derek Thomas (@derekwthomas) September 5, 2017
3But Does It Work?
My son was sent one of these from a friend that thought it would help with potty training. It scares the sh!t out of him pic.twitter.com/CAK45S5JBW— 2 Dope Moms (@GetEmGirl) September 5, 2017
Not according to this parent.
4Also, This Is A Legit Concern
Wait....the close-up makes it worse. What's with the spinny thing? To teach aim, I assume, but wouldn't it just throw pee back at the kid?— mike palmieri (@mpalmieri_) September 5, 2017
Hundo percent. That is absolutely what it will do. And it will not be a good time.
There is a 100% chance my kids would pull this off the wall— Nichole Persing (@NPersing11) September 4, 2017
Yep. And that, too, will not be a good time.
6About That Picture...
Are we not going to discuss how they could even think about getting four mens babies to pee at the same time? Is that at a stadium?— Hissy Possum (@HissyPossum) September 4, 2017
Gang's all here. Or... something.
7The Origin Story
Out of curiosity I visited their site - I don't feel clarity has been given. pic.twitter.com/0OtVviYZg8— Hannah Rutherford (@lomadia) September 5, 2017
I had this exact same experience. There is no clarity to be found there. Only confusion. So much confusion.
8About That Typo...
he will be so manly that he will be several men in one!— Comrade Conrad (@DetroitQSpider) September 4, 2017
9How Much Do Your Parents Really Love You?
Man, I wish my parents loved me enough to raise me to be one collective men...— 🌴Chaokonut🌴 (@CHAOKOCartoons) September 4, 2017
Not enough, clearly.
10What We're All Thinking
Me too, bud. Me too.
11How The Dank Was Won
does this mean.. I watched the birthing of a dank?— dankDerk (@BooniesVictim) September 5, 2017
YOU DID. Tell us, was it magical? It must have been magical.
Ad is crap re its attempt to define manhood, but If lil boys don't learn to pee standing, how will they learn to write their names in snow?— steve sheere (@ssheere01) September 5, 2017
Isn't that one of the great joys of having a penis? (I mean, I don't have one myself, but that's my understanding.)
13"When I Was Your Age..."
In my day, we had to catch our own frog to piss in. Babies today are sawft.— Matt Gamble (@WTLTE) September 4, 2017
This was after walking uphill to school (both ways, in the snow), of course.
14Flipping The Script...?
Imagine she-wee ads like this. "DON'T LET YOUR GIRL PEE LIKE A GIRL!"— Duncan Joyce (@save_us_DaJ) September 4, 2017
Here's where you can get a Shewee. You're welcome.
15Not Mincing Words
this is one of the most offensive fucking things i’ve ever seen— Kris Straub @ PAX (@krisstraub) September 5, 2017
In all seriousness, it is. Because of this next point:
You know what they say, girls will be girls... and boys will only truly be men if they learn to piss down the throat of a lesser being— Naturally Tay 🍝✨🌙 (@TaylorACrockett) September 5, 2017
Like... why are we teaching this lesson to kids?