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October 6, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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Victorian Faeces

Dr Peter Manglethwaite is conducting a study on the sociology of defecation in the Occident. He aims to identify trends regarding the act of taking a shit from antiquity to today.

“It’s really interesting,” Manglethwaite explains, “seeing how the social connotations of defecation have changed over time.”

Manglethwaite’s findings are not especially shocking. “In the classical age, with public baths and all, people were pretty open about it. They’d have political meetings while taking a shit and stuff. They were totally cool with the idea of taking a poo in front of their friends.”

“Of course, that all changed in the Medieval era. Because the body was sin, and all that, anything physiological was not only gross, it was sinful. You can see this in a lot of customs from the time, but particular with taking a dump.”

“Things have become more liberal since them. Which is good. But it’s still not possible to drop the kids off at the pool in public and get away with it. Yet. It’s something I’m working on.”

Another topic he’s looking at is the fetishisation of the toilet since the 19th century. “Since the Industrial Revolution, people, for some reasons, have been finding new things to find sexy. As I am of course in favour of ‘alternative sexualities’, the eroticisation of laying a cable is remarkably novel. It’s really only coming of age now, and this is fascinating, from my, er, scholarly perspective.”

Dr Peter Manglethwaite holds a BA in linguistics and political science, a BSci in biology and computer science PhD in something from Victoria University. He may also be fictional.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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