Thursday, December 1, 2016

Why Do People Experience Embarrassment When They Express Loud or Smelly Farts in Public?


Have you ever accidentally let out a fart in polite company? Have you ever been in a situation where you are talking earnestly about the world situation when you cut the cheese, and emit one of those silent but deadly farts that stops your audience in their tracks? It’s like being hit by a rabbit punch isn’t it (both for them and you)? What makes it even more upsetting is that in most cases you never saw it coming, since you weren't intentionally relieving pressure by pushing gas out. However, have you ever found yourself behaving unethically in such situations by giving the person sitting next to you a queer look as if it was they, not you, who broke wind? There are rape kits for testing victims, but no fart kits to track perpetrators and determine who's really to blame. Most of the time it’s really your glance against theirs. Eskimos openly fart in their igloos and it’s easy to see why. Farts are a source of warm air. But why is farting, a natural process that results from gases building up in the intestinal tract and bowels such a source of embarrassment to many people? The Romanian philosopher E.M. Cioran wrote a portentous sounding tome entitled The Temptation to Exist, though a casual scanning of the volume provides no answer to this as yet unsolved mystery of human behavior. Dogs show no signs of shame when they fart and human beings, as we have seen from the recent election, are not bashful when it comes to emitting hot air from their mouths. Yet some people become so embarrassed by this lack of control of their bodily functions (particularly in high school), that they recuse themselves from the stage of human life. This of course is not the case with Donald Trump, who would likely not skip a beat, were he to fart while addressing the nation or undressing a woman.

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