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Fifty Plus: Female flatulation is funny!

linda r. jones
Linda R. Jones/Photo by Kevin Blackburn

Column by Linda R. Jones

Most of us have probably been exposed to the “pull my finger” joke and then Dad or Grandpa farts and everyone laughs.  It’s acceptable.  Men can fart publicly and merely say “excuse me” and press on.  So why is it unladylike and unacceptable for women to fart?  The word itself is considered unladylike.  Fart.  It’s a funny word and when a person farts it’s relieving – even for women.

Since I turned fifty, my gas build-up has been increasing, intense in odor, and random.  I also don’t make much of an attempt to hold back either.  It’s not as though I’m trying to be anti-social or crude but I’m fifty-five now.  I’ll fart when I need to.  Sometimes I just walk and poof a little flap of wind leaves my backside.  Those are the random, odorless, and unexpected ones.  I call them old lady farts and I acknowledge them.  “Yes, that was me.  This one won’t smell.”  What else can I do?  I don’t mean to poof from backside so I own up to it.  People are initially stunned but then they laugh.

There is also the body contortion flatulation category.  Those are also in the surprise random subsection.  I bend over to pick up something, carefully so I don’t pull my back, and poof, another one slips out.  Those can be noisy depending upon the amount of exertion necessary to move.  Mine are usually noisy.  Again, I acknowledge it.  “Yes, that was me.  You’re safe.  This one won’t smell.”  Again, people are initially stunned but then they laugh.  I break that awkward silence that follows when a woman farts loudly in a gathering, where everyone knows who it was yet no one says anything.  I consider my actions and statements social etiquette.  I relieve everyone.

Now, on to flatulation that smells.  My farts that smell range from horrific in scent to clear out a room scent.  Those are the ones that start to build up, my stomach cramps a little, and I try to get to an unoccupied area.  I know it will smell and I truly don’t want to make anyone ill.  It’s not always possible.  Sometimes I’m just stuck in an area where I can’t leave.  I excuse myself verbally but the action is done.  Again, that awkward aftermath.

The subsection on flatulation odor is the classic “silent but deadly” one.  Sometimes they creep up quickly or build up slowly.  Sometimes I think I can just let it slip out and no one will hear or smell anything.  There is usually no cramping associated with this one.  It happened to me again a few days ago at the salon at closing time.  Fortunately, there were no clients in the shop.  I was standing at the reception area with one of the stylists.  I thought this one would just slip out undetected.  It was the type that as soon as it slipped out I knew the damage it would cause.

“Jennifer.  You may want to move a little.  I just farted and it’s going to smell.”

Poor Jennifer.  “Oh my, LINDA!  Why would you do that?!  Oh no!  I can smell it!”

She had that laugh when you’re horrified yet amused at the same time.  Besides passing gas I also broke the silence.  That’s when it occurred to me.  We need to change our social etiquette specifically for women in reference to flatulating.  I suggest we fart when we have to.  Any participants, farters and fartees, all applaud and say something like, “That was awesome!  It was so loud and smells disgusting.”  This way, no one is embarrassed or uncomfortable and we can all just go on with our business.

Let ‘em rip, ladies.

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