Piss on Patriarchy

Saturday 00:30

Pissen aufs Patriarchat

Lena Fakler | 
2023 | 
Germany | 
9:32 mins | 
Marie is driving on the highway and needs to pee urgently. But the toilet at the rest stop is broken. And an increasingly absurd odyssey through this toxic male biotope begins for Marie - and ends in blood. Trigger warning: sexualized harassment, violence.


Cole Diment

Piss on Patriarchy, by Lena Fakler, is a cross genre hybrid of action and comedy, with a feminist twist. The film takes us through the patriarchal codings of public spaces, and its misogynistic limitations, and playfully flips the script in a violent bloodbath ending!

The scenario is simple enough. Stopping at a petrol station late at night, our female protagonist is desperate for the loo. However, what starts as a simple need eventually turns into a complex and barred desire. The petrol station is operated by men, frequented by men and the codes of conduct that regulate the space are created by and favourable to men. A certain dark comedy arises in the absurdity of this scenario, one that expresses the darkness, strangeness and turmoil of being conceptually marked by gender.

The question of violence thus looms large over Piss on Patriarchy. We are invited into thinking about two distinct modes of violence, subjective and objective violence, and their impacts and originations within the psyche. On one hand we have the obvious subjective violence of our female protagonist. This sits large and clear in the film. One can imagine critiques of this scene: “why would she be so violent?”, “what does this resolve?”, “if the goal of feminism is equality why this violent ideation?”. Such critiques fail to come to terms with the objective violence of a patriarchal system, one that attempts to disavow the presence of its rules in favour of cultivating the image of an equal ground upon which acts mete out. Of course, this is not the case. There is no neutral ground. Even more so, the subjective violence of our female protagonist has its roots in the structure of the patriarchal society itself. It is not a violent act out of neutral space, but a provoked and gradually blooming act of violence created by marginalisation.

Should we not sympathise with those pushed to such extremes?