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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and a News Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently a journalism student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

Matt Damon: ‘I’m Going on Strike!’

Actor and co-founder of Water.org, Matt Damon announced earlier this afternoon that he would go on strike from using toilets, creating headlines around the world. Yes, you read it correctly. “Jason Bourne” is not going to use a toilet…

The Academy Award-winning actor took to the podium today, announcing in a faux press conference for Water.org that he will boycott toilets until more people are aware of the global water sanitation crisis. It may not be the headline you imagined reading today, but it’s raising quite a “stink”. Many don’t realize that water is more than just two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen or something that comes out of our faucets and we take bubble baths in. It’s the lifeblood of our bodies, our economy, nation and well-being. Without it, survival would be a great challenge but in an age where we have forgotten our origins and grown blind to our needs and satisfying only our wants, water is one of the natural resources that has suffered heavily from our disregard.

The press conference might have been a joke and was pretty hilarious, but it contains real facts and statistics that are alarming. Many of us are fortunate to conduct our bathroom business behind closed doors, but did you know that

  • 1 in 3 people in the world do not have access to a clean, safe and private toilet;
  • 780 million people don’t have access to clean water but 6 billion people have cell phones;
  • 2.5 billion people still lack access to a private toilet or basic sanitation;
  • 3.4 million people die each year from a water-related illness (that’s the approximate population of Los Angeles);
  • Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness (that’s 3 children a minute);
  • Women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water

Discussing toilets and basically, “talking crap” is a taboo subject for many and one that will make a ton of people laugh (trust me, I’ve seen it!) because it sounds unrealistic and just too comical because “poop jokes are so incredibly funny!” but the absence of such a necessity is an everyday reality for those in developing countries who tirelessly endure the water crisis.

Image Credit: Water.org

Image Credit: Water.org

So what’s Damon got to do with toilets? Since its creation, the toilet has brought great benefits to better sanitation, health and hygiene. Can you imagine going to the toilet in a muddy ditch? Or defecating in rivers, lakes, fields or railway tracks? That is the reality for many around the world and with the proven fact that more people today have a cell phone than a toilet, it’s reason enough to bring massive awareness to such an issue.

In the video, the co-founder holds a mock press conference announcing his strike against the toilet in efforts to raise awareness and create discussion as more people pay attention to the water crisis. In a humorous way, he fields questions from a room full of reporters who are cynical and shocked. Damon’s gone down a clever road here, utilizing comedy to help raise awareness and rid the stigma of such topics that many don’t discuss in public. He told the LA Times,

The concept of experimenting with comedy to generate new levels of awareness and participation in the cause is something we’ve been toying with for a couple of years. If Sarah Silverman and I can generate millions of views on YouTube for something ridiculous, then we should be able to do better for one of the most important and solvable issues of our time.

World Toilet Day and explored the cause while bringing to light the reason for such a day. Toilets bring privacy, safety and dignity to everyone who uses them. However, that’s not the case in developing countries where a lot still lack proper sanitation and have no access to a bathroom. Having one nearby means no one needs to suffer embarrassment when relieving themselves or worse yet for women, cleaning up during menstruation.

With the use of a toilet, life becomes easier. Take for instance young girls. If they’re able to clean up after themselves, they avoid illness and are able to continue their education without hardships. When they’re able to get back to their lives and attend school, they ultimately become an asset to their community and develop economic stability. For us, all we see is a porcelain bowl shaped throne but for many it’s a clean stable life source. With a toilet at their convenience, no one has to wait until darkness, risking rape or encounters with wild animals. For so many families it would mean they don’t have to see their own suffer from pointless diseases that are clearly preventable. It’s an unfortunate statistic that children in poor environments can carry up to 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any given time. The startling fact is, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 5 worldwide and all because of the lack of one basic item: the toilet.

With humor being an anchor in this campaign for creating a broad awareness, Damon takes it to YouTube with popular v-loggers, WheezyWaiter, LivePrudeGirls, ShayCarl and LisBug. Each one of them has their own style on their approach to raising awareness and getting others involved.

Now you might be wondering, what can we do? Well basically, it boils down to water. It plays a big part with the sanitation crisis around the world. For $25, you can give a person clean water for life. That’s not a lot. Twenty-five dollars basically means spending money on maybe four drinks at Starbucks, or purchasing a new shirt at the mall, or even going to the movies with a friend. It’s been estimated that every dollar spent on water and sanitation generates returns of $8 in saved time, increased productivity and reduced health care costs and that’s a reality that needs to be focused on. Support the strike by signing up today and make your voice heard online through Water Day, March 22 2013.

We need to push forth with this campaign and make it our number one priority to help those who need it most! The water sanitation crisis won’t solve itself and it needs our voice. This is an issue that needs to be flushed away and solved. Let’s not leave Matt Damon down in the dumps! Personally, I believe he’s a cinematic asset and we definitely don’t want him to explode and damage his beautiful internal organs, so come on. Raise your voice with me and do your part to help make a difference today.

To join Matt Damon and Water.org on their toilet strike, visit StrikeWithMe.org for more details on how you can learn more about the water crisis, donate money and sign up to integrate your social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to raise awareness.

 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Happy World Water Day! | The Hudsucker - March 22, 2013

    […] month in anticipation of World Water Day, Matt Damon went on a toilet strike, garnering much attention and recognition for the day. The actor announced in a faux press […]

  2. Matt Damon: “I’m Going on Strike” | westlifebunny - March 30, 2013

    […] Continue reading… […]

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