The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

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Opinion: A Work of Fart

Flatulence and belching are unfairly stigmatized. Holding our breath for a few seconds is much less painful than holding in gas for a few minutes.
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drawing by Olivia Stewart
The act of farting might leave an unpleasant smell, but should it really be frowned upon?

In today’s shaky political climate, one issue lingers in the air. A stigma has been unjustly silencing Americans for generations, stripping them of a fundamental human birthright. It’s time that society takes back their autonomy. Today, we take back our rights…to fart and to burp.

For years, a stigma has existed around the acts of flatulence and belching. However, the reality is that all people burp and fart; they are natural bodily functions that everyone does for not only their comfort but also their health.

According to Kimberly Holland, a writer for Healthline, farting is merely the “by-product of a digestive system at work. In fact, farting is healthy and good for your body.”

There are numerous benefits to flatulence that should not be discounted. Farting can serve as a way to track how healthy one’s diet is, as diets that include “lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and grains” will often lead to a higher level of gas production than one of only “simple carbohydrates.”

Additionally, farting can provide relief to various types of physical discomfort. When people “eat, chew, swallow, and process food,” they build up gas in their digestive tracts. If too much is built up, “it can eventually cause pain and discomfort” or bloating, “a feeling of swelling and fullness.” The act of farting releases that gas and any pain that came along with it.

Holding in a fart is harmful, for it can actually cause damage to a person’s body. As stated by Holland, “[H]olding in gas too frequently can actually irritate the colon. It may also irritate hemorrhoids.” Basically, “releasing gas is always healthier than holding it in.”

The reality is that all people burp and fart; they are natural bodily functions that everyone does for not only their comfort but also their health.

Like flatulence, belching is a natural phenomenon that is beneficial for relieving pressure caused by the building up of gas internally.

According to  Matthew Solan, Executive Editor for Harvard Men’s Health Watch, belching is a “protective mechanism that prevents the stomach from overinflating.”

Despite the benefits of flatulence and belching, the two natural phenomena face scrutiny, for many view farting and burping as laughable, rude, disruptive, or repulsive. While there is something to be said about accounting for the comfort of others, infringing on one’s rights to exercise harmless bodily functions is unethical.

Firstly, while many point out the smell of a fart or burp, complaining about it is actually quite hypocritical. Every human being has to let out gas, and thus every human being has smelled their own gas before. Therefore, everyone should be at least slightly accustomed to the smell. Just because someone else decides not to live with the discomfort of keeping their gas contained does not give people the right to scold them for a fragrance that is not only out of their control, but also something they should be–at least to some extent–used to.

Lastly, society should stop making flatulence and belching the subjects of mockery. A majority of people who wish to fart or burp in public are not doing so for attention; they simply want to rid themselves of the internal pressure caused by all the gasses that build up. 

While there is not a problem with having a slight chuckle when someone farts–it is spontaneous, and therefore, it can be funny–there is a line between harmless laughter and mockery. If a person is visibly uncomfortable with the attention they are getting, they deserve to be left alone.

The smell of a fart may be uncomfortable, and the sound of a burp may be distracting, but so long as a person’s flatulence or belching is not excessive, the only thing that should be expected from them is a simple “excuse me.”

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About the Contributor
Sunny Li
Sunny Li, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Sunny is a Senior at NASH who is writing for the Uproar for the second and final year. As one of three Editors-in-Chief, Sunny hopes to inspire the rest of the Uproar's staff to go outside the box with wacky, yet well-constructed works. Outside of writing for the Uproar, Sunny enjoys aiding, guiding, and competing for the Speech and Debate team as one of two event leaders for Interpretation.

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