Something has long puzzled me. Why do some men feel (and act on) the need to spit on the streets, sidewalks, parks, etc.? I’m not talking about tobacco juice or phlegm. The activity I have observed involves just plain saliva. It seems to be exclusively male behavior; I’ve never seen a woman do it.
We all produce saliva. It’s very natural. But I have never personally experienced any problems in saliva management. I just automatically swallow it. No thinking or planning required. It just happens.
So why do some guys seem to need to spit the stuff out at fairly regular intervals? Is this a genuine need? (Drool avoidance?) Or is it a personal statement of some sort? Are the men who engage in this behavior asserting something? What? Masculinity? Toughness? But what’s particularly male or especially tough about saliva? Could it be an expression of contempt? But contempt for what? The particular bit of ground on which their saliva lands? The city or town they are in? The whole universe? Everyone in sight? What if we’re all total strangers? What could they have against us? Are these guys dangerous? Is spitting a prelude to running amok?