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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Vaginas vote?

I didn't know much what to say about this article when I read it. I liked The Vagina Monologues, but now it occurs to me that they might have been so hilarious because Ensler's one-track mind wasn't front and center. Instead, it was a bunch of different, often hilarious, voices speaking about all sorts of vagina-related topics. Anyway, I don't think it's a waste of time to talk about the organ itself in a direct manner. Like it or not, the degrading of women's personhood goes all the way down to degrading our genitals. As a culture, we don't even like to admit vaginas exist--the whole concept of "penis envy" only works in a society that already conceives women as lacking something instead of just having something different. And when they are refered to as a void, a hole, then they are cesspools, constantly refered to as something dirty.

All this is tedious and tiresome to feminists who've heard it all before. I had to laugh at the letters to the editor at Salon today that addressed just that. God knows that no one in my liberal, enlightened, 21st century social circle would crack on how vaginas stink or imply that men who eat downtown are somehow degrading themselves. And while equality still isn't here--I have yet to hear a woman casually mention her cunt like guys while casually mention their dicks--the extreme negativity has really disappeared. For us. would be ignorant to think that much of, if not most, of the country still has really negative attitudes towards women's nether regions. And those negative attitudes create all sorts of immediate problems, not the least of which is health problems that result from women's reluctance to get medical care that would put them in situations where they have to acknowledge having a vagina out loud. That, and messages that vaginas don't exist or that they are cesspools help make it more acceptable to treat women themselves like they are broken, that something's screwed up about women. So, discussions about sex and body are important and need a place at the table.

But I agree, this "Vaginas Vote" stuff is silly and insulting. There has to be middle ground between acknowledging that women have vaginas and telling women they are vaginas. If they want to get women riled up to vote against Bush, it should be enough to point out that Bush is actively working to take away hard-won educational and employment rights, and to tell women that their reproductive rights are under attack without getting all touchy-feely with the vagina stuff. In my experience, even women who would never admit to having a sexual thought or feeling in the world still would flip out if their birth control pills were taken away.


Blogger Astarte said...

It's an insult of pretty hgh caliber to call a man a dick, yet we're running around calling each other vaginas?

Someone's laughing really hard at our expense.


Blogger mythago said...

Better, why are we referring to the external female genitalia as "vagina"? The vagina is the birth canal. The vulva is the collective term for the outside parts.


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