Did Somebody Say Vagina?
Okay, it’s a new day, and it’s time to lighten things up a bit. Ready? We’re going to talk about…no, not vaginas, per se, but WTF is it with some people. Here we go:
It never ceases to amaze me how uncomfortable some men are with the very idea of lady-parts and the functions thereof.
Take menstruation. Yeah, it’s messy and some people can’t deal with the idea of blood. But period blood is somehow different. It’s like my friend Amy said the other day when she read M’s story of sexism in the workplace, “I get the feeling that this executive VP would also refuse to go camping with a lady-person. You know. Because of bears.” Yes, this is still a thing with some people. Because the bear is going to be more attracted to a menstruating woman than to that steak you’re grilling or that deer you’re gutting next to the campfire. Bears want to steal your pic-a-nic basket, not your women.
Ok, maybe that’s not really about the fact that it’s period blood (or maybe it is) but you can’t even bring up the fact that you have a period, or ovaries, or a uterus in front of some men without them blanching and looking like they might faint. My neighbor says a male friend recently admonished her for talking about her hormones when she was feeling crappy because EW!!! WIMMIN STUFF!!! And you should have seen the look on my friend’s boyfriend’s face the other day at the end of a trip when she tossed him a knotted plastic grocery bag and he let it fall to the floor without any attempt to catch it because OMG it had her underwear in it which had been stained with blood, rinsed, and wrapped securely for transport home. He laughed at himself right along with the rest of us, but there it was for everyone to see: EW.
With all this discomfort around the very fact of female anatomy, the day was going to come when one of us spoke out of turn and the menfolk had to put us in our place. And it did in mid-June when Michigan House Speaker James Bolger banned Lisa Brown from speaking on the floor for her use of the word “vagina” (claiming it was the “no means no” part that really disturbed him, but that apparently did not lead to an epiphany on his part). The Internet LOL’d and the word “vagina” became a trending topic on multiple social media platforms.
I am over you being afraid of vaginas! I am over trans-vaginal wands and dudes who want to control my vagina but are afraid to know my vagina, respect my vagina. Who can’t even SAY vagina!
Gotta love a good backlash!
What is the basis of all this vagina fear? I would say it’s the natural human fear of “the other,” but, um, I don’t fear penises. Should I? Am I missing some crucial self-preservation instinct? I also don’t fear semen, and I don’t freak out or barf if I have to go near it, like I do with poop or vomit. Is it the blood? Maybe, in some cases, but if so, why the EW-don’t-talk-about-your-lady-business-around-me BS? That can’t all be about blood.
Luckily, some boys are raised with a rational understanding of the differences between men and women, and seemingly no fear of discussing the issue. Like this young man:
Did you watch it? You should really watch it. It’s disgustingly cute. Anyway, let’s hope brave souls like this one can help to normalize the use of anatomically correct terms and in doing so, diminish some of the fear around them. You, too, can help. Spread the word.
A biology teacher from Idaho is under investigation by the state’s professional standards commission following his shocking attempt to teach his students what a vagina is. For those of you who were not raised by deviants, FYI: a vagina is a reproductive organ belonging to all female placental mammals. Once a month, human vaginas spew forth blood because they are agents of evil and decay. The only time a human child should ever see or think about a vagina is the moment that they slither out of it, and then never again.