Vagina Shaming.

by Lori Dwyer on June 13, 2013 · 12 comments

Once upon a time, many many moons ago when my son was just a baby, I went to my local doctor and requested a pap test.

Which the doctor refused to perform, sending me away with a half-baked excuse about how he “didn’t do that procedure” and leaving me to make an alternate appointment, with a different doctor.

It also left me with that feeling that I think a lot of women reading this will identify with- that there was something inherently shameful, distasteful and probably unclean about my vagina.

I shouldn’t have to feel that way anywhere, and neither should anyone else. Especially not in a doctor’s office.

Not that it’s anything new. My first introduction to the fact that vagina’s had a smell at all came from the boys on my primary school bus route. When the stench of the nearby creek crept through the bus windows and assaulted our noses, these kid would pick a random female on the bus and tell her to “Close your legs!!” before dissolving into laughter.

It bothered me then, for all kinds of reasons I couldn’t name. It bothers me now, still. Mainly because boys like those on my school bus never really grew up.

They just got taller. And some of them became politicians.

In case you missed the media sh*t storm from your vantage point under that rock, a menu distributed at a recent function used this terminology to describe a dish named after our Prime Minister…

“Small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box”

Because, in case you missed this too, our PM has a vagina.

In truth, it’s an old joke, another one I’ve been hearing since high school. Something about KFC giving you a breast and thighs and a greasy box to put your bone into when you’re ‘done’.

Because, of course, vagina’s are greasy. They smell. They’re dirty.

For pity’s sake.

I’m not going to repeat the same circle jerking arguments that are going on in the Australian media right now. The fact that Julia Gillard (that’s the PM, for those of you in Oman. Hi, Erin) had to defend herself against this is ridiculous. The fact that she might have to defend herself for defending herself  is worse.

As Eden so succinctly put it– would it be okay to say “Obama’s big black cock”? Of course not. But even if it was, it wouldn’t have quite the same tone. A penis is something to be proud of. A vagina, apparently, is not.

Enough of the stupidity. Enough of the misogyny.

And enough of the vagina shaming.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Charmaine June 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Yes, whether one likes Julia Gillard or not, it is disgusting that our first female prime minister has been subjected to criticism for so many non political things! Yeah sure, we all commented on John Howard’s bushy eyebrows but his appearance never really mattered.
As for the doctor that didn’t do Pap smears…really? Wow, he’d never have made it on “Embarrassing bodies” that’s for sure!


Rosie June 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Well said Lori.


spagsy June 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I read somewhere that we shouldn’t tell people to grow a pair of balls because they are weak and fragile and that we should wish people to grow a vagina because they really take a beating.

All politics aside I really feel bad for the PM. Anyone who thinks that things for women in the workplace are equal to men really only need to look as far as our political figures. I struggle with being fan of banging on and on about women’s rights because it just highlights that we are different, when that isn’t what it is about. It is just about people. We are all people. It shouldn’t really matter. Maybe its my HR hat, but people should be ‘judged’ based on themselves and that person they are, not by some characteristic. God made us people.

“people are just people, they shouldn’t make you nervous… people are just people like you…”
spagsy recently posted…Cut it out.My Profile


Cassondra June 15, 2013 at 6:13 am

Um, how is it that guys like this EVER get laid!?


Inert June 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

Just quickly, The Menu was served at a Liberal function, not a Labor function.


Carol June 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Just quickly, it was NOT served at any function! It was one idiot who showed “it” to a mate. No-one at any function, either Liberal or Labour saw it!!


Alisia June 14, 2013 at 11:47 am

Fake or not, it was created, someone thought it was appropriate to make and distribute through the media, and other people think it is ‘just a joke’ or worse still, they think it is FUNNY! – this whole thing is a HUGE problem. I’m with you Lori, enough with the shaming.


Sarah June 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

Umm… you realise the menu was faked, and your outrage is based on something that didn’t happen?


Lori Dwyer June 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

Sarah, the fact that it’s all over the media isn’t enough? ‘Faked’, as you put it, or not- it’s still there.
Does the fact that it was an ‘in-joke’ make it any less offensive…?
Lori Dwyer recently posted…Vagina Shaming.My Profile


Carol June 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

And of course, the PM has had to defend her relationship on radio, coz the idiot radio presenter refused to allow her to end the conversation he was trying to have about the sexuality of her partner – coz that’s what this election is all about. That and blue ties (which, by the by, the Labor pollies are wearing).


Drea B June 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm

It’s isn’t fake. It’s real, it exists, some guy decided it would be a great joke to create it. Whether it was used at a function or distributed beyond a small number of people doesn’t alter the reality of that piece of paper. No one is denying they made it, simply the audience that saw it.


rhonda June 14, 2013 at 1:34 am

I cannot believe that this is still going on in the year 2013. Next time I hear a group of adolescent boys vagina shaming I’m going to remark that it’s certainly good they think vaginas are so disgusting because they certainly aren’t ever going to have the pleasure of seeing one.
rhonda recently posted…1,577,880 MINUTES OF MARRIAGEMy Profile


Previous post:

Next post: