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.