Sunday, February 18, 2007

I've got your 'consent' right here...

Just in case you didn't hear me.

Now for something completely different and waaay after everyone else has finished talking about it.

The Vagina Institute. A group whose sole purpose is to tell you that your genitalia is ugly and that you should be ashamed if it doesn't match those you see in the average porn magazine. That is, if you are female. Somewhere, earlier in the week when this was first pointed out and a reference was made to male genitalia, the comment was attacked as being potentially damaging to the ego of someones son. No mention was made to the harmful effects of telling the majority of women that they have ugly vaginas which will cause their partners to ditch them if not 'corrected'.
Let's see what happens if some of the Institutes paragraphs are regendered (or more 'masculine' language added)...

UGLY PENISES VS. GOOD-LOOKING PENISES... your penis measures up to the most masculine, most handsome penises in the world. The essence of manhood resides in the beauty of form, function and size... the further away the penis and testicles are from the preset parameters and symmetrical values, well the penis tends to be not as good-looking, in fact we can use the word 'ugly' to define it correctly...

Yeah, real nice. Feeling good about yourselves, guys? I know I wouldn't.
And guess what, all this stuff about vaginae being hideous is all packaged up to look professional, with statistic adding weight to their findings. So not only do they say that you have nasty genitals, but guess what? THE WORLD thinks that you should change it for the better. Keep in mind that many women already do have insecurities about their vulva, and and some have had 'corrective' surgery - sometimes loosing all feeling down there in the process, or making sex PAINFUL. So despite everything looking just like the pornographic ideal, and thus making her appear 'sexier', the actual act has now been wrecked. For some more regendering, I will refer to Naomi Wolf's Beauty Myth:

Imagine this: penis implants, penis augmentation, foreskin enhancement, testicular silicone injections to correct asymmetry, saline injections with a choice of three sizes, surgery to correct the angle of erection, to lift the scrotum and make it pert. Before and after shots in Esquire. Risks: total numbing of the glans. Diminution of sexual feeling. Permanent obliteration of sexual feeling. Glans rigidity, to the consistency of hard plastic. Testicular swelling and hardening, with probable repeat operations, including scar tissue formation that the surgeon must break apart with manual pressure. Implant collapse. Leakage. Unknown long-term consequences. Weeks of recovery necessary during which the penis must not be touched. The above procedures are undergone because they make men sexier to women, or so men are told.

Even without surgery, it can be damaging. Being told that you are ugly, repeatedly, day in day out, can lead to a fall in self esteem. Women are constantly told that they smell bad down there, that they're too hairy. The Vagina Institute, like many others, now makes it 'official': many women have unsexy vaginas. When you are told that your vagina is so hideous that your partner hates looking at it, that it's a turn off to them, then the you may indeed have some serious anxieties about going to bed with them. Same for men - not really a good idea to barrage them with abuse about how they're too small, too thin etc. as that will make many men feel bad. As many already know, a drop in self esteem is usually mirrored by a drop insexual performance, difficulty with arousal etc. But there is no Penis Institute, spouting statistics and saying that your testicles are officially ugly. Only this constant assertion that 'some women think that...', just like the whole 'some men say that...' thing. It's just not the same.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Making the point abundantly clear.

A tip of the hat to Laura for her post on women's attire and rape. Not a recent post, but I've just found it and it's still worthy of a read if you have a minute to spare.

I have a post brewing about more recent things, it'll be up soon I hope.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Climate change campaign

Taken from the Alliance for the Planet (L'Alliance pour la Planète), and edited for relevance:

Take part in the greatest campaign against climate change!

Alliance for Planet issues a simple call to all citizens, 5 minutes of respite for the planet: everyone extinguishes their lights on February 1, 2007 between 19h55 and 20h00 [18:55 - 19:00 GMT]. This is not to save 5 minutes of electricity on this day, but to draw the attention of the citizens, media and leaders to energy wasting and the urgency to take action against it! 5 minutes of respite for the planet: it doesn't take long, it's free, and it will show to politicians that climate change is an important subject which must be included in political debate.

Why on February 1? Because on that day, in Paris, the climate experts of the UN will release their report in Paris. One should not miss this chance to alert our governments and leaders of the urgency of the world's climate situation.

Spread the message!