Saturday, September 25, 2010

CBS wants you to know that vaginas are crazy!

CBS has a lovely -- if by lovely you mean awful -- little infographic on its website entitled Vaginas: 14 Amazing Facts You Won't Believe. Despite already being warned by Shakesville that this is, in fact, a real thing in the real world, I had to go and see for myself. What wonderful, crazy things would I learn about vaginas that I didn't already know?

The opening page starts with a doozy. "Vagina," they say, "every woman has one". And that's when my alarm bells went from on alert to ringing madly. Vaginas! Every woman does not have one.

And that's just the beginning. Did you know vaginas come equipped with 'pleasure buttons'? They're called clitorises! And, fascinatingly, they are apparently on the vagina, rather than adjacent to it. But my two favourite slides in the whole show, (I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not you want to subject yourself to the rest,) are the ones entitled "Man-Eater" and "The V-Word".

Man-Eater has a picture of a Great White Shark and the following caption: "Vaginas and sharks have something in common. No it's not that both are hazardous to men." Well, thanks for clearing that up CBS. It turns out what vaginas have in common with men is not that they are hazardous to men, nor that they have teeth. No, it's that they both contain a substance called squalene, a trait they also share with olives. Unlike sharks, however, olives would not have allowed the writers to title this section "man-eater". Such is the way of the world.

The V-Word, meanwhile, takes great pleasure in informing you of the following: "The word 'vagina' comes from a Latin word meaning 'sheath for a sword.' Maybe that's why some women find the word offensive -- and why they come up with so many euphemisms." Now, I don't actually know very many women who find the word 'vagina' offensive when it's not being yelled during economics lectures, or the like, but let's presume they are out there. My spidey-senses tell me that the reason people (including, but not exclusive to women) find the word vagina offensive, isn't because of it's Latinate etymology, but rather because we live in a culture that consistently and continuously devalues and marks out women's bodies as objects of disgust, as well as of desire. This probably accounts for the reason all of those euphemisms women are supposedly coming up with are also used as some of the most degrading insults in North American culture.

So hats off to CBS, for teaching me so many fascinating things about vaginas! They're crazy, and also kind of like sharks, but if you have enough sex you'll look younger, and what's more important than that?

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