Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let's Talk About VaJayJays


As I'm sure most of you know, American Apparel has this shirt by Petra Collins and Alice Lancaster.  Yes, it's kind of old hat, but today I read an interview with Petra, so I wanted to jot down some thoughts.

My personal opinion of the shirt: Blech.  I do not want to ever wear a bleeding vajayjay on my chest.  Why?  Because I don't like periods.  They're messy, and sometimes crampy, and altogether last for far too long.  That said, no, I don't think vaginas are gross.  Or pubic hair.  And I am certainly not ashamed to be a woman, have a hooha, or get my period.  And lest you think I've forgotten, no, I'm not disgusted by masturbation, either.  My husband and I enjoy being together.  I like knowing that I can have children (because my husband and I want them).  I just don't enjoy a bleeding vajayjay.

Now all of that said, I don't understand what all the uproar is/was about.  This graphic tee, like any other is purchased by people who want to make a statement, want to shock you, or just plain like it.  You don't like it?  don't buy it.  It's the kind of this thing you see in the store, laugh about with your friends, and then move on from.  There's no reason to be rude - to someone wearing it, someone selling it, or the people who created it.  It's not offensive.  If it actually offends you, that a different issue altogether.

Being offended indicates you have a deeper problem.  And I believe Petra and Alice were trying to get to this point.  The detractors are showing far more buried feelings than I bet they realize.  Why are they so affected by a t-shirt?  The plainly misogynistic arguments thrown up by men and women alike prove the wayward thinking that has been propagated in our society today.  Should a woman not have a vagina?  Should a woman not have a period?  Should a woman not masturbate?  Should a woman not have pubic hair?  Should she simply be silenced or not exist at all?  Think about the message these people have internalized and are now spewing back into the world.  Good on Petra for shedding some light on the situation.

As for "decency," I like to keep my privates private and that's why I don't put in on a shirt.  A drawing of a vagina is first of all not the most vulgar thing out there in the world.  I wouldn't suggest or support wearing this particular shirt to any religious services out of respect, but that is my opinion.  If your kids see it on the street and ask you about it, it's your duty to explain.  If you don't want to, or are embarrassed, that's no one else's problem but your own.  To adapt from Louis C. K., women can be proud of themselves and enjoy their sexuality because you don't want to talk to your own kids for 5 minutes?  Give me a break.


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