need more stuff?

July 10, 2003

The Anti-Vagina Monologues. Harriet Lerner

Daniel Radosh

The Anti-Vagina Monologues. Harriet Lerner has "been raising 'vulva consciousness' since the early '70s," with apparently zero success since most people -- to Lerner's unending fury -- continue to use "vagina" as the generic term for "everything girls have." The latent SNOOT in me supports Lerner on purely linguistic grounds. But by the time you get to the end of this piece, it's bye-bye deep-end: "The persistent misuse of the word 'vagina' for everything 'down there' impairs the girl's capacity to develop an accurate and differentiated representation or 'map' of her internal and external genitals. The fact that the girl's own exploration of her genitals is not corroborated by accurate language also creates body shame and anxiety about sexuality." Wait, I thought that was Barbie's job (and we all know what she has, or doesn't, down there).

(Thanks to Kevin.)

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2