Friday, February 20, 2009

Fad-tastic: Missing the Point of Vaggie Tales

On Valentine's Day I wrote about how my involvement with The Vagina Monologues throughout college helped shaped my perspective on violence against women, sexuality, feminism, and my own body. I also touched on how a lot of people don't embrace the show in the same way, sometimes with thoughtful feminist criticisms, but most of the time the negative reviews have the cultural analysis of an old sweat sock,"OMG! VAGINAS! LESBIANS! TAMPONS! SEX! This play is motherfucking crazzzzy!!1111!!!" Well add "WTF? DOUCHING IS AWESOME!!!" to the pile of poor arguments against the play. Writen this time by a California State University student, a self-professed feminist who at least admitted to liking the play, but not as much as she loves smelling good.
Instead of joining in with the many approving “Yeahs” coming from different women in the audience, I sat in troubled silence while thinking of my liking of products that would fall in the vagina-hating category. In contrast to the woman in the monologue that exclaims she wants to “taste the fish, that’s why I ordered it,” I firmly believe that if you smell anything fishy, you’re more than likely past due for a shower. Not finding myself agreeing with much in the monologue, I quickly became terrified by the shock that maybe this meant I wasn’t the progressive feminist I had felt myself evolving into. Does my love for smelling good, constantly indulging in Victoria’s Secret Love Spell lotion and Chanel Chance perfume, make me another woman cheated to live a life of incessantly buying into constraints set by a patriarchal society?
This commentary is one "I couldn't help but wonder" away from being the cheesiest most surface level assessment on the planet. To base a review of the play not on the larger message, but on one's picking at a single line of dialouge, unraveling it like an old sweater, is unfocused and bad analysis. Especially since the writer's only point is that she wants the feminist freedom to wear perfume no shame strings attached, missing the orginal context of the line which is about how douching is lame-o.

Which brings us to what a young, and unseasoned feminist/writer this girl is. I can only hope this rambling viewpoint is her first foray into both. Perhaps with more years of education under her belt, she'll be able to see the "My Angry Vagina" monologue for its true purpose: an outlet for women to healthily show their frustration at products and expectations that are required of us and our vaginas, yet never have either in mind. It is not an attack on one's choices or preferences.

For example, everyone is entitled to smell of whatever fragrance they desire guilt-free, be it Chanel or "rain." The voice of "Angry Vagina" is not enraged over picking out your signature scent, but rather the fact that douches are created too make women feel bad, embarrassed, and secretive about their vaginas. They are not created with women in mind. Douche products are made with chemicals that can harm your vagina, robbing it of it's natural chemistry and lubricant, all the while ensuring your MALE partner doesn't have to suffer through eating out your supposed garbage hole. It's the companies marketing these products that are attacking femininty, not this monologue. As a "progressive feminist," I wish this girl would also be enraged that some agency is making money by telling her that her twat stinks. Besides, her neck area might be Chanel-tastic, but unless she's aiming the sprayer between those lower lips, I bet her vagina still smells well, vagina-y...and I hope someday she comes to learn and appreciate how that is 100% okay.

No comments: