By: Adriana Rolston
An episode of The Doctors entitled, “The Vagina Show,” featuring a female panel with Margaret Cho as a co-host, was scheduled to air on January 26th. But it didn’t. Real women on the show discussed their medical and sexual queries or thoughts about their nether regions in an open, often hilarious dialogue.
Want to know why it was cancelled? According to Margaret Cho’s blog, the network thought it was “too racy” for mainstream television. I think it’s very unfortunate that today we still cannot have open, positive, honest dialogue about our pussies. Frankly, this is a perfect example of how society – perpetuated by the media – has built up an attitude of shame around the vagina.
Most women are made to feel uncomfortable discussing what’s going on “down there.” As young girls we often aren’t encouraged to even name it, calling it a “private area,” and we certainly aren’t encouraged to touch it and get any sort of pleasure out of it. It becomes a topic shrouded in mystery, the likes of which are only – if at all – reserved for whispered slumber party misinformation or rumours. I feel that for young women in their early teens, any discussion surrounding masturbation is completely stifled and most of us are left to grapple with the concept through whatever sexual exposure we experience. Often it’s based on clumsy, inexperienced boyfriend groping, late night Showcase TV, X-rated website discoveries, or pre-pubescent fantasies.
Even in high school there isn’t any real, adequate communication on the subject, unless you consider a few diagrams and some basic renditions about heterosexual penile insertion into our lady parts to be “sex education.” It’s almost as if women are influenced by a sort of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” operating vagina framework.
Being the open kind of person that I am, I often tried talking to my girlfriends in high school about self pleasure and all other matters of pussy maintenance, but it was often met with giggles, or a refusal to breach the subject. I knew a lot of “closet masturbators,” who refused to acknowledge it for most of our friendship. I can’t help but feel that this type of shame in discussing our genitals and pleasure is ultimately contributing to a devaluation of our sexual knowledge and needs.
Refusing to talk about it can also lead to misinformed choices. Sadly, it’s becoming almost mandatory for women to shave everything off their pussies just to appeal to male desire, whether they are comfortable with it or not. I’ve chanced upon a fair share of Cosmo-esque magazines encouraging women to do so. These wonderful “Please your man” tips tend to spew out derogatory statements like, “He doesn’t want to cough up a hair ball” etc. The unfortunate thing is that many girls won’t question this kind of rhetoric in mainstream media. If it is coined as a “normal”, desirable, beauty procedure that will ensure a male’s approval in the bedroom then many girls will jump right on the bandwagon in hopes of acceptance.
The main reason people choose not to discuss a topic is discomfort or fear. I think the more confident we feel about our bodies and our sexuality the more prone we are to discussing the dreaded V-word which “much must not be named.” That’s why young girls should be encouraged to ask questions about their womanhood and receive extensive education about everything from dildos, to yeast infections, to shaving, to piercing, to everything else that is beautiful in between our thighs.
If we aren’t allowed to talk about our cunts in a respectful, educational, comedic, appreciative, constructive way, then I think it’s worth thinking about what is influencing this attitude of pussy obscurity. I feel that it’s completely ludicrous to silence discussion of our bodies for being deemed “too racy,” when the aim is to promote a healthy understanding of our vaginas. What would be really wonderful is if they never shut up.