Amos: is THAT why i saw a lady at the car wash riding through on top of her car?........case solved!
Me: Actually, she was there to get waxed. Ba-dum CHING!!! I'm here all week, folks.
Betsy: this generation's lysol is breast implants and brazilians, yeah?
Me: Totally hit the nail on the head there, Betsy! People of the future will look at Maxim Magazine and scratch their heads over how much we must have hated women to make them go through such extremes to be considered attractive.
Me: That said, I take a Brazilian over Lysol any day.
Amos: i want an answer to this question from an elderly feminist:
how is it that you intelligent, educated, modern ladies still allow the weakling peter pan males of your generation to CONTINUE to manipulate you into thinking that there is something foul and poisonous going on with your girl parts?
y'all had better damn well not let your own daughters, and especially your sons to continue this obscenity-----so what are you going to do? i've GOT to know!
Me: Okay I thought about this for a while. It took me a while because I don't personally have (many) hang-ups about the squeaky cleanliness of my ladybits, BUT:
1. even today, girls are really ignorant about what their own girl bits look like, and what girl bits "should" look like in general. It doesn't help that you basically have to sit with your legs splayed in front of a mirror to really get a good look, but regardless, they probably freak themselves out at their first look because it doesn't look anything like the line drawings in the sex ed brochures or Barbie's ladybits.
2. Assuming they're straight and they want to be with boys...these boys have no idea either. They just know the very airbrushed, sometimes surgically corrected, sometimes totally fictional vulvas of Playboy, Japanese animation, and internet porn. Oh, and that vaginas "smell like fish" which conjures up some weird mental imagery. So it might freak them out when they finally come in contact with a real-life vagina with its varied terrain and water features.
Combine these two things with females' tendency toward insecurity anyway and you get the culture as it is now: where basically you have to get your mons venus waxed, polished, and buffed to a Barbie Doll shine so your vagina looks like a 10-year-old's so it doesn't differ too much from Jenna Jameson's. They even sell vagina "water" so you can have your crotch smell like oranges, geraniums, or lavender, no joke!
That said, I don't really know how to send the message to my daughter without getting sued. Right now I kinda lean towards the hippie "your vagina is a blooming flower" slant. I think I might need Eve Ensler to guide me.
Oh! And in general, boys tend to blame problems on others while girls take blame on themselves. So if their Peter Pan boyfriend is "ew, your girl parts scare me" I think most females would rather go to the nearest waxing salon before it ever occurring to them that actually, *he* just needs to get clued into the real world. So that is definitely a real, teachable lesson to pass down to the next generation.
Amos: well-said, ms. kang....it really is the boys who have the power to help girls overcome many of their insecurities...but boys are ignorant, lazy, and controlling.....
ps. your final comment on this being a "lesson to pass 'down' to the next generation' was the freudian slip of the day!
Betsy: you are right, Julie. Girls don't know what they're supposed to look like, and what is really in the range of normal (as opposed to airbrushed, photoshopped, surgically altered, cartoonized, fetishized.) There is a site which shows pictures of the zillion or so variations of normal breasts at http://www.007b.com/breast_gallery.php ; and there should be one for genitals...but i haven't found it yet.
Have you ever visited the normal breasts gallery? It really is a breath of fresh air. I've known about the site for a while and have even located a few facsimiles of my own breasts, and words cannot describe the emotions that flowed through me when I saw my own boob doppelgangers staring right back at me. I also loved the fact that they separated out the breasts of women who have been pregnant. There is also a blog called "Shape of a Mother" that displays the breasts and midriffs of real women who have carried children that was equally empowering.
On a related topic, one of my favorite newer websites is "Make Love Not Porn," where a lot of porn world norms like no pubic hair, women just gagging for anal sex all the time, women coming a million times while men do nothing to stimulate their clitorises (clitori?), etc. get corrected in a no-judgment, laid-back way.
So, do we also need a normal vulva gallery? I definitely think so! Even with the few face-to-face encounters with other women's ladybits I've had in my time, I know there is a huge amount of variation out there, and they were all healthy and normal and nothing to be afraid of. Let's all say NO to 10-year-old vaginas!