Some things change only in that they get more repugnant.Back in 1996 we had to hear or, at least, here about The Vagina Monologues. Now we have Dr. Jen Gunter’s The Vagina Diatribes aka “My Vagina Is Terrific. Your Opinion About It Is Not.” Before anything else, let me say that, even as another Feminist screed, her rant stinks. 😉 Of course, it was published in the New York Times, so a certain level of fetor is to be expected.
And this particular rant was the result of Gunter taking offense at the Sun and later the New York Post writing about how she dumped her boyfriend because he didn’t like the smell of her vagina.
I once dated a guy who insinuated my vagina did not smell right. He was an ass in other ways too, but I just didnâ€™t see it until he impugned my vagina. For example, he though my hair would be better if it were straight. Sadly I took the bait, it wasnâ€™t. He thought I would look better if I dressed a certain way. Again I took the bait. I just felt worse. When it came around to telling me how my vagina could be better it finally clicked that this is a form of control that men often use. Fortunately I am an appropriately confident vagina expert and I had a light bulb moment and dumped his sorry ass.
— Dr. Jen Gunter
Vaginal Vicks VapoRub, oh my God people just donâ€™t
Yeah. I don’t think it was about control. I think it was about hygiene, something that Dr. Gunter has some strongly held and non-normative ideas about, as she clearing and somewhat angrily stated in the same article that the Sun and Post reported upon.
For what I am sure is the 100th time the vagina needs no cleaning and the vulva needs very little.
OK. As Dr. Gunter is a board certified in OB/GYN in both the United States and Canada, I’m not going to argue with her position upon the medical necessity of women’s “personal hygiene.” I will point out, however, the civilized societies long ago grew past medically necessary or advisable as the sole criteria for hygienic practices. Things such as regular – normally daily – bathing, antiperspirants, deodorants, and such are not medically necessary or even advisable actually. They are, however, part of what makes civilized living … civilized.
This being the case, it should come as no surprise that I, and I believe most men and probably the vast majority of lesbian and bisexual women, think Dr. Gunter’s opinion stinks worse than her vagina.
What’s worse is that, like the majority of the modern sort of Feminists, Dr. Gunter took what was a valid and quite good opinion and made it untenable and hard to stomach through her extremism and delusions of oppression by men. I mean, sure, I have no doubts whatsoever that there are a plethora of specialized products – e.g., Gunter’s current pet peeves, Goop’s Jade Eggs and the vaginal use of Vicks VapoRub – that capitalize on- and profit from women’s insecurities about their vaginas. That doesn’t mean Gunter should forgo basic, polite hygiene and then man-bash the guys who find her lady-parts repugnant. It certainly doesn’t mean that she should create and manage a forum where you proselytize to other women that should also do this.Â Her doing so calls all her other advice into question and may well lead to poorer outcomes.