Diagnosis: a Case of Femaleness

By Kendra Holliday | March 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

Note: My friend Jill originally published this essay on her blog “In Bed With Married Women.”

I look DAMN good.

In the past few days, I’ve hit a perfect storm of media consumption that has spun me into a feminist spiral. So if you’re not into wild-eyed ranting, please avert your eyes.

It all started with a friggin’ Campfire girl meeting. A high school girl showed a short film she’d made on body image, then in a halting, nervous voice told about her struggles with an eating disorder. By the end, every mother there was in tears. In tears! Because we all had our thing–too fat, too thin, hair too weird, butt too little, butt too big, etc…–that made us so horribly not right.

The next night, finally off of my Hoarders bender, I watched a Netflix doc called “Orgasm Inc.” It was about how in the past few years, pharmaceutical companies, along with willing shills in the medical community, have popularized the “disease” of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). (Not to be confused with FTD, which provides human females with unattractive flower arrangements).

“I think there is dissatisfaction and perhaps disinterest among a lot of women, but that doesn’t mean they have a disease,” said Dr. Sandra Leiblum, professor of psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in “Myth of female impotence ‘created’” in the BBC News.

Word.

I’m not arguing that some women don’t have sexual problems that could be improved medically, but a lot of the FDS “symptoms” are just the way women are. Yes, women can take a long time to come, yes, women can take awhile to get aroused (note: FTD flowers will not speed arousal time), and, yes, women get pissed at their mates which, yeah, fucking does affect desire.

In this study of FDS among women in Lower Egypt:

Marital disharmony, ‘hate’ and unfavourable socio-economic circumstances were the most common aggravating factors (28.1%) for sexual dysfunction among the participants, followed by pregnancy-related events.

I’m not a doctor, but as far as I know, there is not a pill for curing “unfavourable socio-economic circumstances” and the like. (Although if there were, I would so fucking take it.)

One middle-aged women in Orgasm, Inc., (“middle-aged” = several years older than me) volunteered to be a guinea pig in some freaky-ass experimental procedure in which electrodes were inserted into her back. Into her back, as in under her skin. Did I mention that this was a totally untested procedure by, for all she knew, a completely iffy doctor?

The implants did nothing for her besides causing her to kick her left leg at random times. (This new trick, while novel and exciting, did not help her sex life.) The creepy invasive procedure did nothing to cure her “problem” which was–oh, dear god–inability to come during intercourseNot inability to have an orgasm. Not inability to come if someone paid a whit of attention to her clit. No, this woman, raised on the notion that women’s sexuality is just like men’s–stick in it, pull it out, repeat til orgasm–believed that if she couldn’t come from penetration alone, she was “ill.”

I so wish she could have read an article like this from RH Reality Check which takes care to state in the very biggest and boldest of fonts:

The majority of women — according to most studies, at least 70% — do not and will not reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse or vagina-only stimulation (like “fingering” that’s only about vaginal insertion) only.

So yeah, a little testosterone might help you out a bit (I said might–even this isn’t certain), but seems to me the best way to alleviate FSD would be to spend a little time on arousal, make sure the female parts that feel pleasure are actually the parts that get stimulated (did I really just have to fucking write that sentence?)…plus a bunch of boring stuff like providing favorable economic conditions for the ladies and whatnot.

What is that? You have more sexual problems, you say? You’ve suddenly realized that your vag is not completely normal as you’d thought for years and years, but, in fact, hideously ugly and in need of surgical intervention. Don’t worry, my ugly little freak, Vaginal Rejuvenation (i.e. plastic surgery for your vag) will fix any and all labia deemed unsightly.

What’s sightly and what is not? Well, the highly lucrative Genital Mutilation Vaginal Rejuvenation centers that have popped up in the last few years (Hey….isn’t that about the same time you started becoming displeased with your own vag? *shrugs* Weird.) have to find some way to keep the ladies coming in so currently they’ve determined that ”too long” labia are “out.” If you go ahead and get them shortened, I sure hope that long labia don’t come into vogue because then you’ll be bumming, huh?! (See also: The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss).

Check out these before and after Gential Muti Vaginal Rejuvenation photos from one place “helping” women.

Seriously!!!??? Not only did this chick not realize that she had a perfectly fine vag (I think it’s a good one, actually, don’t you?) but she actually thought it was so heinous that it required surgery–surgery!–to “correct”. (Expensive surgery too. When I googled “vaginal rejuvenation” for you, the sponsored link offered a raffle for $1000 off. If they’re offering $1000 off, you know that $%$# ain’t cheap. Although I have to admit that the concept of a vag. rejuvenation raffle is sort of appealing in its utter wrongness. Coming soon…penile bleaching cake walk.)

Okay.

I would hope that we women would all come to our fucking senses and just…stop it. Realize how totally fine we are and get on with more important things (see above: taking time with and enjoying arousal). At the very least, I can think of about 6 million better ways to spend our time and money than getting friggin’ surgery.

However, as it looks now, I think that the only things that’s changing is that more men are buying into this crap too with their pec implants, ED drugs, and the like.

My big wish is that one day someone will be lying on an operating table, legs open wide as they watch a surgeon walking toward them eyeing their groin and wielding some sharp pointy thing and the patient (“patient” = “regular person misled by fucked up societal norms”) will think, “What the fucking hell am I doing?!?”

And, O, they shall Rise Up and Spread their Enlightenment among the people, who shall toss aside their sense of shame and unworthiness, and be free to rush forth into the forest where they shall fuck freely and joyfully under the dense green canopy of the trees. (Note: future scenario includes ecological renewal, elimination of STDs, and men and women with true knowledge of each other’s sexualities. Void where prohibited by law.)

xoxo
jill

 

Comments

Julianne C. 2012-03-26 13:33:14

I hope multitudes of women read this article. I hope they then watch “Perfect Vaginas,” a documentary on plastic surgery for vulvas freely available to watch at topdocumentaryfilms.com. Also, Jill is clearly amazing since she has common sense, the ability to question societal “norms,” and she loves herself for who she is.

Reply

    Jill 2012-03-29 23:59:59

    Thanks julianne. I will definitely find that film!

    Reply

jill 2012-03-26 16:56:41

Thank Kendra! btw, a dude on Twitter asked me about breast implants, body adornments, piercing, etc..

It was an excellent question b/c I think there is a distinction (exactly where, I’m not sure) between modifying your body to express yourself, let your freak flag fly and whatnot VS. feeling like you need to “correct” some “flaw” because ads/society etc… is telling you that you’re not beautiful.

Reply

Sexual Psychic 2012-03-27 04:24:22

I had the SAME reactions when I saw this movie, and the same need to vent afterwards. I was enraged and dumbfounded.

Fortunately I saw the movie at an independent theater with a small crowd from the poly community. So, for once, I was not the only person hooting and yelling at the outrageous parts in an otherwise silent theater.

Your final paragraph is….archetypal. Appreciating it is not dependent on reading the preceding, so I urge you to find other creative uses of it. In fact, I think I’ll quote it on my new Tumblr page.

I am so glad the world has women like you.

Reply

jill 2012-03-27 18:58:31

Sexual Psychic, you just made my damn day.

Reply

    Sexual Psychic 2012-03-28 10:02:22

    It’s always nice to know that these words we put online have an impact.

    Reply

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