Friday, June 22, 2007

Just how many things are wrong with this?

Here's a disgusting ad for Vagisil.


If you've answered that:
  1. It actually compares the smell of one's vagina to that of a skunk or a lobster;
  2. It says "down there" instead of "vagina", despite the obvious clue from the product's very name;
  3. It associates vaginas with animal, subhuman and unpleasant creatures;
  4. It suggests that unless you have a plastic-like and perfectly sanitized and germ-free vagina, you can't call yourself a "real" woman;
  5. It suggests that vaginal infections are a valid reason for feeling ashamed of your body;
  6. All of the above've got it right. Have a cookie.

This is just irresponsible marketing. How many of us women already feel ashamed and uncomfortable with their normal bodily functions? How many women can't say the V-word without blushing - let alone say it at all in public?

I just hate the whole "feminine hygiene" products thing. The whole aisle. As if one's period was inherently dirty. As if having a vaginal infection is necessarily attributable to one's lack of hygiene. To me, it just seems that this industry aims at - or at the very least, is complicit in - perpetuating outdated shame-inducing ideas about the female body.


It's interesting to look at anthropological data, namely with respect to First Peoples, to get different perspectives. Take the Innu, for instance, a traditionally matriarcal society. In the Innu culture, menses were considered as a time of rest and meditation. A menstruating woman would be left alone in a special tent, and would be discharged from her daily chores and activities. Other people would cook for her, as she was expected to meditate and to thereby facilitate the purification of her body. It was believed that if a man were to touch her, he would instantly go blind.

When the Innu were christianized, mainly by Catholic missionaries, those traditional beliefs started to change. Women stopped teaching girls about their bodies, and instructed them that they were to consider sex outside marriage as sinful and menstruation, as a time of impurity.


Why the vagina-hating? It's the patriarchy, stupid!


Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Vida said...

Good words.