Women whom I’m friends with on Facebook post photos of other women dressed in vagina costumes at the Women’s March.
How to explain this to their daughters?
* * *
My girl only recently learned how babies are conceived. We call our body parts by their anatomical names—breasts, uterus, vagina. We avoid shy slang.
My girl does not like anyone to use vulgar words. She calls them bad words, but I correct her. There are no bad words, because a word itself does not have any moral value. Every word we invent serves a purpose. Sometimes our purpose is to hurt other people, and that’s when a word becomes a thing we shouldn’t say.
My girl did not know the word pussy as anything other than a cat until I had to explain what a then-candidate for president meant when he said that, if he wanted to, he could grab women by their pussies.
* * *
Photos of women dressed in vagina costumes at the Women’s March make me feel timid. A taboo has been broken. Some parts of a woman’s body, I have been taught, should always be covered. Breasts. Buttocks. Vagina. To expose these to view is to incite sexual urges in men.
Let’s be frank, this is what we’ve been taught, that we as girls, as women, must always be careful not to do anything that might cause a man to feel sexual desire. We girls, we women, have been taught to be responsible for men’s reactions, as if they are not capable of controlling their own behavior. We have been trained to be culpable. Continue reading “Anatomy of Power”