Feminism is probably the most successful political and social movement of the last one hundred years. Not only does nearly everyone want to claim the mantle of feminist, from Harriet Harman and Polly Toynbee to Simon Heffer and Peter Hitchens, but women are now more or less as free as men to pursue whatever aims in life they wish.
This is all to the good and no one with any decency would argue that women should not be able to vote, drive cars or do whatever it is they want to do, provided it be not against the realm and that they are capable of doing it.
However like an army that has conquered its enemy but still needs something to do, in recent years a certain strand of feminism has emerged which owes more to Anthony Weiner than to Virginia Woolf, Emmeline Pankhurst or Mary Wollstonecraft.
This strange new breed of Feminist has developed what can only be described as an obsession with the vagina, naming books and blogs and devoting articles to the subject with increasing regularity.
This in itself seems like a rather un-Feminist thing to do, as it appears to suggest that women are defined by their vaginas rather than by their achievements, thoughts, emotions, ambitions, desires and all the other things that make people human, whether male or female.
The origin of this obsession is the bizarre belief that what's left of the patriarchy has a fear of the V-word and regards the organ it signifies as unclean and a source of evil, thus creating a taboo that needs to be shattered by constant repetition of the supposedly unholy word.
Admittedly they do have a tiny point here as this story shows, and also this. It does seem rather odd that a teacher cannot use the correct vocabulary in a biology class of all places.
However incidents such of these have been blown out of all proportion and are used to justify the apparent need to say "vagina" as often as possible as though it were some kind of rebellious act.
This is sadly the point at which former US congressman Anthony Weiner makes his appearance. Mr Weiner found himself cast down in disgrace after it emerged that he'd been sending pictures of his nether regions to women on Twitter.
Despite this behaviour being generally frowned upon, a group of ladies at the University of Sydney thought they would do something similar, albeit for different reasons, by having their vagina's photographed for the front cover of the student newspaper.
Unlike Weiner, these individuals were not in it for the thrills, but were trying to make a social point that really does not need to be made and ends up drifting into the realms of self-parody when the editor of the student paper makes the claim that "vagina's aren't as widely accepted in society as penises are," (again tell that to poor Mr Weiner).
This is ludicrous fantasy. What the obsessives are missing is that neither the penis nor the vagina is considered to be an object of horror or evil by the vast majority of people. It's just that most people don't consider either to be a polite topic of conversation for reasons that should not need spelling out.
So can we now dispense with the vagina obsession? Not only can it lead to self-parodying incidents like those in Australia, but it also seems to have left some with vaginas on the brain to the extent that they see them where there are none, such as in The Lord of the Rings.
There is much in modern Feminism which is agreeable, such as its objection to Page 3 and so-called lad's mags. But the vagina-obsession is baffling. Isn't the whole point of Feminisn that there's more to women than their bodies? I think so. But do the Feminists?
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