Dr. Vajayjay’s! Privatize Those Privates!

BY REBECCA KATHERINE HIRSCH

Confused? Excited? Don’t worry. Dr. Vajayjay can fix that.

The New View Campaign has put together a parody training video as part of its Vulvanomics activist event.

In this video, we see an enterprising, unscrupulous, nominal doctor capitalizing on externally-created insecurities, sexualizing genital mutilation and effectively pathologizing female sexuality. His bumbling assistant Steve sees the truth but is powerless to stop the charlatan, money-hungry Dr. Vajayjay. Meanwhile, nameless female prop character is kept in the dark, the pawn in the doctor’s get-rich-quick scheme.

“Dr. Vajayjay does not solve problems; he makes the most of them.”

What most interests me about labiaplasty and “cosmetogynecology” is how easy our contemporary culture makes it for such corporatized quack medicine to succeed: Our puritanical lack of honest, pleasure-based sex education coupled with the preponderance of sexualized advertisements (which rigidly define attractiveness and sexuality in terms of white, nubile teenage girls) makes it easy to manufacture discontent and stigmatize the ignorant masses into believing they’re deficient.

What is normal anyway? Genital diversity, like all manner of physical, racial and gender diversity is sorely lacking in mainstream media. In a rigid, capitalistic-at-all-costs culture, it’s easy to create unnecessary insecurity about what is deemed “normal,” especially when sexuality, women and female genitalia are so regularly and unremarkably criticized and scapegoated. With the help of female genital surgery, “naughty, nasty” vulvas, Dr. Vajayjay purports, can be turned into generic, prepubescent-looking “normal” vulvas, hence instantly achieving for their owners utter sexual, interpersonal, creative and self-actualized happiness. Right?

But doesn’t genital surgery remove sensitive tissue? Aren’t doctors co-opting scientific and feminist language to assume the mantle of legitimacy, then sexing it all up as “what women want”?

Sure they are. Welcome to America!

New View Campaign is a grassroots network that challenges the medicalization of sexuality through song, dance, and— well, mostly the written word and various activist/art projects. Founder Leonore Tiefer was featured widely in the muckraking documentary Orgasm, Inc.

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2 Responses

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  1. disagree says:

    I recognize that the emphasis on plastic surgery in out society is somewhat troubling. However, videos like these seem to take an infantilizing view of women, implying that they can’t make mature decisions about their own sex organs, and are simply being coerced by doctors, partners, etc into getting procedures like these. This patronizing attitude reminds me of some anti-abortion videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMTMfrXaqRQ, which seems to cast women as “victims” of nefarious doctors.

  2. Julia says:

    “Somewhat troubling”? More than “somewhat”. Porn is creating totally unreal expectations for women’s private parts and that hurts everyone– women and men.
    The video is not seriously taking a patronizing attitude, but rather spoofing one. And do I respect women’s right to amputate their own genitalia to conform to these expectations? No. That’s why the word “patriarchy” was invented….to treat the reality that insidious misogynist thought works its way deeply into women’s consciousness, making us enemies of our true selves.

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