Having a vagina is hard work. It’s also poorly paid. If you have a vagina, and you work full time, the median wage gap compared to people without vaginas is 21.4 per cent. Vaginas earn less. Clearly we vagina bearers are not only still cleaning the glass ceiling, we’re stuck to the floor. It’s stupid. There is no rational explanation why the presence of a vagina should provide social and personal disadvantage, but it does. Historically and now, vagina ownership is equated with discrimination and lack of equity, abuse and death. If you don’t believe me, then consider this: If you have a vagina, when you become a parent you will be less likely to be promoted than a non-vagina bearer. This is fact. Backed up by the stats from the last census. In fact vagina-deficient persons are actually more likely to be promoted after children than before.
It’s the opposite for the vagina-laden. If they don’t have children then they can stay on a relatively decent career trajectory – although never with parity to the vagina-free operators. If you have a vagina and you go back to work six weeks after your baby is born people will judge you as a bad parent. If you don’t have a vagina they won’t even blink. You get to ‘abandon’ your offspring, put in ten minutes a day and still be considered devoted.
If you have a vagina you will do at least three times as much housework as people without vaginas. Every week. And that’s even if you are a working vagina. If you have a vagina you are much more likely to vacuum, clean the bathroom and do the washing. Statistics also show that vagina owners will also tend to manage children’s lives, buy presents, take them to birthday parties, buy clothes and pack school bags.
Vagina owners turn up for canteen duty. They’ll even take a day off work. If someone without a vagina does canteen everyone goes, ‘Wow, isn’t he amazing! He’s doing canteen and he doesn’t even have a vagina!’ Vagina bearers do boring menial stuff all the time and no-one ever calls them amazing.
Vagina owners are used to being overlooked, while ironically their vaginas are pornographised and looked over. A lot. So much so that those blessed with vaginas will have bits of their vaginas cut off so they look like the vaginas people without vaginas make in Photoshop. Pretend vaginas. This makes real vaginas sad. Embarrassed. It makes them socially anxious.
You can find people without vaginas on telly every week playing sport. Nobody wants to watch someone with a vagina play sport unless they wear something really short and revealing where you can almost see a bit of vag, like beach volleyball or lingerie gridiron. People without vaginas are admired for what they do. People with vaginas are predominantly admired for being decorative.
To have a vagina and be considered beautiful is still some sort of achievement in the western world. Hence the tabloid interest in photos of women showing off fancy dresses or reality comps such as Search for a Supermodel. In some countries if you are born with a vagina you will be given up for adoption. Or killed. The United Nations estimates that about 200 million girls are missing from the world because of ‘gendercide’.
During the witch-hunt years it was predominantly those in the possession of a vagina who were executed. Even now, in our privileged western world, having a vagina still leads to death. Every week in Australia almost two women die at the hands of their partner. Someone without a vagina.
If you have a vagina you are 91 per cent more likely to be raped. Every vagina owner faces the fact that one in four will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. In 99.9 per cent of the times you will be raped by a person without a vagina. If you go to court the person with the vagina will be asked what they were wearing. Basically, how did you cover that vagina of yours? What time did you have it out? Was your vagina alone? The person without a vagina will be made to feel that it was their responsibility to keep their vagina locked up at home, making them somehow complicit as the real ‘instigator’ of their attack. If you have a vagina you are more likely to be a victim of child abuse. Ninety-six per cent of people who sexually abuse children don’t have a vagina.
I have four daughters. They all have vaginas. In a world that still offers up these kind of ‘norms’ for those with vaginas, we still have a long way to go. And the word that encapsulates this, that mobilises people with and without VAGINAS towards social change is called FEMINISM. If you are frightened, offended, or find the word feminism irrelevant, then it’s a pretty good indicator that YOU are a big part of the problem. Freud was wrong. We vagina bearers don’t have penis envy. We have vagina grief.
Please join us in 1 Billion Rising – V Day at Byron’s Main Beach at 6.30am (Tuesday). Wear red. Bring placards.
Vagina Conversations at the Byron Theatre at the Community Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7.30. Tickets at the centre.
Read Mandy’s interview with Zenith Virago: echo.net.au/talking-out-the-vagina