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August 16, 2022

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Vaginas Are Us

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Vaginas are like fingerprints. They’re as unique as the person who has one.

Your vagina is perfect.

Has anyone ever said that to you? A doctor? A friend? A lover? Your mother?

Perhaps they should. Vagina dysmorphia has extreme consequence. In fact, it’s become a thriving industry.

You hating your vagina and thinking you’re somehow physically wrong is good for business. 

This morning I read an alarming article in The Australian. It detailed the case of Dr Asarjahu Granot who was served with a Supreme Court writ in 2021 that accused him of several counts of negligence, including the claim that an operation was inconsistent with the procedure consented to by the mother of the girl in question. 

According to The Australian the writ alleges that ‘the defendant (Granot) left the operating theatre and approached the plaintiff’s mother showing her the labia and clitoral hood that he had removed from the plaintiff’. 

The plaintiff at the time was 13. She is now 27 and is studying to become a doctor. 

She has said ‘I don’t have proper anatomy anymore. I don’t have a labia minora and he’s made my clitoral hood into barely nothing. It’s not functional. I can’t even have a proper relationship.’ 

This was a little girl. The same age as my youngest daughter. I can’t imagine subjecting her to that kind of brutalising surgery. I can’t imagine how much that poor young woman has suffered, and how she continues to suffer. 

Plastic surgery like this is a danger to women when we live in a world of digitally orchestrated visual propaganda where nothing is real. And instead of a diversity, there is just one acceptable type of vagina. 

Pornography has a lot to answer for, and so do the nudity guidelines set by the Australian Government that insist media representations of female genitalia be airbrushed. Porn vaginas aren’t real. They’re digitally doctored. And so real women physically get themselves doctored so that their vaginas look like the ones in the pictures. 

Some labioplasty is medical, but the majority is purely cosmetic. Cosmetic! Men aren’t having their genitals butchered to look ‘perfect’. No one is taking a knife to a scrotum to fashion a peachy bulge. Along with domestic violence, and the repealing of abortion freedom in the US this is more proof of patriarchy’s plan for women. It is gendercide. Where our unique biology is rendered generic. It’s factory farmed femaleness; McGinas.

Vaginas are like fingerprints. They’re as unique as the person who has one. There is not one socially acceptable fingerprint. There are not cosmetic surgeons being paid big bucks to surgically alter our fingertips towards a curated ‘perfection’. Because that’s ludicrous. Labioplasty for the most part is ludicrous and barbaric. It’s unnecessary. Its very existence and success is predicated on the fact that women and people with vaginas have been fed a bullshit lie. The lie is that they ‘look wrong’. And that the only way to fix the ‘wrongness’ is to cut it away with surgery. This is genital mutilation. We judge other cultures as primitive and harmful to women when they practise this as part of their religion. Yet labioplasty is one of the most popular elective surgeries you can access. Just a quick Google and I find I can get a labioplasty payment plan for just $30 a week. A self-mutilation payment plan!

How ironic. A woman or person on a minimum wage who can’t get a homeloan or secure housing can get her/their vagina remodelled. 

At least other cultures can blame religion. What do we blame?

Oh, freedom. Apparently it’s freedom to make our own choices. But how do you make a ‘choice’ when the information that feeds your choices is corrupted?

It makes me reflect back to the MONA exhibition of Greg Taylor’s work ‘C*nts and Conversations’ that showed 60 plaster casts of vaginas. I was so impressed to find out the artist was a man – someone who loved and understood vagina diversity and shone the light on it in a non-pornographic way. The use of plaster allows a three-dimensional view. It was sensual and amazing, and anatomical and intimate all at the same time. This should be a travelling exhibition for schools. 

Ironically, it’s censorship in a permissive society that has led to our voluntary self-mutilation, while art is telling the truth.

The truth sets us free.

That’s when you can make the most important choice of all – to not believe the bullshit.

You are perfect.

Tell your vagina. And pass it on.


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19 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, Mandy.

    “while art is telling the truth”

    As it always does. But many people unfortunately feel threatened when the art is promoting them to explore within themselves about what is true… and so their truth remains unestablished, uncertain and subject to cultural hegemony – from their own culture.

    As C.G. Jung said, “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people”.

    By the way, I’m a 59 year old cisgendered male living on the NSW North Coast.

    Thanks, Mandy.

  2. And I read the Australian as well to find out what the ‘right’ is up to
    after my SMH debriefing. It’s what most women do.

  3. Jesus H. Christ Mandy , Grow Up !
    What an asinine display of navel gazing, from some one who should have resolved her identity issues sixty years ago.
    Talk about slow on the uptake !
    This is just another instance of disillusions of adequacy, striving for relevance.
    Cheers, G”)

    • Thanks for the diminishing comments about my stupidity when talking about body image. We women need men to remind us that we are worthless and our view is redundant. I appreciate your shaming tone – it really sends the message home. Praise the Patriarchy.

  4. Maybe not relevant to you Ken ^ but it’s extremely relevant for me, my granddaughters and any other woman out there feeling their vagina dosent look right .
    Thanks Mandy for bring this back to the light

  5. The correct name for female external genitalia is “vulva”, not “vagina”. Vaginas are usually only seen by a speculum-wielding doctor.

  6. Mandy – once again, it would be so much better if you actually knew what you were talking about. The term for the body part you are referring to is the Vulva. The Vagina is the entrance and exit beyond that, the birth canal if you will. And yes – they are all beautiful and perfect – at least you got that bit right. You state “Men aren’t having their genitals butchered to look ‘perfect’”. Bullshit. Far more men have had their penis butchered than women will ever have their vulvas butchered. The brutal act of Circumcision has been going on for ever – and should be outlawed as a practice given to healthy male babies and children. And have you never heard of cosmetic scrotum tightening..? It’s apparently a big thing. Can you just for once stop your division – you seem to be constantly at it – male against female – this against that – and recognise that these are issues we all collectively need to overcome.

    • A fad ?…- Do you think babies are willingly lining up to have the end of their penises chopped off with NO anaesthetic ?
      A fad ?..-according to some admittedly dodgy sources , that they have been committing this genital mutilation for five thousand years on innocent boys.
      We must be thankful that this inherited, mindless sacrifice is only to this extent, and not the whole story of Isaac, where this monster, Abraham was quite happy to cut his son’s throat in order to placate his evil God.
      Cheers, G”)

  7. Body Dysmorphia is pervasive….
    Try closing your eyes and imagining what you want to look like before you look in the mirror…somehow overtime it changes how you see yourself for the better.
    Beauty as always is in the eye of the beholder

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