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Guardian Series: Vagina Dispatches (Episode One: The Vulva)

(22 Posts)
Feminazi Fri 23-Sep-16 16:17:16

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2016/sep/23/vagina-dispatches-part-one-what-vulvas-look-like

Has anyone else watched this? Only the first episode is currently available. The next episode is about periods.

I liked it. I really liked the two girls making it and their approach to the subject. I especially liked how they weren't afraid to show lots of different vulvas.

EmpressKnowsWhereHerTowelIs Fri 23-Sep-16 16:24:40

Just as I was getting excited about this, I read the page & saw that they're talking to a gynaecologist (OK) but also a transwoman and a labiaplasty surgeon about what vulvas really look like. hmm.

So we're not just talking about the kind of vulva that has a clitoris and is hooked up to a uterus then. I'll watch the video when I get a chance.

Feminazi Fri 23-Sep-16 16:31:12

Yes, they talk to a few male-to-female transpeople about vulvas. They ask a transperson, soon to have a vulva, how they wants theirs to look. This is after they establish what real vulvas look like and why some women are having theirs changed.

I think it's an interesting thing to discuss actually. Do transpeople want authentic-looking vulvas or 'porn' vulvas?

YoJesse Fri 23-Sep-16 19:52:20

I just drew my vagina/vulva on the guardian website grin
It's interesting and I liked the presenters.
The gynaecologist who does the reconstructions pissed me off a bit but I guess she's just doing what brings in the money.

MatildaOfTuscany Fri 23-Sep-16 20:46:09

Just watched it - interesting, but very much in the "detached observer, let the interviewees speak for themselves" mode of reportage. The plastic surgeon made me cringe too - the consultant gynaecologist was lovely though ("tell him 'you've got bits that dangle down too, you want those taken off?'")

MatildaOfTuscany Fri 23-Sep-16 20:51:54

NSFW

Incidentally, this may be the moment for this:

The Great Wall of Vagina
The variety is just fascinating.

Homepage is relatively innocuous, but you may not want to open it with people around...

FirstShinyRobe Fri 23-Sep-16 21:00:47

You what? They have MTT opining on vulvas?

This is what a vulva is, according to Wikipedia :

"The main structures of the vulva are: the mons pubis, the labia (majora and minora) including the frenulum, the external part of the clitoris, the urinary meatus, the vaginal opening and hymen, and the greater and lesser vestibular glands.

Other features include: the pudendal cleft, sebaceous glands, the vulval vestibule, and the urogenital triangle (anterior part of the perineum)."

Dream on, buddy. That's not what you're getting.

Fabulous that there's an attempt to really connect women to their bits. Really valuable when one reads on here about the shock of some when it is revealed that they have 3 holes between their legs. Massive fail by making any kind of equivalence between an actual vulva and a superficial copy. And the inclusion of MTT aims for insertion as a subset of women, which actual women should reject wholeheartedly, imo.

Yes, another thread derailed to trans stuff. Whatevs.

Lemonsole Fri 23-Sep-16 21:08:20

It's not really the thread that's been derailed to trans stuff.

It's vulvas.

When awareness of their own genitals is as poor as it is among women, to devote any time and space at all to what are now the minority of MTT who decide to have their bits lopped off, is pretty erasing.

MatildaOfTuscany Fri 23-Sep-16 21:09:01

Mind you, the reaction of the two women making the video was interesting - both of them were "what!!! The whole thing seems to be driven by the idea of what a man would want rather than by function..." - it's the closest I've ever seen the Graun get to being gender critical or failing to worship unthinkingly the cult of trans.

Feminazi Fri 23-Sep-16 21:56:38

It was more about the appearance of vulvas, rather than their function though. I think that's why the opinions of the trans-community were interesting.

FirstShinyRobe Fri 23-Sep-16 22:43:02

Well, quite. What a missed opportunity. I understand that the film was all about acceptance and understanding of women's bodies, however it was mainly (all?) about form and confirmation or not to a neat norm.

I've watched it and I think the inclusion of FTT is totally jarring.

Delighted that women are de-shaming their bodies by at least talking about them frankly, however quite shocked by the vox pops (chosen for effect, I imagine) and fucked off that men's views about their proposed body modifications are given any airtime in a film about women.

OlennasWimple Sat 24-Sep-16 03:14:46

Maybe MNers should be required to pass this Guardian quiz on anatomy before being allowed to post smile

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 24-Sep-16 03:36:12

It managed to be interesting and irritating and patronising all at the same time.

ChocChocPorridge Sat 24-Sep-16 08:35:33

It was more about the appearance of vulvas, rather than their function though. I think that's why the opinions of the trans-community were interesting.

But why just appearance? We can all look at a vulva, why not about function, about what it does, how it works? Wouldn't that be interesting too?

I'm going to go ahead and assume that in their period video they won't solely concentrate on what period blood looks like - that they'll go into what it is, why it's there, what it does etc.

MatildaOfTuscany Sat 24-Sep-16 09:01:43

The Guardian quiz is not perfect, btw. It thinks the cervix is the hole itself rather than the surrounding anatomical structure! (I know this because I very carefully clicked on the surrounding structure rather than the hole and got marked wrong! And, having used a diaphragm as contraception in my youth, I can assure you I am very intimately acquainted with my cervix - you have to stick a finger up and check that the rubber is covering the cervix).

Prawnofthepatriarchy Sun 25-Sep-16 01:52:45

I had one of those too, Matilda. When I first started using it it would fly out of my hand and ricochet off the sink. After a while I got so good at it I could slip it into place in the dark. Great bits of kit. You're right. You get to know your cervix very well.

My mum got one for her honeymoon back in the 1950s. She had to produce written evidence that she was getting married very shortly afterwards. It was all a bit embarrassing.

mathanxiety Sun 25-Sep-16 02:15:13

ChocChoc, I bet they will not. Thanks to the slant of the first episode, I would say the chances are high that the second installment will focus on surface level elements only.

EmpressKnowsWhereHerTowelIs Sun 25-Sep-16 04:18:49

And probably include transmen?

HairyLittlePoet Sun 25-Sep-16 10:34:04

I had a gander at the great wall of vaGina link. On the education page the artist has helpfully highlighted 15 examples that are apparently the most interesting vaginas in the wall.

7 of the 15 are transgender.

MatildaOfTuscany Sun 25-Sep-16 11:43:37

3 are of FTT, which I find quite interesting, to see the after-effects of the op to detach the clitoris from the labia (I googled what was involved in the various forms of FTT surgery, interesting if sobering read: this was an information leaflet by surgeons who carry out these ops, and was at pains to stress the loss of sexual function at each increasingly invasive stage - pretty much everything that involves messing with your genitals will change the nature of orgasms, and generally not in a good way).

Feminazi Sun 25-Sep-16 15:31:56

I am interested to see if they will include any transpeople in the 'period' episode, and if so, how?

EmpressKnowsWhereHerTowelIs Sun 25-Sep-16 16:55:51

Transmen who haven't had bottom surgery, I would expect.

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