It’s a rare thing for me to post anything about kids, but I keep going back to my friend Jill’s blog Supergoodybag because it’s so pretty. It’s fashion for kids and Jill has a really great eye for gender neutral clothes that are still cool.
She’s also styled Beyonce, if you need more recommendation.
She is on Facebook as well, of course.
Oh, if mass media and marketing to girls has its way, there won’t be any tomboys left at all. Check out this interview with Peggy Orenstein on The Diane Rehm Show about her book Cinderella Ate My Daughter
Alice Dreger, recently disliked by those in the trans (for defending Michael Bailey) and intersex communities (for being for the “DSD” diagnosis), has at least said, in print, in both Psychology Today and The Hastings Center Report, that maybe using a vibrator on a young girl’s clitoris is completely unacceptable.
Here more specifically is, apparently, what is happening: At annual visits after the surgery, while a parent watches, Poppas touches the daughter’s surgically shortened clitoris with a cotton-tip applicator and/or with a “vibratory device,” and the girl is asked to report to Poppas how strongly she feels him touching her clitoris. Using the vibrator, he also touches her on her inner thigh, her labia minora, and the introitus of her vagina, asking her to report, on a scale of 0 (no sensation) to 5 (maximum), how strongly she feels the touch. Yang, Felsen, and Poppas also report a “capillary perfusion testing,” which means a physician or nurse pushes a finger nail on the girl’s clitoris to see if the blood goes away and comes back, a sign of healthy tissue. Poppas has indicated in this article and elsewhere that ideally he seeks to conduct annual exams with these girls. He intends to chart the development of their sexual sensation over time.
If this were requested reconstructive surgery, or absolutely necessary surgery that treated a dire medical condition, maybe this wouldnt’ seem to fucked up. But these are surgeries conducted on girls whose clitorises are viewed as “too big.” That’s all. Just “too big.” They worry that girls with big clitorises will somehow – I don’t know, that they’ll be socially traumatized, but all I can think is: it’s probably just more likely that they’ll have orgasms, & we certainly can’t have that
One time I asked a surgeon who does these surgeries if he had any idea how women actually reach orgasm. What did he actually know, scientifically, about the functional physiology of the adult clitoris? He looked at me blankly, and then said, “But we’re working on children.” As if they were never going to grow up.
Or, as Courtney on the MHB forums put it, maybe this article should be called When Ken Zucker calls you out for being a sicko, you’ve know you’re screwed.
There are times, as a woman, that if you actually manage to recognize your own humanity, instead of your use as a breeder*/parent, you still have to face the fact that people write articles like this explaining that you are not an asshole.
Just try to imagine the same article with the word men in place of women: “Childless men have been able to accumulate education and resources they otherwise wouldn’t have had if they’d had children. This time and income could then be put back into other people’s families “to pay for lifesaving operations, or to rescue the family farm, or to take in a child whose mother had fallen gravely ill.”
I mean, really?!
And while this particular article is pro child-free women (albeit condescending), it amazes me that any argument has to be made that women are of value even when they aren’t parents, that many women choose to be childfree (for whatever reason) and/or that even women who wanted kids and didn’t have any (for whatever reason) can live satisfying lives.
Can we get back to ZPG ideas? Is it possible, even, for people to consider all this talk about being green when it comes to children? There are too many of us on this planet & we’re destroying it as a result, and we don’t have a goddamn chance if the value of women who don’t have children has to be explained.
* to clarify, since someone objected to my use of the term breeder: i used the term breeder to point out that this is the way our culture thinks of women if articles like this have to be written. i don’t use the term otherwise, but i do think it’s highly problematic that someone might object to the term but not the attitude/culture that treats them that way. that is, the only evidence that the culture doesn’t consider women breeders, and breeders only, is if there is inherent value in a woman’s life when she isn’t a parent.