My vagina is not a car*

I’ve just been sent this by the awesome Lexy:

“The best engine in the world is the vagina.
It can be started with one finger.
It is self-lubricating.
It takes any size piston.
And it changes its own oil every four weeks.
It is only a pity that the management system is so fucking temperamental”.

She said she’s so far resisted having a rant about how insulting it is. I, however, have a blog so can rant away.

At first I was tempted to write “I’ll give you fucking temperamental” but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? So I have two choices: I can laugh and say how funny it is, thereby saying it’s ok to make jokes degrading women; or I can point out that it’s insulting and then have to put up with the whole ‘you feminists just can’t take a joke’ rubbish. (Hopefully that’s not the best joke you’ve got).

I read a great post by Melissa McEwan at Shakesvillle the other day, saying she’s not angry because she’s a feminist, she’s a feminist because she’s angry.

Why have we said no to racist jokes but still think sexist jokes are fine?

* I paraphrased this blog post title from a chapter in Emily Maguire’s fabulous Princesses and Pornstars.

4 responses to “My vagina is not a car*

  1. Oh, oh, oh I am torn between my excitement at actually making it into the content and not just the comment section and a desire to continue the rant. What bugged me the most was that it was sent from a girlfriend to all of ‘us girls’ as a girly in-joke….’Cept it wasn’t was it, it was neither funny, nor empowered and reclaiming. All I kept thinking was, ‘you do it to yourselves’. Women, I mean. Often women are the fiercest critics of other women and frequently the ones dedicated to keeping the uppity ones down. Bettina Arndt anyone?

    • Don’t forget Miranda Devine in that category. I’ve heard the argument that women put each other down because they have a biological urge to get the best mate, but I don’t buy it. If we accept that, then we accept that it’s ok for men to rape as they please because hey, it’s their biological urge. Or is it something as simple as just self-deprecating humour and we’re reading too much into it?

  2. I don’t think it’s the biological urge. I think its the (conscious or subconscious) realisation that the patriarchy is strong and that as an individual woman it’s difficult, painful and depressing to struggle against. To climb the ladder in the patriarchy you have to collude with leaders of the patriarchy. Being ‘one of the boys’ is a good method of doing this. This involves NOT speaking out against sexist jokes like this one. It in fact involves laughing with them, or making them up yourself. I think that’s what many powerful (socially, financially etc) women, including Miranda Devine have done.

    • I have to admit I am torn on things like this. On the surface it does seem to be a harmless joke, so if you make a big deal about it then it reinforces the idea that you are a temperamental bitch. And in the workplace if you point out every silly insulting joke then you just get excluded, rather than the joke-tellers realising what’s going on. But then if you don’t at least make an effort, then they won’t learn either. It’s a lose-lose situation.

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