A woman’s body is the battlefield where she fights for liberation.
It is through her body that oppression works, reifying her, sexualizing her, victimizing her, disabling her. ~Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman, 1999
In May of this year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists made recommendations for breast and labial surgery in adolescents. For some feminist activists this is a very disturbing move. It is understandable that the document itself “reflects clinical and scientific advances,” however are they really necessary to come as recommendations from this organization?
Is no part of a woman’s body sacred?
The recommendations stem from problems with asymmetrical breasts and congenital deformities. If my memory serves me correctly, I remember there was a spike in this age group of girls who were getting this type of surgery as a graduation. Since when did women’s breasts have to be symmetrical?
Think about it.
Let’s just call this what it is – “medicalized” genital mutilation…yet one more part – the last part our sacred passage medicalized for profit and gain.
Don’t get me wrong – I am sure that someone may have breasts with congenital deformities. And I am sure that they had the necessary augmentation for their self/body image. But why do we need recommendations to “adolescents” – across the board? Profit – or because there is an increase in deformities?
The first line of the abstract states that the physician may receive requests from adolescents and their families on how to improve the function and appearance of the breast and vulva.
At the end of last year I posted an article entitled “Vatican and Vaginas.” What is it with the church and the state and their need to control and manipulate women’s bodies?
A Catholic university linked to the Vatican will host a conference of gynaecologists who claim to be able to ‘amplify’ women’s G-spots to kick start their sex lives.
The Augustinian Patristic Institute, near St Peter’s Square in Rome, will host the first meeting of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynaecology in April next year.
The society is headed up by Dr Alexandros Bader, a world renowned surgeon, who boast of being able to ‘enhance’ a woman’s G-spot on his website. Topics covered at the landmark conference are said to include the lifting, tightening and bleaching of female genitals.
Delegates will also discuss the amplification of the G-spot and the O-spot, a point behind the surface which experts claim is more sensitive to pleasure than the G-spot.
The delegates will also be greeted to an audience with Pope Francis and a walk with in the Vatican gardens, the Times reported.
Aesthetic gynecology sounds like profit to me.
In regards to labiaplasty the ACOG document states:asymmetry may be seen as a normal variant and it is common. If it is common – and it is…. then why the surgery unless someone holds up a mirror to their labia and actually looks at their vulva. Which I know most women do not do.
I just did a search on my blog – and I have posted a trail of articles about the recent increase in such practices:
X Marks the Spot: Women Can’t Label Vagina Diagram
IF YOU asked any man on the planet to point to his penis, he’d find it every time. And how could he not. Men’s junk sticks out like a sore thumb — or, like a penis. But apparently women aren’t as precise in the “locate your anatomy” department.
According to a new UK study released by the The Eve Appeal, only half of the women surveyed between the ages of 26-35 were able to correctly locate and label the female reproductive system on a diagram. Source
If that is the case, who is recommending these girls for surgery? Their doctor’s? They are the only ones looking at their vaginas… unless the woman is giving herself a vajacial.
Forget Brazilian waxes. A new spate of services is taking personal grooming to the next level
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, more than 114,000 labiaplasty procedures, a surgery that reduces the size of the outer labia, were performed worldwide in 2013. The highest concentration of procedures (13,683) occurred in Brazil, followed by the U.S. at a reported 6,072. According to American statistics from the same year, labiaplasties saw a 44 percent increase nationwide. Over in Australia, a recent national Medicare-system report claimed that labiaplasty procedures in that country doubled in 2012; and a 2014 U.K. National Health Service report reveals a five-fold increase in the procedure over the past 10 years. There are no statistics for the Canadian market, but the plastic surgeons interviewed for this article reported that in their practices, requests for vaginal rejuvenation procedures over the past five years have doubled on the low end and quadrupled on the high. Source
“Vontouring” Is the Kylie Jenner Challenge for Your Vagina, and It’s Awful
Last week, several articles surfaced about “vontouring” (short for vaginal contouring), which is a non-invasive plastic surgery procedure that claims to use a special tool to make your vag gorgeous.
While the procedure is already available in Europe, with a press release stating that demand for the surgery has grown up to 109% since 2012, it appears to now be gaining traction in the United States: The Protégé Intima has been approved by the FDA for other, non-cosmetic purposes, and the procedure is offered by a handful of spas and dermatological practices in the United States. Vontouring is being marketed as a cheaper, non-surgical alternative to increasingly popular procedures like labiaplasty. Source
And here is another article I posted about growing vaginas in labs… although somewhere I read that the number of women born without vaginas is increasing… another sign that our ecosystem – our body is changing as our environment becomes more toxic.
Lab-Grown Vaginas Implanted Successfully In 4 Teenagers
One of the most recent successful lab grown organ transplants is the female vagina. Researchers were able to successfully implant lab-grown vaginas into 4 teenage girls, and the results were published earlier this year. Tissue samples from the poorly developed vulva as well as a biodegradable scaffold were used. Source
And this article…Scientists Create Viable Vaginas from Women’s Cells
I finally found the article that sent me down the yellow brick road to realize I have a history of these articles on my blog… a progression from the Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons to the emergence of the Society of Aesthetic Gynecology to the ACOG recommendations.
Adult women react to seeing their own vagina for the first time
May 30, 2014
A video maker put an ad in Craigslist looking for women who had never seen their own vaginas—astoundingly people responded and agreed to be filmed as they examined themselves for the first time.
It may seem just like a bizarre situation but there are a variety of complex reasons and issues which they bravely confront while hopefully expelling some personal demons. Source
Maybe this movement is due to another article that CNN came out with and then retracted citing that Women Vote with Vaginas (Hormones) Instead of Brains
Although I focused this post on the labiaplasty trend, the ACOG document also covers breast reduction – a necessary procedure for women experiencing neck and back pain due to breast size… but then again their is the flip side of teens wanting larger more symmetrical breasts.
Many critics and readers, including many feminists, have welcomed my book Vagina: A New Biography. Some critics, though – feminists too, of another kind – are accusing me of a form of contemporary heresy.
Vagina is an account of the latest neuroscientific and other findings that markedly update our understanding of female sexual desire, arousal and orgasm, at a time when conventional wisdom about female sexual response is arrested in research from Masters and Johnson, decades-old; at a time when, even in a hypersexualised society, 30% of American women self-report not reliably having orgasms when they wish to; in a year when 2,000 British women with normal labia requested labiaplasties. Surely reporting on fresh information about female sexual response is an obviously feminist thing to do?
Should we not know about this data? I come from the feminist school that believes knowledge is power. Knowing about the science of the brain-vagina connection – a concept that is not my construction but rather an everyday fact for the scientists at the forefront of this research – simply means we are willing to engage with the modern world; the brain-body connection is being thoroughly documented in hundreds of ways, from cardiovascular health research to the role of stress in illness. Source
And that is what this movement to medically mutilate women’s bodies because of the patriarchal fear of the brain-vagina connection – a source of power for women. A source of profit for men.