Letter: Vagina stunt no laughing matter

Am I the only person who was befuddled by the appearance of a mysterious monstrous mutilated merkin on wheels in Kogan Plaza Wednesday at high noon?

My wife and I passed by it three times and couldn’t figure out, apart from the obvious shock value of displaying a gigantic female sex organ on wheels, what the purpose of having the thing there was in the first place. My wife was so bemused that she alerted a friend who is a part-time graduate student to come over from her office to see it. Her friend’s only comment was that it “failed to excite” her. But the experience left me with several thoughts:

I initially worried that a group of undergraduates had hijacked and somehow magically engorged a demonstration model from the gynecology lab at the medical school. Then, I realized I’d been spending far too much time reading Harry Potter.

So that idea gave way to thoughts that displaying a vagina with the clitoris cut out might be a way of showing support for victims of female genital mutilation in Africa. But that thought was ripped out of my mind by the shouts of young women advertising that for a mere $2, I could have a picture of this monstrosity with my face substituting for the missing fleshy appendix. For only 50 cents, I could have a “vagina cookie,” whatever that is.

My next thought was that this was a misguided attempt at a demonstration supporting the principles of feminism. When I say “misguided,” I refer to the prime concern of feminists that males over-objectify the female physique. What more blatant objectification could there be than a five-foot-tall vagina on wheels?

My fourth thought was that a group of GW undergraduates had decided to take on the spelling-challenged yellow school bus that has been seen (and heard) rolling around campus with a picture of an aborted fetus on the side in a contest to see who could create the most offensive, tasteless imagery.

My fifth thought was that if a comparable group of males had made a
similar plaster mockup of a penis and testicles and rolled it onto Kogan Plaza (“put your big head where the little head goes! Pictures, only $2! Penis cookies, 50 cents!”), someone probably would have filed sexual harassment charges.

My sixth thought was “yeah! This’ll really score the University some
brownie points with ANC-2A!”

My seventh thought was that the experience could have been “enhanced” if the people who staged this admittedly innovative demonstration had brought a boom box and played the Bloodhound Gang’s song “Three Point One Four” in the background.

But my final thought was that if GW undergrads have enough time on their hands to build large plaster models of genitalia and spend time selling “vagina pictures” and “vagina cookies,” our undergraduate classes are failing to challenge them. I recommend that the faculty institute increased undergraduate reading loads and prepare more demanding and more frequent examinations – and soon.

– Donald Jacobsen
Ph.D. student and political science teaching assistant

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