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The Mitch and Brown

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Warning- Post deals with Vag [Oct. 21st, 2006|07:03 pm]
The Mitch and Brown

The Mitch and I are visiting Tulsa, and while in a coffeeshop bathroom, I was confronted by this advertisement (forgive me for not having a picture; there was not enough light):

Feel Clean, Fresh, and Confident

Are you frustrated and embarrassed by vaginal odor?

The University of Oklahoma is looking for women over 18 and in good health to help test the effectiveness of an investigative device that may help reduce or elimante vaginal odor.

Please call 918-599-0762 to see if you apply.


You guys might just say, "Just one of them things," but any girl not totally disgusted and offended by this didn't read past "are you frustrated and embarrassed..." First of all, a vagina has an odor, just like the inside of an ear or mouth has an odor. Like a foot smells different from a hand. It's a freaking vagina. How can one expect this portal of life, pain, and fucking not to have a smell?

Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes a cunt gets to smelling ripe, but that's because either the gal hasn't taken a shower in a few days (which is liberating) or something really is wrong. In these cases, she definitely is not healthy (this study is looking for healthy women) and needs to eat some yogurt or go to the female doctor. Most important to realize, is that there is a difference between a good odor and a bad odor.

People use "odor" as an excuse. A cunt smells like a cunt, and you'd better like it. No one ever talks about the way scrotums and penii smell. They DO have a smell, and it's a little weird, just like the vagina/vulva musk. Sex organs, people, were designed to have a smell. Men will say that women smell "fishy". I myself have had a vagina for 23 years, and I've never smelled fish. Now fish, on the other hand, does have a bad odor (but have you ever heard someone say it smells like minge?)

The most importantly awful thing about this advertisement is that it preys on women's anxieties about their bodies, and especially about a part that they should feel totally ok with. The "feminine hygiene" industry has, der, created an industry based on this. Hopefully by this time, everyone knows that douching is the WORST thing you can do to yourself.

Investigative device-- I will not even comment on this.

As a woman, I am outraged by this attempt to eliminate vaginal odor. I like the way I smell. I'm not saying (as Justin joked) that I would make a perfume out of it. If the whole body smelled like the genitals, not only would it be hard to get anything done in the world, but it would be a little overwhelming also.

I will be calling this number on Monday, and will post what information I can obtain. If it is a serious scientific study brought about by curiousity about bacterial vaginosis or hormone replacement therapy, it is justified, but the way the advertisement is posed it sounds like a product research aimed at making women feel the need for one more thing they must buy in order to feel "normal".

Further Reading:
The book Pippi Longstocking has a delightful section in which a storeclerk tries to help her with a "freckle problem", whereupon the clerk get a surprising reply. I can't quite paraphrase it here, but I believe it's excerpted in the first chapter of Cunt by Inga Muscio.

Cunt by Inga Muscio. Now, some of it is hippie-dippie and man-hating, but some is really awesome.

Capitalizing on the Curse: The Business of Menstration by Elizabeth Arveda Kissling. I have not finished this book yet, but am intrigued. It can be checked out at the Springdale Public Library.

[User Picture]From: rrralison
2006-10-22 11:15 pm (UTC)


Can you imagine happening upon an advertisement like this above the urinal?

Feel Clean, Fresh, and Confident!
Are you frustrated and embarrassed by the odors of your penis and scrotum?
The University of Oklahoma is looking for men over 18 and in good health to help test the effectiveness of an investigative device that may help reduce or eliminate genital odors.

Please call 918-599-0762 to see if you apply.

It's absolutely laughable. The actual ad is just offensive. I agree with everything you've said - and it terrifies me that shit like that is around the world propagating shame and body fear in women. As far as I'm concernced, healthy clean vagina odors - all genital odors in general - smell like sex, and that is a good thing. Making women feel ashamed or grossed out by their bodies I THINK goes hand in hand with making women feel ashamed and grossed out about sex - which is completely disempowering. It's just a sneaky consumer-society driven attempt to claim women's sexual power/liberation.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-10-23 01:59 am (UTC)


Investigative device? What does that even mean? I can be really weirdly prudish when it comes to discussing, you know, the equipment, but good grief. I don't want it smelling like french vanilla. That makes me feel hungry, not sexy. And I sure as hell don't want it anywhere near the same sentence as "investigative device." There are plenty of things to worry about in this world, and this really, really, really should not be one of them.

Me and my temporarily anthropomorphic for the duration of this sentence vagina are disturbed.

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