It seems like every other day people find a way to do something ignorant. Like go out of their way to make up ignorance, create it instead of just allowing it to come to fruition, actually sit down and allow several minds to think up ignorant things. And when I say ignorant, I mean in the most generous sense of the word – both without thought and unknowing as well as offensive and dangerous. The unfortunate thing is that it is usually these people who do such ignorant things are those that supposedly are “thinkers” – grade school teachers, elected officials, and in the following case, elite private university undergraduates.
As I prepared to go to campus today, I get a disturbing email. A sista points out that in honor of V-Day, the Vagina Monologues’ co-option of Valentine’s Day to bring attention to violence against women, that a group of undergraduate women are selling chocolate vaginas in the university’s main public square.
Hmmmm, chocolate….Wait. What?
Selling vaginas? Surely this cannot be. Surely undergraduate women associated with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues know that one of the main purposes of her organization is reduce the shameful rates of rape and sexual assault on college campuses, where at least 1 in 5 women will be raped during her time as a co-ed (and this is only what’s reported)? Surely they know that selling part of a woman’s anatomy (and not even naming it correctly – the above is actually the vulva, not the vagina) with the caption “Hungry? Need a Gift? Like Vagina?” commodifies women’s sexuality, holds it up as something that can be bought and sold on the open market, something to be consumed in the most vulgar of ways? Surely they cannot believe that the fact that proceeds are going toward anti-violence against women organizations justifies the means in which they are raising such money, that objectifying and selling women and their sex is made okay because it’s for a good cause?
Surely not? Right?
As I protested via an email in response to this “event” (and will be sending this post to the organizers), I received not support from others who questioned the forethought that went into planning and executing this event, but calls to “relax” and not “play the race card” and if “you don’t like it, don’t buy one.” Because the market will always sort out the wrong from the right. Because not wanting to see your body part that has been objectified, disrespected, and violated for someone else’s economic gain and sensual pleasure for most of human history means you are being too sensitive. Because as a black woman, pointing out that having a choice of milk, dark, or caramel creme latte chocolate vagina for mass consumption reminds you of a stereotype of black women as nothing more than harlots and ho’s is pointing out racial and sexist bias that no one wants to hear about, not in this post-racial America, not on this supposedly liberal campus.
“So hey….get your p@ssy for sale…ain’t nothing wrong with a little p@ssy for sale…$3 right here for you, daddy…$5 for a bigger one…got you some nice p@ssy for sale…”