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Mar 03 2006

Hymen Fetish Sickens Spinster Aunt (Who Isn’t Feeling All That Great To Begin With)

virgin sandwich
The Virgin Mother Of God appears disguised as Marlene Dietrich on a slice of toast

Biblical literalism is not just the enemy of truth and beauty. It is not just a vile saboteur of rational thought and intellectual freedom. It is not just the ideological assassin of fiction, of science, of art, of the rapidly vanishing hope that H. sapiens might not eventually emerge as the #1 laughingstock of the cosmos, and of the ability to buy liquor on Sundays.

It is also the enemy of right-thinkin chicas everywhere.

A couple of barbarians known as Matthew and Luke—dudes, it must be said, with serious issues—deftly invented* The Virgin a hundred years after her human inspiration was dead as a doornail. They did this to give a little extra boost of superhuman charisma to the ghost of Jesus (whose questionable paternity would otherwise have been more redneck than royal), and by extension glorified all male dudes everywhere. And ever since, women have been defined exclusively in terms of sexual function.

The good old supernatural Virgin. She’s done more than anyone in the past 2000 years to seriously fuck women up. Some day soon I’m going to take a long, luxurious stab at her. But until then, take this here woman, whose identity has been so debased by the pervasive literalizing of this absurd virgin myth that she has had one of those imbecilic revirginification surgeries as a “gift” for her husband.

I have not been exactly silent on the subject of cosmetic pussy surgery. Surgeons who hack up labia for a living rate pretty high on the blame-o-meter. But labiaplasty for the purpose of Hustlerizing the human vulva in an effort to increase its appeal to pornsick sex partners is, it turns out, only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to invasive body modifications that are of no imaginable benefit to the patient beyond the gratification of some masochistic impulse to demean herself at the altar of commercial male fantasy.

What is actually going down here? How do you convince yourself that this surgery is anything but asinine and barbaric? Why aren’t you saying, “Fuck this shit, I’ll get a new hymen when you get your dick stitched to your leg, Jack!” I mean, I don’t know how many of you have had sex with men, but if you have, you may recall, if you weren’t mercifully drunk at the time, that the first time was likely a painful bloodbath, and not something you’d care to repeat.

But you hymen-refurbishers, you’re saying, what’s a little pain? You love patriarchy and you want patriarchy to love you back. But first you have to reboot your filthy cunt, because if there’s one thing patriarchy pretends to hate more than anything, it’s a filthy cunt. Then you agree to pretend that your sexuality up to this point is now null and void. You are not a human, you are a pussy, and your pussy isn’t even a pussy, it’s a symbol, and it’s not even your symbol, it’s some fetishized male Christian symbol. You are an empty fuckhole.

At least your husband of 20 years can relive the “thrilling conquest” and pound you (sort of) like an 18-year-old for about 3 minutes before his 40-year-old dick busts through your fresh, $5000 scar tissue. That’s gonna fucking hurt, but he’ll be all right with it, because after all it’s only your blood and pain, which after all is “natural,” and how can that compare to scorin’ one off a virgin? It’s every motherfucker’s dream to be the most virile dude there is: a cherry-poppin’ teen throbber.

And guess who gets to launder the bloody sheets afterward.

________________________________
*Well actually, they totally ripped her off; the Virgin Mary who shows up weeping tears of homophobic blood on today’s grilled cheese sandwiches and highway underpasses descends from a long, lively tradition of chaste mothers-of-gods. In addtion to Jesus of Nazareth, Krishna of India, Mithras of Persia, Zoroaster, Adonis of Babylon, and Indra of Tibet all sprang from dainty little unfucked women, although today these gals are seldom seen glaring at prostrate pilgrims from moist-eyed statuary in tiny European villages.

[via The Road To Surfdom]

94 comments

2 pings

  1. Sophie

    Doesn’t it ring a bell ?
    Some people are trying to help african women escape Female genital cutting. They say it is something of the past, barbaric, etc… Well, some forms of these practices are very close to what the article describes. Chilling.

    There’s a surgeon who fights these practices by rebuilding what has been cut with a knife or a bit of broken glass. He might be the only pussy surgeon worthy of respect. Some people want him dead.

  2. Lucy

    Mary – the only woman in history to have been a virgin AND a mother. No wonder the godbags love her.

  3. Kaka Mak

    Labioplasty, hymen repair, “The husband stitch” or any other evil fuckery-filled semantic bullshit.

    I suspect my own poor labia had been the inncent victim of “the husband stitch.” Never will there be proof, but things were never the same after I was sewn up by a fucking resident. Another story, perhaps.

    This fuckery of which Twisty speaks makes me so mad I could spit fire from my ass. And think of it: This labioplasty, etc, is not that far off from actual FGM right here in the good ol’ USA, is it? Today, the hymen and those unsightly, non-Playboy/pornstar looking dangling labia. Tomorrow, that ugly, not-needed-because-vaginas-have-a-G-spot, dirty looking clit.

  4. Helen

    Hitting nail on head, as it were, as usual. But I thought the image on the grilled cheese sandwich looked rather more like Marlene Dietrich.

    It’s all our western version of hijabs chadors, burkas – in the east, they humiliate/debase women by shackling them and making them invisible – here in the west, we strip them in public, turn them into little plastic B*rbie doll, inflatable sluts that simper, whine, “but it’s MY choice.”

    I’ve read articles on snatch-reconstruction surgery in eastern/3rd-world countries, and even stories about women being overfed so that their natural gear makes a tighter fit. Bringing that mess home to the west is an appalling development.

    I’m really puzzled by one thing, though: if sex is something men love doing so much, why is everyone they have sex with soiled and debased as a result???

  5. robin

    Yes, I heard about this the other day: the woman who wanted to do something “special’ for her husband, and I’ve been waiting here quietly for Twisty to jump on it as only she can.
    As a poster child for Stockholm Syndrome, this hymen-woman is ne plus ultra.
    She’s up there on the podium with the gold, and it’ll be hard to find anything to equal her sad, desparate floor-crawling debasement. I do indeed blame the Patriarchy, but this woman sounds so insane that I can’t help but blame her just a bit. I know that sounds mean, OK, maybe I’ll also blame The Stupidity.

  6. Marie

    This beggars belief. Particularly since the “virginity” it restores is a caricature thereof which forces the subsequent deflowering into a particular paradigm of male dominance – brute force, blood, and conquest.
    While I know that losing one’s virginity need involve neither blood nor pain (I am a 22yo British woman who has sex with men, and it involved neither for me, given self-exploration plus courteous stretching from my aspiring-to-feminism then-partner), this kind of surgery enforces a particularly brutal and unpleasant defloration.
    After all, it’s a pussy, it might have teeth, and we’ve got to make it suffer, right?

    (Novice and aspiring patriarchy-blamer here. I hope no-one minds my piping up. If I’m getting things wrong. please point it out, I need the education. To whit: I am going to hear Julia Kristeva speak next week, and if anyone can suggest a good source to read up on her and gain a critical angle, I’d be very grateful)

  7. sunny in texas

    the slaughter of the midianites in the old testament book of numbers comes to mind. everyone, no matter the age, was killed, EXCEPT the female virgins.
    it’s sickening what that particular god gets away with.

  8. Marie

    I think my post either disappeared or was spamulated. I’ll try again.

    It was to the effect that this surgery (re)creates a particular paradigm of sexual violence and male dominance (blood, pain, and conquest) in defloration. While losing one’s virginity need involve neither blood nor pain (I am a 22yo British woman who sleeps with men, and it didn’t for me, given self-exploration and courteous stretching from my aspiring-to-feminism then-boyfriend), this surgery enforces a defloration whose very value is in the blood and pain, tearing through fresh scar tissue, in addition to having the symbolic value of virginity.

    (Novice and aspiring patriarchy-blamer here: I do hope no-one minds my butting in. If I get things wrong, please tell me – I need the education. To whit: I am going to hear Julia Kristeva speak next week, and if anyone can point me in the direction of some reading that would give me a good critical angle on her, I’d be very grateful.)

  9. TP

    Eurgh. It’s so sickening I’m gonna chuck up.

  10. Arianna

    *Shudders*
    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sadly enough. The first time I saw it was years ago when I lived in the UK, and was channel surfing at 3am. There was a show on about some rich European geriatric who’d had his young bride-to-be’s hymen restored.

    Also: The only thing worse than your first time is realising your umpteenth time is in fact your first time.

    Elaboration: My first, well, he was in fact so small that nothing, infact, was broken. I laughed it off, wondering what everyone had been complaining about painwise, and later just assumed that mine had broken sometime in my youth sometime on a period so I didn’t notice, what with all that horseback riding and ski jumping and general athleticism.

    Boy does it ever hurt when you think you’re experienced and your partner thinks you’re experienced, so neither of you are taking pains to take it easy :(

  11. Finn

    Scorching. Perfect.

    I Blame God.

  12. Liz

    Jesus F. Christ in a Cadillac, Twisty. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that damn toast thing right under the words “Hymen Fetish.” For a long drawn out agonizing second I thought it was going to be an actual photo of a severed hymen. I thought that hip patriarchal dudes were now severing and saving the hymens they’d lacerated and therefore “owned” and were wearing them on their belts or charm bracelets or some damn thing. And for that long drawn out agonizing second, I was sickened and disgusted but you know what? Not the least bit surprised.

    Thank all the Blessed Virgins, I mercifully lost mine to a bicycle seat when I was 9. (Damn, I bet it would have looked pretty cool if I’d hung it on my handlebars. Maybe I’ll get it back and fly the new one from my antenna or something.)

  13. Ms Kate

    I mean, I don’t know how many of you have had sex with men, but if you have, you may recall, if you weren’t mercifully drunk at the time, that the first time was likely a painful bloodbath, and not something you’d care to repeat.

    I have to stop you right here Twisty. Not because it isn’t that way for everybody (certainly not my story), but because I have to wonder if perpetuating the idea that it is that way for all women somehow feeds the “myth of conquest” beast that feeds the hymen fetish.

    The “I came, I saw, I conquered” crowd puts much to do into making their mark by making her bleed or otherwise causing permanent and verifyable injury to their female sex partner.

    I’m not quite sure where exacty I’m going with this, but I have to say, I don’t like where I think it leads – namely, that getting a virgin, in this mythology, also entitles a man to feel powerful by brutalizing her – whether her anatomy complies with that or not, whether it is necessary, etc. Part of the system that feeds the fetish IMHO.

  14. Amy's Brain Today

    And another spawn of this Western cultural phenomenon was heard at a lecture I attended recently on Umoja, the women’s village in Kenya. Advocates for women’s rights in Africa now have to speak of “forced female genital mutilation” and “forced prostitution.” You know, because we wouldn’t want to impede a woman’s CHOICE to fuck bunches of men for her daily bread, particularly after her CHOICE to get her vulva surgically removed/stitched up in a perfectly sterile and safe hospital procedure.

    Patriarchy liberalism = hell on earth.

  15. Lucy

    The stupid thing is of course that your virginity isn’t determined by your hymen. If you’ve had sex, you’re not a virgin anymore, whatever pointless surgery you put yourself through. Likewise there are plenty of virgins whose hymens have broken for other reasons – the thing’s pretty fragile after all.

    I suspect this is all a bit too complex for the hymen-fetishists though…

  16. Galloise Blonde

    Hi Sophie, back up in comments no. 1. The surgeon you’re talkng about may be the heroic Dr Pierre Foldès who practises in Paris. I can’t find anything on him in English, but here he is en français. He rebuilds a clitoris for women who’ve undergone FGM, and as you say, has received death threats. Because FGM is a big money spinner in France apparently, those who take the risks of imprisonment (in France, FGM is prosecuted as child torture) charge accordingly. Another notable thing: French women are covered by the state healthcare system, but he does it for free for women without French residency. He says they are already victims of a horrible crime, so why should they pay to recover from it.

    The hymen story? Yuk.

  17. Delphyne

    “To whit: I am going to hear Julia Kristeva speak next week, and if anyone can suggest a good source to read up on her and gain a critical angle”

    “Intellectual Impostures” by Alan Sokal is an entertaining place to start.

  18. LauraBora from Bufadora

    Wasn’t that piece of Holy Toast on eBay?

    I have a friend who does not know she’s been brainwashed by the Patriarchy — sometimes it is very painful to talk to her. She is enamoured with plastic surgery and HATES her pussy.

    She says her pussy is gross and freaky with dangling labia that need to be hacked off so she won’t turn off “civilized” men who might think she has some kind of crazy jungle pussy and judge her thusly. Her belief comes from the fact that she had a REALLY lame boyfriend for almost 20 years who utterly REFUSED to go down on her and never gave her any reasons why except once he said, “I’m just lazy, I guess.” She doesn’t see that he is a loser, she thinks her PUSSY is the culprit. This infuriates me.

    She is torn between going to flying school or saving up money for a labiaplasty — she blames her pussy I BLAME THE PATRIARCHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Alice

    Important news on the Blessed Virgin story appeared recentlyin the free weekly here in Duluth.

  20. Violet Socks

    Can’t comment on the hymen surgery because I have my fingers in my ears and I’m going “la la la I can’t hear you” to keep from screaming.

    But I can add to this:

    the Virgin Mary who shows up weeping tears of homophobic blood…is descended from a long, lively tradition of chaste mothers-of-gods.

    They weren’t always so chaste.

    The mythoarchaeological reconstruction goes something like this: The great Mother Goddesses started out as all-encompassing Creators, responsible for life and death, fucking and killing, everything. With the shift to an androcentric pantheon, these all-powerful goddesses were demoted and underwent a bifurcation (usually) into two distinct types: 1)love/sex/mother goddesses on the one hand, and 2)war/killing/death goddesses on the other.

    Mary is descended from the love/sex/mother side, obviously, though it’s interesting to note that for pre-Marian goddesses, virginity didn’t mean chastity, but rather ever-renewing youth. The literal virginity of Mary is related to the rejection of the body in early Christianity — which of course translated into a rejection of the female body, in particular.

    Okay, just thought I’d offer that up.

  21. Ann

    There was a long discussion of this at Happy Feminist’s place back in December, here:

    http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/2005/12/the_cult_of_the.html

  22. B. Dagger Lee

    I guess mentally ill literalism is always (often?) myopically fixated on purity. Literalism tries to–by violence, by exclusion and other methods–enforce a simplistic purity on all situations, on reality. Literalism walks this attenuated thin line to this blank void it labels purity, and it does so with blinders. It insists on its own authority and authoritarian rules and interpretation. It abhors metaphor, imagination, process, and flow and complexity. And difference and color.

    I blame the Patriarchy.

    I would add that I think that it has something to do with the weird and growing habit of putting quotation marks around everything as if words were flat and literal and not capable of bearing metaphoric content. And I’m not talking about actual quotations or even a slightly self-conscious, ironic moment like “maidenhood,” as in the article. I’ll try to find a good example from somewhere else.

    As for the Kristeva lecture: just make sure you wear nice shoes.

    I remain, your very own,
    B. Dagger

  23. Joolya

    Oh my God – I don’t want to ask, and I have a fairly good idea based on context, but I have to know – what is “husband stitch”?
    Lemme know before lunch so I don’t have to hurl…

  24. Joolya

    PS – As a man-shagging lady myself, I have to say that while my first time wasn’t exactly the most funI’ve ever had, it wasn’t a painful bloodbath. BUT I feel like if I had SURGERY on my vagina and then some jerkwad shoved his cock in it days later it certainly would be!
    Maybe for masochists this sounds fun…
    But I can’t imagine my patriarchy-blaming parter getting off on my discomfort. The minute he did would be the minute before I bit his dick off.

  25. anne

    Twisty, I love you. You say the things I wish I could with such aplomb, such surgical blade edge… and with no apologies.

    I wish you were feeling better, and more able to eat beyond the bland. When you are able, I would love to cook you a Sri Lankan meal… albeit made in America.

  26. wolfa

    So, first you have surgery so you get your vagina just the same size as your husband’s penis. Surgery hurts. Then you don’t exercise or HAVE SEX for six weeks, so when you do next have sex, it’ll bleed?

  27. Kat

    I start to ask myself what kind of man would want his wife to be rehymenized just so he can painfully rip through her new flesh, but I imagine most men would in a patriarchy.

  28. LCGillies

    I’m a het male married to a woman, a relationship neither of us entered as virgins. I saw some news about this interesting procedure a few weeks ago, and I cannot imagine the appeal in any way, shape or form. There was additional context in the article I read to the effect that for some women there is a cultural imperative to present as a virgin when married, so the operation is one way to avoid being killed perhaps by your husband or his family when they discovery you’ve been “used”. But obviously just another variation of the vaginal ownership society.

  29. antelope

    For what it’s worth, the Maori in New Zealand believe that when the universe began the sun & the earth were so busy fucking all the time that there wasn’t really room for anything else to exist between them. Somehow a child squished it’s way out & when the child got a bit older he (she? don’t remember?) decided that mom & dad really needed to be separated. This allowed space for mountains & people & stuff to come into being, but they still yearn for one another, and the sun’s rays are kind of like a form of lust beaming down on us all.

    I’m pretty sure a lot of other pacific rim peoples have variations on this theme, so not ALL gods are sex-phobic.

    What tripped me out when I first heard the Maori creation story is that Jews (my people, more or less) also believe that in the beginning the creator was taking up all of the space and had to, as my Rabbi put it, ‘suck in his stomach’ or otherwise manifest a bit less, in order for matter & stuff to make it’s way into the universe. But of course when you have only one god in the picture, the options for gettin’ busy, or doing anything especially entertaining, are pretty limited. Except in some of the psalms, where God appears to be getting it on with the Torah. People of the Book, indeed. I guess scrolls would work better for that than the books we have today.

    What is the Holy Ghost, though? Seriously. My stepmother went to Catholic school & when she told me the Holy Ghost was what got Mary pregnant, I had this image of God’s disembodied, ghostly penis floating down from the sky. Then she also told me that at school dance the nuns would go around to all the couples saying, “make sure you leave room for the Holy Ghost between you.”

  30. kcb

    I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that damn toast thing right under the words “Hymen Fetish.” For a long drawn out agonizing second I thought it was going to be an actual photo of a severed hymen.

    It wasn’t just you, Liz. I almost didn’t scroll down because I’m eating lunch.

    I think any man pursuing the fountain of youth via his partner’s crotch mauling should be required to come immediately after (or — even better — immediately before) penetration, just like a novice dude, so her partner feels like she’s with someone dewy-fresh. Afterward both of them should be required to panic about whether he used the condom correctly and what time they have to be home so their parents don’t ground them. And the following morning, they should have to take the SAT and then get their braces tightened. But I’m sick that way.

  31. schatze

    Liz #12 I think you’re on to something. We can make them up in colored plastic and dangle them from our trailer hitches and keychains.

  32. Sylvanite

    kcb #30: Ha, ha, ha! It sure did suck to be a teenager. Why would anyone want to recapture any of it?

  33. Sylvanite

    Did anyone see this?

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/02/catholic.town.ap/index.html

  34. cm

    I think the money quote in the article is “When I go to talk to her, Dr Hailparn immediately says how important it is for a woman to feel good about her body and her sexuality”. I guess no one thought that maybe a woman could feel good about her body as it is, without having to change it. Maybe by saying “Damn! This is niiiiiiiiiiiiice!”

  35. Pony

    Whoosh! Where are we? Utah, Texas, Florida, Canada?

    Pakistan.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/pakistan/mckenna_pakistan.html

  36. Katherine

    For those who don’t know, the “husband stitch” is something a white-coat clad patriarch does after performing a (usually unnecessary) episiotomy on a woman giving birth: it’s an extra stitch designed to make her tighter, since presumably giving birth has stretched her out and “ruined” her for her husband’s pleasure. Said doctor will often joke about it before, during or after the procedure, with a knowing wink in the husband’s direction.

  37. Puffin

    Sylvanite – do ya wonder if they’d outlaw Pizza Hut too? (In the fight between good and evil, Pizza Hut just has to be on the evil side).

    I sat on a panel once that was debating the significance of cultural relativism vis-a-vis human rights work. Female genital mutilation was tossed around over and over as why human rights work trumps cultural “idiosyncracies” (I swear on my left foot that’s how it was phrased). Anyhow, a brilliant woman who works for Human Rights Watch interjected that indeed, the mutilation of women’s chests in the United States must be addressed as more than a cultural idiosyncracy. All the white folks looked perplexed. Then it sunk in and they all shut the fuck up about FGM.

    The butchering of women’s bodies is just a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. When women reach full humanity, when they get the same choices white men have always enjoyed then FGM and hymen-redux will disappear.

  38. Joolya

    Katherine:
    EW EW EW!!!!!!!
    Because sex isn’t going to be fun enough for the new mom after she’s just squeezed out a canteloupe-sized parasite, the doctor wants to make her bleed MORE???
    Kegel muscles, people.
    That is fucking sick.

  39. zuzu

    So, first you have surgery so you get your vagina just the same size as your husband’s penis. Surgery hurts. Then you don’t exercise or HAVE SEX for six weeks, so when you do next have sex, it’ll bleed?

    Hey, here’s an idea: make the husband’s dick bigger!

    And I always thought the grilled-cheese sandwich looked like Jean Harlow.

  40. BloodRoot

    All righty then. How about reengineering a circumcision? Yep, a true re-enactment, simply snip the tip and pull! Then have a grand lovemaking session with your re-created virgin. Yeeeeeow.

  41. Tony Patti

    I’m really puzzled by one thing, though: if sex is something men love doing so much, why is everyone they have sex with soiled and debased as a result???

    Because men in a Patriarchy have all been sold a choice bill of goods wherein to be a man you have to be a brutal, obsessed, aggressive asshole who does nothing but find ‘em, fuck ‘em and forget ‘em. That phrase is from my childhood, for crying out loud.

    But men are human deep down inside, too, so they do things that seem contradictory. It sickens a thinking man, even one completely brainwashed by the insidious influence of the Patriarchy and in full expectation of every possible assumption of male privilege conceivable. So what they do, after they’ve shot their wads and the hormones have subsided a bit, is feel the echoes of some small pang of regret that they cannot love and respect that which they treat as they treat a woman.

    And then, incapable of blaming themselves, they blame what they have sullied with their own foul spew: The women.

    I really just wanted to say that today I started meditating on the Twisty usage of the neologism pornsick. If I never saw another piece of pornography again for the rest of my life I would still be pornsick. I have seen such crap that I can never erase the horror of it from my mind.

    I have seen wonders and beauty, too, but still, it’s all just kind of sickening, and I wonder if I would be a very different person if I had never seen any of it. Pornsick. It really says a lot in two syllables.

  42. Sylvanite

    Puffin, I’m guessing that both Pizza Hut (truly a tool of evil – it’s the grease, ya know) and Papa John’s would both be outlawed in the coming Catholic utopia. This reminds me of why the thing I’ve given up for the last 18 Lents has been Catholicism.

  43. Pony

    Bush arrives in Pakistan
    Mar. 3, 2006. 01:11 PM
    MUNIR AHMAD
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ISLAMABAD — President George W. Bush arrived in Pakistan this evening on a high-profile visit aimed at boosting the standing of President Pervez Musharraf despite widespread anti-American sentiment in the country and concerns in Washington over the Pakistani leader’s record on democratic reform.

    Toronto Star
    http://tinyurl.com/rc57t

    Just in case anyone missed the point of my previous post re Pakistan, President Musharraf, rape, Texas, Florida and Utah.

  44. Violet Socks

    What is the Holy Ghost, though?

    But antelope, you’ve answered your own question! The Holy Ghost is that little sliver of air that keeps eager young penises from getting too close to virginal young twats! That’s God’s Plan.

  45. Rhus

    Thanks for the link, Galloise Blonde. It warms your heart quite a bit after reading about this craziness and other horrors! This doctor is a wonderful person. And the comments section is really moving.

  46. Rhus

    Oh, and Twisty: I do hope you’ll feel better soon. Sending lots of good vibes your way.

  47. Frumious B.

    What’s more horrifying to me than labiaplasty is the practice, in this country, of trimming a baby girl’s labia if they are deemed to big to be attractive. I heard of this procedure from my bio professor in college. It doesn’t get much press.

    What’s more horrifying than both is hearing FGM defended as a “cultural” thing because it is so important to a woman’s stature. Yeah. Brands were important to slaves’ stature, too.

  48. stekatz

    I read that phrase “designer vaginas” and immediately got an image of vaginas with little Gucci logos on them. I can just see the husbands now at the first post op appointment, “Does this also come in taupe?”

  49. Pony

    Rebuilding the clitoral glans: why? It’s only the tip of a massive structure. What am I missing about this French doctor’s heroism to women who’ve had clitoridectomies and/or infibulation? (If infibulated, unlikely restructuring the glans alone will do much.)

    Anatomy of the Clitoris
    Helen E. O’Connell
    0022-5347/05/1744-1189/0 Vol. 174, 1189–1195, October 2005
    THE JOURNAL OF UROLOGY® Printed in U.S.A.
    Copyright © 2005 by AMERICAN UROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

    “Purpose: We present a comprehensive account of clitoral anatomy, including its component structures, neurovascular supply, relationship to adjacent structures (the urethra, vagina and vestibular glands, and connective tissue supports), histology and immunohistochemistry. We related recent anatomical findings to the historical literature to determine when data on accurate anatomy became available.

    Materials and Methods: An extensive review of the current and historical literature was done. The studies reviewed included dissection and microdissection, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 3-dimensional sectional anatomy reconstruction, histology and immunohistochemical studies.

    Results: The clitoris is a multiplanar structure with a broad attachment to the pubic arch and via extensive supporting tissue to the mons pubis and labia. Centrally it is attached to the urethra and vagina. Its components include the erectile bodies (paired bulbs and paired corpora, which are continuous with the crura) and the glans clitoris. The glans is a midline, densely neural, nonerectile structure that is the only external manifestation of the clitoris. All other components are composed of erectile tissue with the composition of the bulbar erectile tissue differing from that of the corpora. The clitoral and perineal neurovascular bundles are large, paired terminations of the pudendal neurovascular bundles. The clitoral neurovascular bundles ascend along the ischiopubic rami to meet each other and pass along the superior surface of the clitoral body supplying the clitoris. The neural trunks pass largely intact into the glans. These nerves are at least 2 mm in diameter even in infancy. The cavernous or autonomic neural anatomy is microscopic and difficult to define consistently. MRI complements dissection studies and clarifies the anatomy. Clitoral pharmacology and histology appears to parallel those of penile tissue, although the clinical impact is vastly different.

    Conclusions: Typical textbook descriptions of the clitoris lack detail and include inaccuracies.

    It is impossible to convey clitoral anatomy in a single diagram showing only 1 plane, as is typically provided in textbooks, which reveal it as a flat structure. MRI provides a multiplanar representation of clitoral anatomy in the live state, which is amajor advantage, and complements dissection materials. The work of Kobelt in the early 19th century provides a most comprehensive and accurate description of clitoral anatomy, and modern study provides objective images and few novel findings. The bulbs appear to be part of the clitoris. They are spongy in character and
    in continuity with the other parts of the clitoris. The distal urethra and vagina are intimately related structures, although they are not erectile in character. They form a tissue cluster with the clitoris. This cluster appears to be the locus of female sexual function and orgasm.

    KEY WORDS: genitalia, female; clitoris; anatomy and histology; magnetic resonance imaging; history of

  50. Jennifer

    She says her pussy is gross and freaky with dangling labia that need to be hacked off so she won’t turn off “civilized” men who might think she has some kind of crazy jungle pussy and judge her thusly.

    If you change the word “thusly” to “thrustly”, I would have thought that was a good thing!

  51. cinder

    Jesus Christ. The last thing I’d wanna do is pay $5000 to relive losing my virginity. It hurt. I can’t imagine for the life of me why anyone would want to spend a small fortune reliving an incredibly awkward and unpleasant experience…Hey this is fun, I’m not really a virgin but I’ll pay big money to bleed and feel pain so you can fantasize about fucking a little girl. Ugh, this sends chills down my spine, how utterly revolting.

  52. Frumious B.

    oh yeah, I forgot one more horrifying thing: the amount of time spent decrying male circumsion with nary a word about the baby girls and their labia.

    Pony: Dr. Foldes explains his technique in this interview:

    http://www.intact-network.net/main2/document/fullarticleword/theclitorisregained.doc

  53. Raincitygirl

    I can understand the need for ‘rehymenization’ in patriarchal societies where a woman’s life could be in danger if she doesn’t appear to be a virgin on her wedding night (understand, not approve of), but on Western women in New York? The hell?

    See, I’m wondering what the age spread is for the women who remember their first time as a drunken bloodbath. Because while I don’t recall my first time being particularly comfortable or memorable, I wouldn’t have called it a bloodbath, and I don’t recall my friends my own age describing it that way either. But I’m from a generation in which tampons are widely used pretty much from the onset of menses, and that could have something to do with it.

    I mean, between all the cycling and the fact that I’d been using tampons for about six years or so before I actually got around to putting something that wasn’t a tampon in there, I figure my hymen probably fell by the wayside and I didn’t notice. Come to think of it, the first few times I inserted a tampon, it hurt like hell. I put it down to lack of experience at using the damn things at the time, but it could’ve been my hymen.

    What’s the difference, anyway? I mean, I was still a virgin in the sense of ‘hadn’t had sex before’ when I *did* have sex even if my hymen had already gone the way of the dodo bird, and that married woman with the creepy husband still isn’t a virgin just because she got herself an artificial hymen at vast expense. I realize I’m not the first person to point this out, but can I get a ‘huh’?

    Oh, and if I had $5,000.00 extra lying around, I’d pay down the mortgage a little more, or take a photo safari to Botswana, or something else that’s either useful or memorable. I sure as hell wouldn’t follow in that woman’s footsteps. I mean, wouldn’t her life be easier if she just divorced the jerk?

  54. Kate

    One thing of note here is that according to the story, the husband reports that he wasn’t all that fond of the idea, nor did he originate it or suggest it. In other words, he knows its disgusting and wants no responsibility for his loopy wife’s decision.

    Which brings me to the alarm bells ringing in my head right now and the voice screaming, “Another dumb bitch just took a bullet for the Patriarchy!”

    Which also leads me to the sad thought that we women will never be able to push our own heads out of the swarmy, smelly cistern of partriarchy because some stupid woman wants to sew up the hole of our liberation, clamp down hard with all her might to prevent our struggling re-emergence as full fledged human beings. Its not like the godbags or the assbags have anything to do with it, while they stand at the table, coaching her, “Don’t push now honey, not now! Wait ’til the doctor says!”

    So here we are still, suspended inside the terminal walls of macho restriction, choking and gasping to fill our lungs with fresh, unpolluted air and open our eyes and realize our own existance as fully fallible humans, capable of reaching our potential without restriction or compression any longer.

    Damn, damn, just when I think we’re almost gonna get out, those idiots are still outside standing around the table lovingly coaching and encouraging, reminding the mother of our own rebirth; reminding each one of us, that she mustn’t deviate, must obey orders. Of course, lest she tire out there’s always a man willing to extend a helping hand to push us back in again, choking, spitting, writhing and fighting all the way.

    Is it our society or is it human nature to believe that the content of one’s actions mean nothing and no effect on the rest of humanity? Most people dream of having some affirmative life experience, where they are thanked for their kindness, recognized for their caring. It seems natural human tendency to care for each other.

    But when women embark down the Patiarchy Path into the woodlands of Identity Insignificance, they must eat the fruit fed to them which poisons their minds. It renders them devoid of considering that their actions may not only restrict and their self-realization, but by publicizing the act to which they have become a party to anyone other than the water heater in the baement, they make themselves the broadcasters of the latest ways in which the patriarchy may successfully diminish women.
    ************

    As an aside my friends, I recall reading a Hustler magazine that one man I knew had saved, he saved two issues, from two months (probably never paid the subsciption fees).

    It is worthy of note here that one spread had a young female with labia flaps like i’d never seen before. Like if she had muscles in them, she could probably make them talk and sing opera. She could tie them together in knots. Now this was odd to say the least to someone like me, being misdirected and propadangized all my life by the powers that be. I asked him what he thought. Oh he thought it mighty grand indeed and thus why he saved that issue. A big turn-on.

    Also, I read the next month’s issue and found that the letters were pouring out to more spreads of this amazing woman and the male admiration for her physical gifts. The mag even admitted they had a backlog of mail from admirers and would publish her again if she wished.

    So, don’t believe everything line of bullshit the patriarchy feeds ya, cause it ain’t all true.

  55. Lorenzo


    And another spawn of this Western cultural phenomenon was heard at a lecture I attended recently on Umoja, the women’s village in Kenya. Advocates for women’s rights in Africa now have to speak of “forced female genital mutilation” and “forced prostitution.” You know, because we wouldn’t want to impede a woman’s CHOICE to fuck bunches of men for her daily bread, particularly after her CHOICE to get her vulva surgically removed/stitched up in a perfectly sterile and safe hospital procedure.

    Patriarchy liberalism = hell on earth.

    liberal patriarchy simply extends the trick of exploiting the formally free all the more succesfully by invisibling the systematic nature of that exploitation.

    Fantastic comment, BTW!

  56. kathy McCarty

    Two things: I imagine that the reason the heroic French doctor rebuilds female genitalia is the same reason car crash victims get facial reconstruction: it won’t ever WORK the same, but at least it won’t be as mutilated as it WAS.
    What is this about cutting female BABY LABIAS in THIS country? Huh? Most moms I know would KILL a doctor who took a knife to their newborn, for ANY reason….I need to know more about this !

  57. Galloise Blonde

    Pony, in some descriptions of FGM I have read, the internal parts of the clitoris are pulled out also as much as possible, given, as you say, that it’s an enormous organ; I think it is this part of the process that causes the high rate of death by heamhorrage. I may be wrong, the process differs, and I’m no expert. Anyway, he does it for free, and in the face of death threats, so that makes him a hero in my book; also he campaigns with GAMS and presented at last years Ni Putes Ni Soumises conference. He does also talk about repairing infibulation and making childbirth easier by removing the scar tissue to make the labia more supple.

    Incidentally, while we’re talking vaginas, I first read about Dr Foldès in the French edition of Glamour while waiting to see my kenostherapist. Under the French health system, you get ten free sessions after having a baby to work on your vaginal muscle tone, with yoga, electroshock therapy (doesn’t hurt) and a friendly woman pushing her fingers in and urging you to ‘Serrez le vagin! Serrez! Serrez! Plus fort! Plus fort!’ etc etc. Which may not be fun, but is a darn sight better than fucking surgery, and a lot more effective than solitary kegels. (But the stupid doctor gave me a completely unnessary and enormous epiosiotomy during the birth, so don’t think I am in love with French healthcare.)

    Rhus, I never noticed the commentaries, thanks for that! There were a few interviews in Glamour, which I wanted to steal from the waiting room but was too honest to do so, where women and their boyfriends talked about the changes in their sexual life after clitoral reconstruction, but the testimonies here have an authenticity you don’t feel in magazines.

  58. spotted and herbaceous backson

    Eeeugh.
    As a teen I was horrified beyond belief to read/hear that sexual initiation for me might involve an injury, even a trivial one. All seemed to take it for granted, and even those who knew that sort of thing didn’t happen all the time, didn’t bother to tell me how to make sure it wouldn’t. I had to figure that one out myself. Now someone is crazy enough to want to have that happen–unbelievable.
    Thing is, even today, the books for young girls often leave that out. They say “it might or might not bleed, etc.” but they don’t say how to prevent that. It is like a huge blind spot. Seems to me that keeping women from getting wacko ideas like in that article, starts with educating girls right, about safety and the reason they deserve not to be hurt.
    Don’t work, sports and home present enough first-aid opportunities already?
    If family/cultural contexts demands the simulation of a gruesome spectacle, it seems to me that something could be rigged up that’d look gruesome but not actually hurt the user.
    I have encountered threads on this subject before. The best suggestion I recall for use of an extra 5 grand, involved a tall building and a big box of Superballs.
    Twisty, get well soon and don’t ever quit!

  59. Galloise Blonde

    Thanks for finding a translation of the Afrik article I linked, Frumious B. I didn’t notice your post earlier when replying to Pony (comment currently held hostage by the Spamulator) so sorry not to mention it then.

    Seems like, if I was a wittier person, I could tie the threads together, with the fact that the feature on FGM appeared in Glamour magazine, which was doubtless itself also packed with ads for plastic surgery, with the hymen surgery that sickens Maiden Aunts (amongst others) and Amy’s Brain Today’s comments to make some big point about patriarchy’s overt and tacit manifestation.

  60. Pony

    Thanks for the link. There’s not much there about the actual surgery, really. I *hope* it’s a worthwhile effort, but I’m very jaded when it comes to gyne heroes.

  61. Grace

    Adding my name to the chorus of “have slept with man, didn’t bleed profusely”. Dunno whether it was the horseback riding, the gyno exams or the tampons (which happened in that order) – I suspect that nasty metal speculum myself. It’s amusing to read things like Fanny Hill (18th century erotica) and be entertained by all the accounts of gushes of blood in the deflowering scenes. Whatever.

    And maybe I’m missing something, but how does the virgin birth glorify male dudes? I mean, it seems like the reverse if anything – there was no Glorious Human Dick involved. It reminds me of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech (and if you’ve never heard of Sojourner Truth, 19th c. feminist, ex-slave and touring speaker, google her IMMEDIATELY – she kicked ASS): “Your Christ came from God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with it!”

    I DO blame the patriarchy for the ridiculous assertion that Mary stayed a virgin, when even Matthew and Luke (who, incidentally, wrote only 40 or so years after the life of Jesus, not 100) acknowledge that Jesus had brothers. I mean geez, her life was hard enough, why shouldn’t she have had a decent sex life with Joseph? But no, St. Augustine was a misogynist and so the Catholics, of whom, thank goodness, I am not one, have ended up with this ridiculous perpetual-virginity fantasy.

    Finally, in reply to Antelope, God spends much of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible/current politically correct designation) and significant portions of Revelation getting it on with Jerusalem. Seriously.

    Twisty, sorry to get on the God horse again, and you can ignore this comment if you want – but you brought it up! :)

  62. Hazel

    How sick! Just beggars belief.
    Interesting yet alarming fact I learnt from Germaine Greer: The word ‘Vagina’ actually means ‘sword sheath’!!

  63. zuzu

    I blame the current concern about dangling labia on the current fashion for denuding one’s genitals. If you had a big ol’ bush there, you’d never notice where your labia were when you were standing.

    I’ve never encountered a guy, honestly, who was overly concerned about the state of my labia. Usually, they’re more than happy to see them at all. Hair’s a different story, though that’s usually been a functional thing — either they like a natural bush because it traps your odors, or they like trimmed/shaved because they don’t like getting stray hairs in their throats.

  64. Ledasmom

    Honestly, if one had five thousand dollars worth of do-whatever-one-likes money, wouldn’t it be a lot more fun just to walk up to someone on the street and give it to them? Or, I don’t know, buy the most expensive tickets you could to something – musical, sports event, whatever – and give them to people who normally wouldn’t get to sit in the good seats (preferably, in the case of sports, loud, enthusiastic fans who might spill beer on the rich people), or hire someone to do street origami, or hire a billboard and put on it, in giant letters, “(X) IS A DOOFUS”, which is something I have always wanted to do. Or pay people to have your worst enemy’s face tattooed on their butts.
    If I had enough money, what I would do is wait for the local public-radio fund drive and, when they say “We need X amount of money to meet our goal”, call up and give it to them right then so they could stop the fund drive. I honestly don’t know how the super-rich stop themselves from just randomly giving bags of money to people. I mean, what if you could drive up to a toll booth, hand over a credit card, and say, “The rest of the day’s on me”?

  65. Rhus

    Why is Dr Foldès’s work remarkable? I’m no expert in FGM either, but I’d go with kathy McCarthy’s answer in # 56: “it won’t ever WORK the same, but at least it won’t be as mutilated as it WAS.”

    In the interview, he mentions that he cuts the often painful (adverb and adjective missing in the translation) scar. That should be enough to thank this man for his work. But, as Galloise Blonde says, it seems he has been repairing the more terrible consequences of FMG. Somebody who tries to lessen the consequences of such a brutal, monstrous practice like infibulation is a hero in my book, too.

    Apart from suffering problems like incontinence or horribly hurtful and dangerous childbirth, these women have been robbed of sexual pleasure, which has been replaced by pain in most cases. We may not want to contribute towards the exaggerated importance of orgasms in our sex-crazed societies, but it seems to me that nobody should dismiss lightly these women’s frigidity, enforced in the less subtle way that patriarchy has devised. The story about hymen reconstruction provides a good contrast: this last operation means pain for the woman and a (highly dubious) pleasure for the man; clitoris reconstruction diminishes or eliminates pain for the woman and gives her some (maybe full) capacity for pleasure. Hopefully her partners will enjoy it too, but that is secondary.

    The only drawback I can find regarding Dr Foldès’s activity is that some idiot will say, “look, it’s reversible! No problem! Why do they whine?”

  66. jezebella

    Speaking of Glamour. I sent a letter to the editor about the Glamour Stiletto Run and actually received a response. The Reader Services Editor responded, believe it or not, and said she’d never heard of the Stiletto Run. She looked into it and it was sponsored by the Netherlands Glamour, which technically is a completely different company than American Glamour. I know: fashion magazines are destructive literature, I know, I KNOW!!

    BUT the reason I use Glamour as my go-to fashion fix when I feel like reading something fluffy is they do have articles on genital mutilation and other important issues. Try finding anything worth a crap in Cosmo, Vogue, or Elle. I like cute clothes and I live in bumfuck Mississippi, it’s not like I can go shopping around here to find out what’s cute & happening clothes-wise.

  67. robin

    I got a nice warm smile from seeing #58 Spotted and Herbaceous Backson’s name.
    I feel sorry for the kids now who will never read those words, and will just know Winnie the Pooh from the Disney Animation.
    Love live the enigmatic Backson!
    Also, I am increasing fond of Tony Patti as well. Interesting comment.

  68. Pony

    I’m not against surgery which would restore joy and utility to these women’s lives.

    I’m against hero-making. The articles we’ve seen are hero-making. I’d like some actual proof. I’ve had enough of gyne heroes.

  69. Twisty

    Well the thing is Grace, the virgin birth didn’t actually happen, and is the invention of men, so Truth was only having a literalist joke which is actually kind of sad. The myth of the virgin birth glorifies men generally because it glorifies the main man, the Christ figure, simultaneously relieving him of the ignominy of having been born to a dirty slut and conferring upon him the sparkle of deity. It serves the additional purpose of defining women, as I mentioned, as the sex class.

  70. Pony

    “The aparkle of deity”.

    Now I really understand the GLAD guy.

  71. Lorenzo

    Well the thing is Grace, the virgin birth didn’t actually happen, and is the invention of men, so Truth was only having a literalist joke which is actually kind of sad. The myth of the virgin birth glorifies men generally because it glorifies the main man, the Christ figure, simultaneously relieving him of the ignominy of having been born to a dirty slut and conferring upon him the sparkle of deity. It serves the additional purpose of defining women, as I mentioned, as the sex class.

    Twisty,

    It also strikes me that Mary was made a ‘virgin’ so as not have had her ‘defiled’ or ‘subjugated’ to a human man, reinforcing the message that a woman is defiled and lessened by having sex.

  72. CoolAunt

    If I get my virginity back, does that mean that I get to un-fuck the jerks that I’ve fucked? Do they have to go with me and get surgically unfucked? If that’s the case, it just might be worth it.

  73. Mary Sunshine

    CoolAunt !!! oh, yay … you made my day!

  74. meardaba

    I don’t know if anyone else pointed this out (I don’t have the time to read everyone’s comments) but the surgeon in that story said “deflowered”. DEFLOWERED?? It was never plant-like, and was definitely not plucked! Someone needs to beat these words out of commission.

  75. Edith

    I’ve never had sex with a man and I’m never going to, goddess willing. As I have no memory of hymen breakage, and I didn’t do gymnastics, ride horses, or go outside during my girlhood, and I do not use tampons or stick anything in my vagina (I see it as an “out” hole, when I see it as anything at all), I bet I have the solidest fucking hymen and the tightest vaginal canal in the universe. Man. I know that this woman would be way fucking jealous. Oh, how vaginas are wasted on the celibate.

  76. KPhoebe

    antelope: Some clarification on “the Maori of New Zealand” creation myth.

    I’m sure that you didn’t intend this at all, but I got a distinct whiff of “those primitive, nature-loving Maori” from your phrasing, and want to make clear that the myth you speak of is a creation myth, and believed by the people of New Zealand as much as most people believe in the exact specifics of their culture’s creation myth. It’s sort of a half-belief, at best. Not all Maori believe it to be true, and not all non-Maori disbelieve it.

    Moreover, Maori mythology is also much more ambiguous on the subject of sex than your summary indicates – Papanuku and Rangi had to be forced apart in order for mankind (specifically, *man*) to exist, so forcing them to stop their inconsiderate fucking is largely considered a good thing. Maui, the trickster semi-divine hero of many Maori myths tried to cheat death by crawling into the vagina of the goddess of death. She woke up while he was halfway through, crushing him between her thighs – and since then everybody has lived much shorter lifespans. Dirty women responsible for people dying again!

    The goddess of death, incidentally, only became such because she was fucked by her father. When she discovered that theirs was an incestuous relationship, she stopped being the maiden of the dawn, and fled underground with HER shame. Daddy dearest, of course, carried on as per.

    Traditional Maori culture is all about endorsing the patriarchy (whether women – including the New Zealand Prime Minister – can speak in ceremonies held at the meeting houses is still a huge issue), and the mythology likewise.

  77. emjay

    I’m willing to confer hero status on any doctor who makes women’s lives much less miserable. If he can make sex go from a horrible, painful experience to one that is pleasant, that is certainly worthy of some adulation. I think about that often, how terrible it would be to not be able to get any pleasure from sex. Similarly, even knowing the stranglehold patriarchy has on all of us, it amazes me that a woman would give up feeling in her breasts in order to make them giant and presumably more pleasing to others. My feeling is that my breasts are here for two purposes: to bring me pleasure, and to feed my baby someday. If anyone else gets some enjoyment out of them, at best that’s an added bonus. Granted, the last time I saw life from the other side of a B cup was about two decades ago, but I still can’t imagine willingly giving up pleasure for aesthetics. For my health if I had cancer, yes. But to give others something to look at? Hell, no.

    I’m mulling over whether I’d be willing to have sex with a man, reconstructed hymen or not, again if someone paid me $5000. (I’m pretty sure the answer is no, since my alternative reproduction technology will cost me a pretty penny, and I’m not willing to get the sperm for free if it involves actual contact with a carbon-based penis.)

    I seem to comment here more than anywhere else in my life how happy I am to be a lesbian. I just can’t imagine the reconstructed-virginity thing. In my world, it’s more like, “Hey, you’re relaxed enough for four fingers tonight! Cool!”

  78. Galloise Blonde

    I was looking for more details on the Doc’s process, but all I found was this. It’s a bit more but not a description of the whole thing. The internal clitoris, which is 10 cm is repositioned by loosening the tendons which hold it in place, to keep the nerve endings active. He claims a 100% success rate for removing pain during sex, an 80% rate for creating a normal appearance, and that after 4-6 months an there is an increase in sensation for 60-70% of women. He also says they are all referred to a sexologist and a psychologist for counselling and therapy, so whether this plays a part is moot.

    I can’t find good data on what damage is done to physical sexual response by FGM. For example, here’s a bizarre study in the New Scientist that claims that “circumcised women experience sexual arousal and orgasm as frequently as uncircumcised women”, but if you read the actual thing, there’s precious little to justify the claim. I think I may have seen the same study discussed elsewhere (I forget where otherwise I’d link), and all they asked is how often do you have sex, but having sex is no guarantee of orgasm or arousal, particularly not under the Patriarchy. The fact that cut and uncut are having sex at the same rate could indicate no more than that all sex is initiated by men. The point of the study is blatant though: it says that the study proves “female genital cutting cannot be justified by arguments that suggest it reduces sexual activity in women”. Lots of official sites on FGM have the line that sexual sensation is not reduced, that there is a psychological readjustment that compensates, like the old myth about blind people developing extra-sensitive hearing. (No reason to dig people’s eyeballs out though). Is this true, or is this psy-ops, a way to attack FGM without needing to take on the whole edifice of Patriarchal culture? Because if there was good data, that quantified the sexual damage of FGM it would make it even more common, because female sexuality must be suppressed at all costs? If we had statistics on loss of breast sensitivity after boob jobs, what difference would it make to those women who’ve literally internalised their sexbot status at the expense of their individual sexuality? Probably none.

    I find it impossible to believe that FGM can leave the sexuality undamaged. My own body tells me that the best feast is when you can taste every dish on the menu. If 60-70% of Dr F’s patients agree with me, then maybe the danger is not just that people will stop regarding it as serious because it’s reversible as says Rhus, but that it will hamper the majority of FGM campaigners who’ve decided to attack FGM on health and fertility grounds rather than the bizarre concept of the human rights of women.

    How fucked up is the Patriarchy? On one hand we have rich women paying $5000 dollars to have one night of painful ‘pleasure’ which, of course is *entirely* the woman’s choice, and on the other we have poor immigrants in France paying 1000€ to reduce their daughters pleasure in perpetuity, which again is coded as the *mother’s* choice. (Maybe I’m patriarchy-whipped but I don’t spend that sort of money without proper discussion with my partner). How fucked up is the way it makes us, makes women, choose or seem to choose to suffer, suffering for ourselves, suffering for our daughters?

    My brain’s in knots, and I’ve started ranting. I should leave this topic and go play with my kids.

  79. Pony

    We do not know if his surgical procedures accomplish what he says they do, It seems we’ve left out a few steps here and gone from *this would be a great thing* to *this is a great thing* to *this is a great man*. ‘m not willing to buy into hero-making journalism.

  80. Pony

    “circumcised women experience sexual arousal and orgasm as frequently as uncircumcised women”,

    Ahhhaahaaahaaa. Well that’s saying a lot isn’t it. Explains the whole thing right there.

  81. Rhus

    Pony, you say that you’re “not willing to buy into hero-making journalism.”

    Well, yes, I’d got the point before. Galloise Blonde has given us some more information, but here’s a little too. This is an article by Foldès himself in which he describes his technique (photos included). I assume it is peer-reviewed and hope I am not too gullible by saying so. At least, there is a comment at the end by “Alain Haertig, Service d’Urologie, Hôpital de la Pitié, Paris.” I’ve checked, and he seems to be who he claims. Urofrance seems no hoax, either.

    If you google “excision pierre foldes”, you’ll get “about 259 documents.” I’ve had a look and well, there is a little of everything, from reviews of a book written about him to several articles. Again, I suppose that the journalists have done their research; I might be wrong, but they are quite a few.

    I’m reasonable sure of the existence of M. Foldès and the work he has done in Africa in the past and in France now. I feel thankful to him on behalf of the women he has helped overcome problems ranging from incontinence and extreme pain to lack of sexual response. You seem determined not to give him hero status, and I’m not trying at all to make you change your mind, but at least these links might be proof that he does the work that has been claimed, in case anybody else here feels skeptical too and would welcome said proof.

    Just as a final reflection, I’ve been thinking that many of us sorely miss medical investigation and practice really focused on women’s wellbeing. This man’s case seems an exception to me. Again, I’m grateful to Galloise Blonde for pointing to some optimistic news, which is always welcome.

    (P. S. Pony, I don’t understand your comment # 80. If I read correctly, Galloise Blonde said that the quotation was a claim in the New Scientist which seemed unfounded. I don’t get how you interpret it nor the inferences you might be making.)

  82. Pony

    Do you read French? Fluently? And can you determine whether a study is valid, whether written in French or in English? My French isn’t good enough to read this. But I’ve read enough medical studies in English to know a study being *done* isn’t proof of anything. For example, those that claimed efficacy for Vioxx. And even if I could read this study in French I’m not a surgeon.

    You absolutely do not know this:
    “I feel thankful to him on behalf of the women he has helped overcome problems ranging from incontinence and extreme pain to lack of sexual response.”

    We only know he says he has.

    I really don’t want to carry on with this. I’m not competent to read this study in French; I’m not a surgeon; and I absolutely know journalists aren’t to be trusted with “research”.

    Having been one.

  83. Galloise Blonde

    Me, I read fluently the French. Of course, you only know that I say I can.

    Thanks for the PDF, Rhus. (And the warning about the pictures.)

  84. Pony

    I’m impressed and envious of your abilities in French. Could we then have a translation of the study “Conclusion”?

  85. Galloise Blonde

    I live in Paris. You gotta do what you gotta do. I don’t know why you want the Conclusion, because its really short, and dead easy, but if you want it, voilà.

    In conclusion, the technique presented appears to give good results, both anatomically and functionally. Simple to achieve, and reproducible, it is currently performed under general anaesthetic over a day’s hospitalisation. Fin.

    If you notice, the summary is in English already: ‘This article describes a clitoris reconstruction technique after ritual excision. After resection of the scar, the angle and the body of the clitoris are then released preserving the innervation. A clitoral glans is then created by w;edge plasty, then reimplanted in an anatomical position…’

  86. Galloise Blonde

    Hmmm. I did translate the Conclusion, which was only two sentences and probably fairly easily understandable to someone that doesn’t have French but it hasn’t shown up, so I don’t know whether the Spamulator has it, or whether its just plain vanished. I have shit to do today, for IWD, so if it doesn’t show, ask me again later.

  87. Mary Sunshine

    Galloise Blonde,

    Thanks for that! :-)

    Mary

  88. Ron Sullivan

    Speaking as an old broad who’s sporting $5,000 worth of barbwire in her mouth for the next couple years, I’m thinking I wouldn’t pay that for hymen “reconstruction” either, and I’m using those loathesome bunny-ears because I’m not sure I ever had one. Never wanted one either.

    God damn. Shit like that gives fucking a bad name.

  89. Isabella

    This thread disturbed me. The ladies posting in here are promiscuous and don’t feel at wrong. Are you all atheists in here? Not to sound rude….but I find this surgery appealing to many women. Say they made a mistake, and lost their virginity at a young age, then refound God, and was going to get married. I would feel horrible, as a Christian, to not give my entire self away to my husband, and him only. Of course you would tell him you are not a ‘virgin,’ but it was a mistake, and spent the money on something you believed in. The women in here obviously are lustful and are into fabricated love. None of this is romantic at all, it is repulsive. Religious husbands may also be interested in this as well…if the wife was not a virgin at the time they married. If they were un-believers, then yes, I don’t know why husbands would want that.

    This is also helpful to the Muslim women who will be killed if found not a virgin to their husbands. If they repair the hymen, their life would be safe…
    This procedure is usually only given to people with religious reasons…because usually the surgeons are religious….I’m sure there might be a couple who aren’t, but the religious ones won’t want to do this with a wicked reason…

  90. Twisty

    Arguments that depend on religion don’t wash with me; God is a woman-hating patriarchal construct. I’m afraid I don’t even respect your beliefs.

    Additionally, your ellipses sicken me.

  91. tigtog

    Isabella, for a lot of women the rupturing of the hymen during the first sexual experience is painful.

    Obviously, if a Christian woman who “made a mistake” is honest with her bridegroom, he knows that it isn’t her first time. So how does having the surgery give him “the gift of her virginity” when he knows she isn’t a virgin?

    Unless the gift of virginity is not the gift of one’s first sexual experience, but is instead the gift of causing you pain by ripping your flesh on the wedding night? If his religious beliefs make him believe he’s entitled to break that hymen or else, he is not good husband material no matter how fervently he praises the Lord, he is a control freak.

  92. fatmaw

    Twisty, I know it’s changing the subject a bit but have you considered the possibility that the “woman-hating patriarchal construct” that you associate with God is not actually God, but rather a picture of God contructed by the patriarchy? Perhaps you are confusing a gnarly, wart-infested finger pointing at the moon with the moon itself.

  93. hedonistic

    The Divine Force I’m acquainted with has a wicked, wicked sense of humor, couldn’t give two shits about my hymen, and is definitely worth knowing.

    I don’t know from this God dude, he seems like an asshole.

  94. Amanda

    Thank you for your vehemence.

  1. Feministe » It’s barely even March.

    [...] Then Twisty defines patriarchy for all of us–twice! [...]

  2. Feministe » Blog Against Sexism Day

    [...] It should be fairly obvious to everyone here why we blog against sexism. It’s because women are still considered sub-human baby-producing vessels, instead of individuals with full rights of self-determination. Because women’s bodies are still seen and used as property. Because reductive gender constructions hurt women and men, and shame people out of supporting equal rights. Because we still have to answer these questions. Because some people still fail to recognize that there’s work to be done here and abroad. Because woman = sex, and our bodies are fetishized and labelled deviant, dangerous, and sinful. Because sexism, heterosexism, animus/discrimination/violence towards women and animus/discrimination/violence towards the LGBT community are inherently intertwined. Because the rights of the woman still come last. [...]

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