Friday, January 09, 2015

Snake-Eye Thoughts. Because I can.

1.  Life is complicated.  The world is complicated.  People who don't care about nuances miss an important basic fact about everything.  The solution to life, the universe and everything is not forty-two.

But that everything is tangled in a knot, that every solo singer has a discordant chorus in the background does not mean that there aren't any conclusions.  Sometimes even simple conclusions!  We need to search for them from the whole menu of twists and turns and among the many voices talking at the same time.

So why am I writing all that?  Because so much online debate demands simple solutions before the complicated problem is analyzed.  That's too early.

2.  I've recently found the little contrarian Echidne (with biiig fangs)  inside my psyche.  She's always existed but I have muzzled her.  Now she has chewed through her muzzle and wants to write all her crap out.  We shall see who wins.

The word I want here is not probably contrarian.  It's the case where I just suddenly and deeply disagree with those who walk my path on some aspect of the issues, and then I fight that part of me because of the stupid idea that if I'm not with you I have to be with the enemy.  The fear of loneliness (is anyone reading here?), the fear of disapproval by those I esteem.

To give you an example of one topic on which I disagree with many feminists, consider the #notallmen hashtag and similar ideas.  I don't think we should use group guilt in that context, just as I don't think we should blame all Muslims for what a few killers do.  My contrarian part has written a long post on that (a much better post than this short note, but still in drafts).  Whether it's of any interest to anyone (Bueller?) I don't know.

3.  Dirty vulvas.  People on Twitter have referred to a genital douche ad which suggests that women should clean their vulvas before going for a job interview.  To feel more confident that nothing stinks, I guess.

That's hilarious.  I'm imagining washing my vulva and hanging it out on the line to dry.  Given the freezing weather here I would then have, as one online friend stated, a frigid vulva.

Here's where the complications enter, however.  The ad is an ad, by a manufacturer of scents to use to cover up any vaginal smells.  How can they promote a product like that without coming across all 1950s misogynist?  What they are doing isn't that different from the deodorant ads etc. either.  Ads sell us insecurity and then tell us their products will take care of that.

Then there's the question of the role of the magazine, Woman's Day, which published the ad.  I see an enormous number of ads which are sexist in subtle ways, I see ads for alcohol and even cigarettes.

The real problem is in the existence of a product like that, a feminine douche.  It's not needed, based on what medical experts say, and it can even be harmful.  Water works really well.