A Dartmouth senior decided to distribute mirrors to every woman on campus to help them look at their vaginas. And some people were outraged! Naturally.
According to IvyGate, Mayuka Kowaguchi gave out the mirrors on October 18 as part of her training for an on-campus sexual health advising group. The mirrors also included a note explaining how to employ them in va-jay-jay examination. Apparently some students "viewed the project as patronizing, others an in-your-face show of sexual profligacy." Another criticism came from Grace D'Arcy, a columnist at The Dartmouth, who took issue with Kowaguchi's statement that the mirrors could "shift [women's] perspective from the expectations and limitations of belief patterns, societal cultural or religious conditioning." D'Arcy wrote, "If these mirrors were truly meant to encourage the consideration of issues surrounding body-awareness, then, I believe, those who consider themselves to be members of Dartmouth communities of faith — which do not support acting on this knowledge in a sexual fashion — would not have been offended." However, she said Kowaguchi's statement about the "limitations of belief patterns" was "a direct attack on all faiths." So basically, vagina-mirrors are a-okay, as long as not used to promote sexy-times. Acknowledging that some faiths have discouraged understanding of and comfort with the vagina (and potential sexy-times in which it might participate): not okay.
It's no surprise that passing out vagina-mirrors on a college campus caused an uproar, but it's a little sad. The act of looking at your ladybits has become kind of a big deal post-Vagina Monologues, but its importance can get kind of overblown. Sure, it's important to be comfortable and knowledgeable about your anatomy, but sexual health and empowerment are about a lot more than a mirror — it's a little depressing that even this relatively small step towards open discussion of female sexuality made people freak out.
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