On Wednesday 7 March, WoW (Women of the World) Festival launched at London’s South Bank Centre, bringing together tales of brilliant triumph, fierce debate, guest speakers and ideas for change. Running until the 11 March, the festival offers members of the public the opportunity to hear from inspirational guest speakers…or even learn how to change a tyre and discuss managing your own finances. Alongside this, one of the debates to be hosted by WoW is to run in conjunction with Cosmopolitan Magazine’s ‘F Word’ campaign titled ‘I am a Feminist – Can I vajazzle?’
This for me, is where it all goes a bit wrong.
Why are we even asking the question? Last time I checked, every woman had their own vagina…along with other important stuff like arms, legs, necks and stuff. Nowadays, a strange thing has also happened whereby women are allowed to choose their own outfits or what colour they fancy painting their very own nails. Therefore, whether or not one of my peers wants to get waxed within an inch of her labia or create a pubic Frankie Coccozza hairstyle is of no interest to me and doesn’t in any way make me consider her oppressed/less likely to be a feminist.
As someone who enjoys a bit of modern, feminist literature I’m regularly annoyed by the snide assaults launched from one woman to another regarding the upkeep of their pubic hair on the grounds that should you choose to wax, you’re giving in to what men crave after years of watching too much porn. Never mind the fact that trapping just the *smallest* of hairs in your lacy cacks during your morning commute and not being able to do anything about it makes you want to open-mouth cry, we must now all revert back to hairy foofs because other women say so. Champion.
The point of raising awareness about feminism is to express that there’s freedom of choice. Opportunity for all. Not to be superior to men, just equal. Not to live in a man’s world, just live in a world. Equal pay, the elimination of double standards when it comes to sexual promiscuity, women being allowed to vote, not having builders bellow for you to ‘get your gash out’ when you walk past East Croydon station, who Chris Brown intends on pummeling this summer…*these* are the issues we should be interested in, not what your nether region’s doing.
I love clothes. I love make-up. I love lingerie. I like making an effort with how I look. I wax because I like it, not because I worry what a man might think if I don’t. I couldn’t give two stuffs what a man might want me to wear because essentially, you’ll find they probably don’t care/notice. I also don’t shove jewels on my fanny because it looks like a Claire’s Accessories nightmare and would probably be mega itchy. None of these decide whether or not I’m allowed to be part of a pro-female world.
We really haven’t come as far as we thought if we’re still discussing image as part of the feminist debate, and by discussing I mean tearing apart our so-called ‘sisters’. Feminism needs to stop being viewed as a dirty word…and instead, as a way you can describe yourself while still appreciating men and still remaining feminine. I won’t be attending the Cosmo chat….just let it be known that should you wish to hang floral bunting from your clit and use facepaint on your bumhole so it resembles a shocked panda then I’m all for it. You’re still a feminist trooper in my eyes.