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Movable Snipe: Vagina Urinals Speak For Themselves

Spencer, In response to your question of whether I think some of Feministing’s images and links should receive further discussion, I’d say my answer can be summed up in one of the superfluous Latin phrases I picked up back in … Read More

By / November 22, 2006

Spencer,

In response to your question of whether I think some of Feministing’s images and links should receive further discussion, I’d say my answer can be summed up in one of the superfluous Latin phrases I picked up back in law school (See dad? All those tuition dollars weren’t for nothing!). The phrase is “Res ipsa loquitur,” and it means, essentially, “The thing speaks for itself.” Do we really need to deconstruct the sociopolitical implications of a giant vagina urinal? Is it somehow remiss not to accompany a picture of a doggy style coffee table with several paragraphs of detailed analysis? Somehow, I think it’s safe to say we all just get it.

As for the question of feminism’s “humorless” baggage, whether or not it’s accurate to say that the traditional movement suffers from a severe humor shortage, it’s certainly portrayed that way (and doesn’t do much to help itself, as evidenced recently by the scene in hopelessly-hyped “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” in which the faux-hero meets with a group of dour, priggish feminists who stomp from the room once he begins dropping his outrageously sexist and heavily-accented comments. The women later talked of suing). And let’s be honest, a dose of laughter might not be such a terrible thing, as I think the writers at Feministing have realized. Humor can be an excellent source of social deconstruction, as we identify entrenched gender roles and stereotypes by exaggerating them to extremes and then having a good laugh over the results. Of course the legacy of fighting for equality in a patriarchal society isn’t inherently funny, but the ability to step back and recognize that no single viewpoint represents universal truth, and the whole “battle of the sexes” really isn’t a concept with a conceivable winner, can be invaluable.

[Movable Snipe is a Daily Shvitz feature wherein two writers spend a reading a handful of blogs and offering constructive (or savage) criticism in epistolary form. This week's Snipers: Spencer Ackerman and Melissa Lafsky.]

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