Friday, March 28, 2008

The Scandal of the Vulva

Even though the vagina is only part of the female genital apparatus, often people use the word "vagina" as slang for the whole. I believe I have an explanation for this synecdoche.

The vagina is the exact spatial and functional complement of the penis. Penis and vagina exist "for" one another. To characterize the entire apparatus in terms of the vagina, therefore, is to define it as in need of the penis, as intelligible only in the context of the penis. Correspondingly, women exist in order to be "satisfied" or "made whole" by men.

The scandal of the vulva is that it suggests the possibility of a world without penises. It's certainly not incompatible with the penis, but neither is it purely dependent on it. Rather, the vulva institutes a regime of womanly pleasure liberated from the capabilities of males, a regime with which any rapprochement is always of an improvised and factitious nature which eludes science.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that there's a complementary identification between the penis and the vagina, but, um... y'know, never attribute to malice what can be attributed to laziness... or however you want to phrase it.