Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Samantha Bee: Vaginas Don’t Look Nice

I have to confess that I have never heard of Samantha Bee before today.  The first thing I did was hit Wikipedia to find out who the hell this woman is.

Bee was born in Toronto, Ontario. She studied theatre at the University of Ottawa, also studied at McGill University in Montreal and studied acting at George Brown Theatre School in Toronto. She was one of the four founding members of Toronto-based sketch comedy troupe The Atomic Fireballs, with whom she performed before being hired by the Daily Show in 2003.

On The Daily Show, Bee has demonstrated an ability to coax people into caricaturing themselves — particularly in segments like "Kill Drill", on hunters and fossil fuel executives claiming to be environmentalists; "They So Horny" on the dearth of Asian men in U.S. pornography; "Tropical Repression," on Ed Heeney, a Florida politician running his campaign based on opposition to gay rights; "The Undecided", an over-the-top look at the infamous undecided voters leading up to the 2004 U.S. presidential elections; and "Samantha Bee's So You Want To Bee A..." report series, which humorously caricatures the way in which one can easily obtain a certain job, like becoming a 527 group. Her segment on "NILFs" ("News I'd Like to F#@k"), discussing the sexiness of news anchors is one of her most memorable: "CNN has the wholesome girl-next-door NILFs, the kind you can bring home to meet your mother. MSNBC has the dirty-over-30 NILFs. Fox has the filthy NILFs who will report anything. They're the Hustler of NILFs."

Okay, now that we have established her identity, let’s look at a conversation she had with Jessica Wakeman of Frisky:

(laughs) Is this part of the interview?

It can be. I like pubic hair! Our body looks weird without it. Vaginas don’t look that nice to me without it.

(Awkward silence)

I mean, vaginas don’t look that nice. Like, little girls have cute vaginas. But lady vaginas, you need a little hair. It makes it look better.

I just resent being told I’m supposed to do something with my pubic hair.

Me too! F**k off! It’s my thing. If you don’t like it, let’s move on. I don’t like you. If you don’t like my vagina, I have moved on. Ten minutes ago! To someone else!

Is that a problem you’ve had?

I have never had that problem and I’ve never given it more than two minutes worth of thought. Like, I just don’t care if a man didn’t like my vagina. I would just hate him instantly.

So, let’s see if I can get this straight.  A man cannot comment on whether or not he would like her vagina to be bald or not, but she can tell other women that they have to grow hair or their ladybits won’t look nice.  For heaven’s sake.

It is not pro woman to be anti-bald vaginas as much as you may think it is empowering.  What is empowering is understanding that how women chose to groom their vaginas is their business. Really, why is this such a hard thing to understand?

The moment you get into the realm where you are judging other women based on their physical appearance, you are doing patriarchy’s work.  A pro woman centered conversation acknowledges that women’s bodies are shaped differently, and are beautiful in all of their manifestations.  Supporting women also means acknowledging personal bodily integrity, and the right to make decisions about what one does with ones body without judgement or interference from others.

Whether or not my vagina has hair on it does not reflect its beauty.  My vagina gives me pleasure; it was the canal through which I birthed my children, and it signifies in my case a female cis gendered body  (note: I acknowledge that not all women have vaginas).  My vagina is beautiful, because it is a part of my body, and that is all that should be necessary to consider it such.