vagina worship
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Vagina worship and its discontents

By Steve Korver Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 15:46
Size: vaginas in, penises out … Pussies who are terrified of vaginas … What happens if there’s no word for vagina? … These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

The mighty vagina

Before the world religions introduced the “pesky” concept of shame, the lady bits were widely adored and venerated, according to ‘A brief history of vagina worship’.

Vaginas represented “strength and fertility – and sometimes punishment”.

However, in this day and age, many are terrified of the vagina. (And yes, it’s safe to call them all pussies.)

But back in the day, it was only Satan who “cowered at the sight of an exposed vagina”, since only vaginas had the power to “ward off evil and increase crop yields”.

In Hindu mythology, Shiva was so upset by his wife Shakti’s suicide that he began his dance of destruction. To save the universe, Lord Vishnu calmed him by cutting her body into 51 pieces and scattering them across the subcontinent. On the spot where her vagina landed, a temple was built where to this day a fertility festival is held to celebrate Shakti’s annual menstrual cycle. “The river Brahmaputra is believed to turn red during this time.”

Meanwhile in Hawaii, the goddess of fertility Kapo also has a remarkable vagina. When her sister was sexually assaulted by a half-man/half-pig, Kapo detached her vagina and sent it flying off as a distraction. It worked: the creature blindly followed the vagina all the way to the southeast tip of O’ahu and Kapo’s sister was saved.

No wonder that sacred texts refer to the vagina as a “sacred area”, “a pad of pleasure”, “an occult religion worthy of reverence” and “a symbol of the cosmic mysteries”.

But today, “giving visibility to the vagina is a task that has largely fallen on those in the field of erotic entertainment: the pornographers. And they’ve managed to transform the mythical vagina into something much more carnal.”

It’s become more about “pussy worship", “face-sitting” and “queening”.

“It may not be quite as inspiring as Kapo’s flying yoni, but it seems to be the most accessible form of vagina worship modern society has to offer.”

Matters of size: keys are useless without locks

“It’s no secret: We are obsessed with penis and testicle size. Lately, we’re especially fond of evolutionary explanations for why penises and testicles are as large as they are, and why they’re shaped the way they’re shaped,” according to ‘Why is no one interested in vagina size?’.

Countless articles explain how the size, shape and sperm-displacement abilities of penises has led to larger, more banana-like and far-shooting penises.

“Thanks to his big penis and its fancy countermeasures against other men’s sperm he’s more likely to pass on his winning-penis genes than you are to pass on your loser-penis genes. Loser.”

However: “Doesn’t it make sense that for a penis to be useful it has to be somewhat correlated to vagina size? Wouldn’t you explain the size and shape of the key by the size and shape of the lock?”

So why are there so many studies about penis size and so few about vagina size?

And in fact, bigger vaginas can be explained quite easily: babies. After all, what goes in (teeny-weeny spermies) must come out (big, bouncing babies).

“The point is, the literature rages on with all of these different creative explanations for penises, with nary a vagina in sight. But you heard it here, at least: Childbirth has likely had a huge impact on the evolution of the human vagina — and, consequently, the penis. And yet, for whatever reason, we continue to put the penis on a pedestal, severed from its full evolutionary context.”

Another kind of Buddhist emptiness: Calling it… nothing

“In Myanmar there are no vaginas. Linguistically, at least, that part of the female body does not exist in Burmese – a lexical omission that highlights the intense cultural taboos facing women’s rights activists as they battle against the country’s woeful maternal health record and entrenched gender prejudices,” according to ‘Myanmar: women's fight against verbal taboo symbolises wider rights battle’.

Extremist – and obviously terrified – Buddhist monks are propagating traditional views “that women’s genitals are dirty”. They enforce these views through violence and pushing through new government legislation that enshrines women as second-class citizens.

What’s this? Buddhists who aren’t into the ‘emptiness’ that the vagina represents? Wouldn’t you think that Buddhists – especially extremist ones – would love this sort of symbolism?

And anyway, how are you expected to worship something if it doesn’t even have a name?

Have you paid your respects to the vagina lately? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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