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Our Vaginas, Our Selves

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So...sometimes I feel like I am a little late to enter "The Conversation". But that has never stopped me before! After all, I really just discovered Daphne Merkin after reading her cover story on depression in The New York Times, "A Journey Through Darkness" a few weeks ago, Daphne is a fearless writer who has written on many controversial topics in her own voice and through her own eyes. Daphne puts it out there and invites controversy. Bravo. I love fearless.

After I read the piece in The Times online - my eyes stumbled on to several related links - other writings by Merkin. And these writings have been talked about for several years in the online commentary that I recently found. But I just have to weigh in...of course I do!

First there was the piece that ran in The New Yorker on sensual spanking ("Unlikely Obsession"), which apparently raised a few eyebrows and no doubt a few skirts - and then there was another controversial piece that ran in The New York Times, called "Our Vaginas, Ourselves," - where Merkin talks about the new world of, shall we call it, "The Cosmetic Vagina" and female self-loathing.

Merkin talks about the world of Brazilian waxes, hymen reattachment, labia reshaping and shortening and what it says about how we view our female genitals. I celebrate the fact that she writes it all - through her eyes - and that the NY Times publishes it. But Merkin misses the mark when she says,

"Truth be told, I always considered myself lucky to have escaped coming-of-age at the height of the consciousness-raising era, when anatomical self-examination took on the aspect of a collective ritual.

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