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Not Breasts, But Other Female Parts

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Wearing the word “vagina” is apparently against the dress code in Minnesota schools.

After seeing the off-Broadway hit, The Vagina Monologues, two high-school girls in Winona, MN, were inspired to wear buttons stating “I (heart) My Vagina.” According to the AP report today:

…The students were admonished for wearing buttons inspired by the show… The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has offered to help students fight any consequences from their actions.

As a means of preventing the students from offending those to whom the mere mention of “vagina” is an affront, the school’s efforts have failed. The AP reports that more than 100 students have ordered T-shirts bearing “I (heart) My Vagina” for girls and “I Support Your Vagina” for boys.

This incident follows the suspension in 2001 of a 17-year-old Michigan boy who came dressed as a vagina to a Halloween costume contest. He won first prize in the school contest, then was suspended from school for a week.

Maybe it’s something in the milk.

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About DrPat

  • Eric Olsen

    beyond hilarious: “I support your vagina.”

    So now we have covered the convex and the concave. Not sure how much debate we will have on this one, though: there is relatively little debate on what the vagina is for.

  • Dawn

    there is relatively little debate on what the vagina is for.

    An escape route for newborns.

  • Eric Olsen

    traffic goes both ways of necessity

  • SFC SKI

    I always thought of the vagina as more of a dual-use technology.

    I have a few reasons why the school is not wrong, but I am too tired to do more than rant, soI won’t.

  • The Theory

    yeah, i support the school in this one.

    Though I totally want an “I (Heart) My Vagina” t-shirt.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Maybe the cheese from unhappy Midwest cows is the cause of these surprising nonconformist acts.

    After all, you’d never see Californians doing anything like this.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i swear, this country will never grow up.

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, it’s called neoteny

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I said this at another site. do we really want high school boys walking around with “I (Heart) My Cock” buttons or T-shirts.

  • Eric Olsen

    I believe the corollary would be “penis” – if it was ignored, it would go away

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    “I (Heart) My Penis” would be a better parallel.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    And also self-evident, particularly in the case of teenage boys.

  • Eric Olsen

    this has the potential to turn into one of those “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” arguments

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Feminazi communatheist liberal gay agenda stuff, you mean?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Oh, come on. We all know you — gay or straight, young or old — love your wieners.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Wow, thanks for those really important style clarifications. :~ Neither should be on school grounds.

    I believe the corollary would be “penis” – if it was ignored, it would go away

    “I (Heart) My Penis” would be a better parallel.

  • Eric Olsen

    I meant it about the buttons; if they were ignored they would go away. Schools need to learn to pick and choose their battles. Some simply aren’t worth fighting.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    I believe the corollary would be “penis” – if it was ignored, it would go away

    I’ve tried it with my husband. Doesn’t work.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Yes, we must protect children from the dangerous powers of parallel sentence structure. Only men over the age of 35 and women over the age of 40 should be allowed to study this arcane art.

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m not entirely sure that’s flattering

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    It’s got staying power….

  • Dawn

    Did I miss something or are we talking about how to make penises go away?

    Let me know when you figure that out. It could prove useful.

    “Hey you Penis, be gone.”

    And poof, it was gone!

  • Eric Olsen

    I was talking about the buttons, not the winkers. This thread is a nearly miraculous instance of out of sequence postings and linguistic misunderstandings

  • Dawn

    So we aren’t going to learn how to make a penis go away?

    I want my money back.

  • Eric Olsen

    there is always the Lorena Bobbitt technique

  • Dawn

    That’s illegal – I was looking for something more magical in nature – like a Harry Potter spell perhaps.

    penisdisappearo

    or

    erectusprotectus

  • Eric Olsen

    but you have you pox to protect you

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Maybe now that Harry and Hermoine and Ron are getting well past puberty, Rowling will write about the spells you’re seeking, Dawn. Though “erectusprotectus” is pretty funny…

    Victor, I thought it was strange that both stories about school children and vaginas were in the upper MidWest, hence the final line. Happy cows, happy milk, happy cheese. Cold cows, miserable milk, psychosis-inducing cheese?

  • WSHS Student

    I actually go to WSHS. This week has been crazy. Why does everyone care so much about our school and our vaginas?

    This battle started almost two months ago. And how it went so public and widespread is beyond all of us.

    I was never offended by the buttons. I won’t be offended by the shirts when they wear them.

    Please remember that in this same school, a girl wore a shirt that said “I Love My Kitty” and another wore “Eager Beaver” without getting in trouble.

    What does that tell you about our administration? You can imply your vagina however just don’t say that actual word. Compare it to some furry animal instead.

  • Bennett Dawson

    “Why does everyone care so much about our vaginas?

    You can imply your vagina however just don’t say that actual word. Compare it to some furry animal instead.”

    YIKES! How can ANYONE believe that it is proper to have this nonsense on a t-shirt? We don’t “care so much about your vagina”, we care so much for the taxes we pay so that you have an education.

    You are free enough to express your vagina views after school, maybe while you hang out at the mall?

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    How can ANYONE believe that it is proper to have this nonsense on a t-shirt?

    so why is it not proper?

    no name-callin’ allowed.

  • Bennett Dawson

    Actually, I don’t care what people choose to wear, or have printed on their t-shirts, so long as it’s not racist, or any other type of “ist” that could incite a riot.

    But, I am a middle aged fogey who believes that school is for education, not a place to extend the concept of freedom of speach to include provocotive messages on the t-shirts of school girls.

    Or ANY messages on t-shirts of school children, regardless of gender.

    If the most exclusive private schools require a uniform, why don’t we strive to provide the best education “experience” for our own children? This should include a dress code. One small reminder that the purpose of school is for education, NOT a venue for a fashion parade by the “get” of trailer trash.

  • Eric Olsen

    like I said: choose your battles. The wise adinistrator would respond only if the buttons/shirts caused some kind of major stir among the students. If not, ignore them.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Uniforms are not how exclusive private schools become effective at education. Rather, it’s the gobs and gobs of money. The uniforms are merely part of their marketing scheme, helping to attract the aforementioned gobs of tuition cash from image-conscious wealthy parents.

    Forcing uniforms and dress codes into public schools will not magically improve the students’ test scores.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Gobs and gobs of money come to come to the public schools, too, Victor. It’s how they choose to spend them that makes the difference. Administrators focused on providing educational bang for the customer’s buck, for example, rather than the PC-police dress militia we see here, for example…

  • Bennett Dawson

    DrPat, What do you mean by this?

    rather than the PC-police dress militia we see here, for example…

    Although not popular in today’s society, a standard uniform allows children (IMO) to focus more effectively on the tasks at hand.

    I(heart)My Vagina t-shirts are certainly an unecessary distraction in the classromm, no?

  • http://homepage.mac.com/donfrancisco864/iblog/index.html francisco68

    Eric had it covered in comment 8 where he found a word I had to look up: neoteny. Definition:1. Retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species, as among certain amphibians.
    2. The attainment of sexual maturity by an organism still in its larval stage.

    Are American adults juvenile or amphibians? Or are the kids sexually mature although still in their larval stage?

    Or is the country in the midst of yet another round of hysteria?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Eliminating distraction from classrooms must wait for a future when we have the technology to force every student to attend as a disembodied brain in a jar. Actually even that might not work. No doubt the students would eventually notice some people’s brains are far more attractive than others.

    There will always be some students who concentrate on their studies, and others who constantly distract themselves, no matter what clothes they wear to school.

    We can outlaw the “I (heart) My Vagina” t-shirts. Some students will still distract themselves by thinking about the bodies underneath each other’s ordinary street clothes.

    We can force them to wear uniforms instead of street clothes, but that will not render students unaware of each other’s bodies. In fact, it takes very little time for a hyper-sexed society to eroticize the uniforms themselves.

    The porn industry has a highly active subgenre called the “schoolgirl fetish.” Once young people become aware of this, school uniforms can be a distraction even stronger than any “I (heart) My Vagina” t-shirt.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Please on the uniforms. Not only do they help with limiting distractions – nobody said they would eliminate them – but the far more useful reason IMHO is that people don’t spend forever in the morning wondering about what they’re going to wear; and whether there are fashionable labels involved.

    That doesn’t mean it’s the panacea for all peer pressure ills.

    Alos, private schools show greater success for one reason most people forget to mention – they can pick their students. Public schools take everyone so the success – as far as academics anyway – is averaged out.

    That people can afford to spend the money, tends to the idea that there are fewer issues of day-to-day survival. (There is a legion of exceptions.)

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Where can one buy these T-shirts? “I support your vagina” — what a great line.

  • SFC SKI

    Oh, the wonders of Google referrals.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Better line – “Vagina rights? I’m in.”

    Adam there is a BCer

  • Bennett Dawson

    Gawd, What a silly thread. So in order to get serious about it I have a suggestion and a request:

    Have school uniforms consist of “I (heart) My Vagina” shirts for girls, and “I (heart) Your Vagina” shirts for boys.

    I want a t-shirt that says “I Support My Vagina Of An Ex-Wife”

  • SFC SKI

    Temple, that’s a good one!

  • Bob

    I wonder how they would react to a “I (heart) livestock” button?

  • The Demigodd

    Death to Conformity.
    Death to Society.
    Who cares about what the high-school conformists think? The downward spiral of society has already begun, and there will be NO stopping it. HAIL ABADDON!!!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Check in with us again sometime and let us know how ABADDON is doing.

  • The Demigodd

    ABADDON, aka SAMAEL, aka Mephistopheles, aka SATAN will come to conquer the world with an iron fist! YOU WISH FOR THE DAY OF ATONEMENT, BUT IT WILL NEVER COME!!! GOD HAS FALLEN!!! HELL AWAITS MANKIND!!!

    (I’m such a rebel.)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Dude — Satanism is so conformist, don’t you think?

    By the way — Mephiskaphales is a pretty rad ska band.

  • The Demigodd

    Satanism isn’t conformist because it is a counterculture. It doesn’t “conform” to society’s norms or expectations. Although I am not a Satanist, I admire anything that is opposite to what society expects. This is why I LOVE metal.

    This does not include paraphilas, however, like pedophilia or xylophilia (“attraction” to trees).

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Going headlong for anything the opposite of societal norms just for the sake of it is SO conformist, dude.

    Non-conformity is not being bothered by what society cares about one way or the other, doing your thing, not feeling the need to wear a “uniform” that shows hoe super non-conformist you are, etc.

  • The Demigodd

    Hold on. Conformance means the act or state of agreeing. So, if one disagrees with the popularity of things in society, that makes him an anticonformist.

    But if you disagreeing with that, I guess you’re agreeing to being a rebel.
    I guess anticonformity would be the wrong term. Rebellion would be a better term. I still admire anything rebellious. But, what would be the opposite of a rebel?

    Yes, time for a new bookbag.

  • The Demigodd

    But, conformity is also agreeing to certain standards. If “going headlong for anything opposite of societial norms” is the subject, then one would still be an anticonformist. That person wouldn’t really conform to anything else.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    In individualist cultures, nonconformism is conformity.

    All of our literature and entertainment glorifies the rebellious individual, the self-made independent thinker who goes against the grain, above all other character types.

    If that’s your ideal, you are simply conforming to the cultural training of modern Western civilization.

  • Bennett

    I saw Mephiskaphales play the Vermont reggae festival. Very smooth!

  • The Demigodd

    No, Western, particularlly American, civilization glorifies VIOLENCE. The nonconformist in many movies dies, sending a message of “unconditional conformity”.

    Also, I’m talking about reality, not literature of entertainment. Many people scoff at those who are different, the societial rebels, the anticonformists, also sending this message.

    I rise to go against society. Society may “glorify the nonconformist”, but society isn’t going to go do a nonconformist act. Society is conformist. Bottom line.

    I will be back in 90 minutes.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Demigodd, your real name wouldn’t be Little Nicky, would it?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    If American culture was all about conformity, you nonconformists wouldn’t be a dime a dozen.

    If you really want to know what a conformist culture looks like, you could go and try being a nonconformist in Japan. A word of advice, though: make sure to at least finish high school first.

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    Heh, sorry I missed this post the first time around. I love my vagina and I would definately buy a Tshirt stating that much. I think someone wearing a little button saying that is not something to be suspended over though.

    Oh well whatever.

  • The Demigodd

    Hello. I am back.

    Mr. Plenty, what is the problem of being a nonconformist in Japan? I know a little about Japanese culture, mainly violent pornography and a schoolgirl obession.

    Dr. Pat, I would like my true manifestation…err…identity to be undisclosed. :)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    The point is that rebellion is its own conformity, Demigodd.

  • The Demigodd

    Maybe so, but would you rather conform to normality, or would you rather be rebellious and think outside the box? To me, conformity is a lack of individuality. People (mainly among teens, but it isn’t common to see it among older people), having a fear of being shunned because of what they really think, hide behind a fake personality and live their lives brown-nosing. I realize that rebellion can be its own conformity. But I still think conformity is a lack of individuality. That’s just my interpretation.

  • Bennett

    “I realize that rebellion can be its own conformity. But I still think conformity is a lack of individuality. That’s just my interpretation.”

    Do you realize how bizarre and illogical your comments are? Is it that you can’t focus your thoughts long enough to make sense? Do you think that there is something admirable in you position?

    Oh wait, you believe that being obtuse is thinking outside the box, right?

  • The Demigodd

    I might have contradicted myself there, but elaborate on how my comments are stupid.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I think it’s more three-dimensional than the choice of a) conformity or b) rebellion.

    Maybe it’s a question of maturity. Individuality, in my view, is not giving an f what the conformists or the rebels or anyone else thinks about what you do, what you wear, who you are.

    Perhaps it’s maturity because when you reach a certain stage you realize that in the end: NO ONE CARES… except maybe your parents, a sibling or two, and if your lucky, a friend or two and/or a significant other.

    And then it’s liberating: you can do whatever you want and be yourself. You don’t have to “rebel” because there’s nothing to rebel against. You’re yourself and that’s all that matters.

    It’s that way of thinking that can allow me to watch a “conformist” show like The Apprentice, dig the hell out of ska-punk, write my ass off ’till four in the morn while the rest of the world sleeps, perform interpretive dance numbers to the theme of Alias to delight the dog and piss off the wife, and still manage to hold down a job to pay the bills.

    So that’s just life. Are a bunch of people asleep/sheep/robots? Sure, but what the hell do I care? I’m more concerned about the punk ass who keys my car in some dumbass act of “rebellion.” Screw the man, right?

    Screw that. Screw yourself.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Ha! I used “your” above when I should have used “you’re.” Something I just bitched about on another thread.

    Okay, here’s a HUGE key to being individualistic: being able to laugh at yourself.

    Man, it helps…

  • The Demigodd

    Ahh.. Mr. Berlin, you have entertained me. Maturity. I’m glad you’ve referred to maturity rather than age, because some other people are strange.

    I’m “rebelling” because I am angry at the world. Let’s just say I had a fucked up childhood, and I’m launching my own personal war by doing things completely oppostie of the culture of the people who relentlessly made fun of me. I’m also expressing myself. So, it’s a two-toned thing. Expressing my anger makes me happy.

    I must fall into a state of unconsciousness. I bid you adieu.

  • The Demigodd

    By “other”, I meant “older”.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Well, just try and keep in mind that rebelling is fine, even healthy, up to a point. But if it goes to far, you’ll end up hurting yourself more than anyone else.

    It’s great that you can articulate your thoughts as well as you just did. Just the act of doing that, perhaps, will help you to work past your issues and anger.

    And if that’s not enough, punk rock sure as hell helps.

  • Mael

    DrPat and the rest of the hippies in this thread that supports this: grow up. Really. School is for learning. Period. A horny teenage mind doesn’t need to think about a shirt that’s staring back at them saying anything about a woman’s sexual organ.

    It’s common-freaking-sense. I swear, so many people can be so damn juvenile.

    Stop conformity!, stop the freedom takers!, Ahhhh!

    Stop feeding children more reasons to have intercourse.

  • Les Slater

    #66 Eric Berlin,

    “Ha! I used ‘your’ above when I should have used “you’re.” Something I just bitched about on another thread.”

    An hour an one minutes late, in #69:

    “But if it goes to far…”

    Relax, proper spelling is not at all times the most important thing in the world.

  • Les Slater

    Mael,

    “Really. School is for learning. Period. A horny teenage mind doesn’t need to think about a shirt that’s staring back at them saying anything about a woman’s sexual organ.”

    It’s not originating with the students. It’s business that is increasingly trying to capitalize on the sexuality of children. How can they escape that.

    This whole thing reminds me of the talent contest ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.

    Les

  • Mael

    Les Slater,

    I’m a bit confused, are you agreeing with or against me? I completely agree that children are being bombarded by sex from corporate nut jobs (Mary Kate and Ashley should be ashamed of themselves for freaking thong underwear), but should we continue with these Vagina T-Shirts?

    I realized after I wrote my last comment that it had been a couple of years since this was talked about but I can only hope the school won. This is why I’m choosing to home school my son and soon to be daughter myself.

    Thanks for responding.

  • Les Slater

    Mael,

    It’s a jungle out there that kids have to go through these days. I don’t think sex being on the mind of young people is anything new. Nor do I think being open about it or comfortable with it is a bad thing. The problem is that they are being manipulated. School is not where it comes from.

    It wasn’t that many decades ago, at least in the rural South, where sex was simply dealt with by marriage, starting at fourteen for the girl and not that much older for the boy.

    Home schooling is not going to change society for the better. Your kids will have to face it sooner or later.

    The wearing of “I ‘Heart’ my Vagina” button is not a sexual invitation. It might have been in the fifties but not in this century. The particular context here is that it was after seeing ‘The Vagina Monologues’, two girls were inspired to wear the buttons. It was a statement of pride, strength and confidence.

    Les

  • Mael

    Bull. It was defiant.

    Which really isn’t anything new for the Vagina Monologues as it’s core agenda is for women to speak out against an invisible, fabricated agenda– the agenda that women are oppressed and beaten like ugly puppies. Not to mention homosexuality and the evil of “Man”kind.

    Put yourself in the mind of these children sporting buttons. Were they really proud of their little vaginas or were they trying to stand up and make a defiant point?

    Let’s go further and put this in perspective. If male children wore shirts that read, “I <3 my penis”, do you really, honestly think that that would be an appropriate thing for a child to wear?

    I had a poor attention span in school, as I’m sure many other kids of my day and even today have. Those types of shirts (and buttons) were/are distracting. They made it hard to pay attention and they were/are very arousing.

    My children will be home taught simply because the parents and teachers of this day and age have lost all grasp of reality. I want my children to learn what’s acceptable and what’s not during there younger years so they can make the right decisions later on in life.