Hi, I’m Lydia. Chick-Chat is a column for me to engage you in a light flow of conversation about girl stuff and casual gossip because everyone needs some girl talk.
Women's bodies are politicised and sexualised more than men's blah blah blah; you're bored of incessant analysis of the unfair treatment directed at vaginas and their owners, I get it. You're right to be loathsome of a decent feminist think-piece, but they're only going to cease when we all buck up (you included) and treat all bodies equally.
Bodily fluids have never been glamorous, except for, maybe, spit. But an overwhelming horror of one of the more taboo female juices is still relentlessly tossed to the curb whenever the idea is raised: vaginal discharge.
Shame, stigma and shit
Woman with working reproductive system, Stephanie Davis, was humiliated on Celebrity Big Brother when everyone got their knockers in a twist that ~shock horror~ someone found her pants that had a healthy bit of ol' discharge in them. Panic ensued around the house as the dudes who found them declared "pigeon shit" and mobilised a hunt to "name and shame" the culprit. As much as this reaction was immature and avoidable in itself, the reaction from the public was even more disheartening.
Following this, British broadcasting regulators Ofcom received 165 complaints. Some of those were on Steph's vagina's side; the rest joined in the unrelenting shaming, stigmatising the very natural process that is vaginal discharge. There were even news articles branding the situ "disgusting" and "vile".
Seriously, how have people not caught on that bodies are meant to be a little bit gross. It's almost as if these dweebs on CBB have never sat on the crapper or had a wank. Unlike common perceptions that women are shinier and glossier human beings without mostly the same biological functions as men, the truth is we do. Contrary to what I told the boys of the playground, women shit too. We also have weird fluids like discharge.
In some ways, vaginal discharge is crazy cool and something to be envious of. To the surprise of those lacking in cliteracy, the natural process is the vagina's way of cleaning itself.
I know you didn't have 'reading "vagina" and "mucus" in the same sentence' on your agenda today, but here goes: a natural, healthy vajayjay emits discharge, a mucus produced by the cervix to keep everything squeaky clean.
"We should all be screaming about our creaming organs, not shying away from some stained knickers"
The notions that it's something vulgar or vile is not only ignorant but dumb to believe. It's not grim, gross or even strange when you think about it: it's fucking brilliant! We should all be screaming about our creaming organs, not shying away from some stained knickers.
Operation: vagina police
A sad truth is discharge is unlikely to see peaceful days until we stop the unrelenting policing of vaginas altogether.
We're tenaciously told vaginas and vulvas can be improved to the point of perfection in the name of serving beauty constructs. When we're not being encouraged to shove herbs in our vaginas a la "herbal womb detoxes" it's tampon tax, labiaplasty surgery or prison for the creation of female anatomy art.
Every time some expensive ad campaign or cosmetic brand encourages us to strive for vulva perfection, we're telling society firstly there is such thing as a perfect vagina (there isn't, they're all awesome) and secondly, that ours are inferior.
Shaming and reducing vaginal discharge to something vomit-worthy reinforces the dangerous norm that vaginas are less worthy than penises, and can encourage unhealthy, harmful views of women's bodies. Frankly, I'm not okay with that. And I don't think you are either.
So discharge your lingering squeamishness for female bodily fluids, eject your creepy norms of grossness and be the enlightened person you really are. That's it.