Today in Disembodied Things

[Trigger warnings for dehumanization, disembodiment, and stalking]

My sister TheLadyEve just sent me a link to this product:

Photobucket
Screenshot from eBay for a cologne called Vulva. Text says, "Vulva Natural Vaginal Smell--SMELL IT WHENEVER, WHEREVER"


There is also a Not Safe For Work ad viewable here, trigger warnings apply. The video needs no transcript, as the only sound is heavy breathing and a woman singing, "I want...I want...I want...you". TheLadyEve provided me with a description of the video, which she gave me permission to share (I edited it slightly to condense):

The ad depicts a man (presumably a trainer, but who the heck knows) in a spinning class, creepily objectifying a woman who is exercising. He watches beads of sweat drip off her thighs, wisps of yellow hair draped coyly around his disgusting smirk. He then proceeds to go to the bike after she is done with her spinning class and SNIFF and CARESS the SEAT, which is indubitably soaked in "natural vaginal smell."

I love how it says "The Intimate Scent of A Beautiful Woman," as if the vulvas of women who don't fit the media's very narrow definition of "beautiful" do not have any kind of scent. No, they are scentless. Or, they smell like Love Canal* and baby's tears.

What's really creepy about this product is that it completely dehumanizes female sexuality by removing the body entirely. Now, you can have the smell anytime--who needs the nagging, braying harpy that generates it? Am I right, fellas? Who needs a real vagina when you have a pump bottle full of silicone gel that smells like some small sample of genitals? I say small sample because, let's face it--all sexual secretions have a wide variety of smells and tastes. They depend on diet, medications, natural hormone levels, hygiene, and countless other factors. But no--all women must smell the same, because all vulvas are the same--sacks of disembodied flesh ripe for objectification, stalking and violation. And make no mistake--a gym employee smelling your bicycle seat after a workout is a serious physical violation.

I...can't believe that this is real. Is it real? Please tell me this is all a terrible dream...

*On second thought, "Love Canal" = a really poor choice of words, given the context, lol. Maybe "Three Mile Island"?

Alas, dear sister, it is not a dream. It is, in fact, a Real Thing in the World.

I'll add that the text "The Intimate Scent of A Beautiful Woman" is followed by, "For your Smelling Pleasure". In addition to being an insult to the English language, this tagline promotes the rape-culture tenet that women's bodies exist for men's pleasure. And that doing away with the actual women represents an improvement.

[Disembodied Things: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus