aside The Clit Debate As Part Of A Bigger Issue On Ignorance Of Women’s Issues

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This is a subject that is way off topic from what I normally write on this blog but for me, it is part of a bigger picture that I find upsetting.

As a woman nearing 70 years of age, while I found the “Me, Too” Movement welcome and long past due, I found it also to be depressing. I had erroneously truly believed that what many working women experienced 50 years ago, rarely occurred in today’s work place. I was in denial when I had convinced myself  that we, as part of the USA had made tremendous progress towards the valuing of women in the workforce. That there was a need for the “Me, Too” movement put the lie to my preconceptions.

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This weekend, I was at breakfast with some acquaintances who I hadn’t seen for awhile as I’ve been out of town. Well, we ended up having a heated debate on this subject. We did change the subject when we noticed the room had become too quiet.

Recently, I had been part of a conversation with some young ladies. I found that I had been suffering from the illusion that we had become more knowledgeable about our sexuality in the past 50 years.

Part of my confusion has to do with how I raised my children. As adults now, they can’t recall not ever being adequately informed about anatomy issues.

A life-size, 3-D printed model of the clitoris developed by Odile FillodMARIE DOCHER

Here’s the rest of the story which better explains what I confronted….

On March 9, 2017, Naomi Russo of The Atlantic penned the following report, “The Still-Misunderstood Shape of the Clitoris” (“Can a 3-D printed model of the organ change views on female sexuality? Yes and no. An Object Lesson.”)

Excerpts:

“The clitoris really isn’t that confusing. Or it shouldn’t be, anyway. Nonetheless, acknowledging the shape, size, or even existence of this essential body part has not always been par for the course—even in the medical profession. As a 2005 report from the American Urological Association puts it, “the anatomy of the clitoris has not been stable with time as would be expected. To a major extent its study has been dominated by social factors.”

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ODILE FILLOD

“However, heralded by some as a sexual and physiological revolution, a new 3-D printed model of the clitoris is being used to change the public’s view of female sexuality. Free to download, the life-size model was designed by the French engineer, sociologist, and independent researcher Odile Fillod and released early last year.”

“At 10 centimeters in length, from the tip of the glans to the end of one “crus” (or leg), the model clitoris is bigger than expected. That’s tactical: It was created to dispel misinformation. Many dictionaries and even medical texts dub the clitoris as “pea-sized.”

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History…

“Historical accounts of the clitoris are plagued by disparagement or ignorance. Though Magnus, a renowned scholar in the Middle Ages, considered the clitoris as homologous to the penis, not all who succeeded him agreed. In the 16th century, Vesalius argued the clitoris did not appear in “healthy women.” The Malleus Maleficarum, a 1486 guide for finding witches, suggested the clitoris was the “devil’s teat”; if the tissue were to be found on a woman it would prove her status as a witch. And in the 1800s, women seen as suffering from “hysteria” were sometimes subject to clitoridectomies.”

“It wasn’t until 1981 that the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Clinics created anatomically correct images of the clitoris. Published in A New View of a Woman’s Body, the images were part of a wider attempt to provide thorough, accurate information to women to support their health. Decades later, in 2009, the first 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris was completed by French Researchers.”

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JANE CHALMERS

“Ignorance persists today. As the University of Western Sydney clinician and physiotherapy researcher Jane Chalmers explains, the subject of the clitoris is still avoided or ignored. “Several major medical textbooks omit the clitoris, or label it on diagrams but have no description of it as an organ,” she says. “This is in great contrast to the penis that is always covered in-depth in these texts.”

“As a researcher who focuses on the vulva and pelvis as well, Chalmers says she is often harassed online. “I frequently face questions of ‘Why would you want to study that?’ and snide comments along the lines of, ‘She must be a lesbian.’”

“The problem, many suggest, starts early. A recent research paper examined 55 qualitative studies in more than 10 countries. Its authors found that young people tend to have negative views of the sex education they received in school. The researchers noted that many students reported that very little was ever said about sexual pleasure, female pleasure in particular.”

In France, where the model clitoris originates, sex education often teaches outdated attitudes, according to Fillod. Official guidelines for sex ed are “terribly sexist, heteronormative, even homophobic,” she says. In particular, social norms are often inaccurately linked to biological information. For example, Fillod explains that children are taught “that boys are more focused on genital sexuality, whereas girls care more about love and the quality of relationships, in part because of their ‘specific anatomical-physiological characteristics.’” She is not alone in her concern about this curriculum. In 2015 the Haut Conseil à l’Egalité, a government body which monitors gender equality, reported that school-based sex education in France was riddled with sexism.

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Determined to do something about the problem, Fillod partnered with a Toulouse-based documentary-film production company to prepare a series of videos with alternative materials. In the process, Fillod realized that a life-size 3-D model of the clitoris would be a useful visual aid. In French biology textbooks,” she explains, “the clitoris is never correctly pictured in the drawings showing the female genital apparatus, and often not pictured at all.”

“As an engineer at the École Centrale Paris, who has been independently researching sex and gender issues in biomedical science since 2013, Fillod was prepared for the task. “Providing a free and open-access model that could be 3-D printed by anyone appeared as an ideal solution,” she says. “It would not be just for me and this video, but for anyone wanting to use such a 3-D model for educative purposes.”

The Glitoris – a gold, 100:1 scale model of a clitoris by artist Alli Sebastian Wolf to raise awareness of female sexuality. Photographs: Alli Sebastian WolfLink to entire article: The Still-Misunderstood Shape of the Clitoris – The Atlantic

See: The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings/ The Irish Times/ 2017 

5 comments

  1. As a male human I wish I had much more information on the female sexual organ as a young man. We men are not taught enough about it to help us give women a satisfying orgasm. It is pretty much hit and miss. It is mostly too late for me now, my sex life is almost non-existent. But for those young men reaching their sexual peaks, this kind of knowledge would be invaluable to satisfying sex for all concerned. Teach your sons, mothers. Teach your lovers, girls. We want to know, we just don’t know where to learn…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rawgod,

      Thank you for commenting. You are not alone but in our day and age, lack of knowledge was not unusual. In my teenage years (1963-1967), I can’t tell you the years of lecturing that I endured from my elders to guard that virginity at all costs, like that was your value. Let’s face it. Under these circumstances, one was not likely to receive the education that he/ she would find beneficial.

      What is shocking to me, is that this lack of knowledge still exists, even in today’s sexual climate. I was so troubled by this that I’ve started a book regarding this subject.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

      • It’s a very big process, and one that the evangelical group will want to stop at all costs. Sex is so dirty to them it is surprising they even have kids at all. But I am behind you 100%.
        I think what is most unfortunate are the things some mothers say to their daughters. They are so cruel and unfactual that the girls end up having social and psychological problems for life. Not to mention the facf sex is not the intimate activity it could be, were all children taught its mysteties.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Rawgod,

          I consider the Evangelical Christians to be responsible for more abortions than any other group. What is the best prevention for abortions but the lessening of unwanted pregnancies. These are the same folks who fight adequate sex education for young peoples beyond the concept of abstinence. They are the first ones to yell and scream if they find out that young peoples have easier access to contraceptive products.

          They have a right to practice what they wish. I just want them to keep their nose out of everybody else’s business.

          Hugs, Gronda

          Like

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