Talking about labiaplasty

I was emailed the link to this article on the NZ Herald about the rise of labiaplasty.

It’s actually not the absolute-worst article in the world and contains some really good input from Dr Virginia Braun of the University of Auckland and George Christy Parker of Women’s Health Action Trust.  They cover concepts like a lack of good sex education and understanding that our bodies are diverse and unique things.

But.

The only person who’s actually saying labiaplasty is on the rise is Dr Murray Beagley.  Who makes a living performing labiaplasty.  He’s quick to talk about not being judgemental and not enforcing beauty standards … but then he turns around and says “of course if I wasn’t doing labiaplasty there’d be plenty of other surgeries I would be doing” – as though pretty much all of those aren’t part of the same set of beauty standards.

He also keeps slipping into body-judging phrasing, like when he talks about “whether we should prioritise [people] with protruding labia over [people] with pendulous breasts” – i.e. treating protruding labia and pendulous breasts as inherent problems to be solved.

As a person with pendulous breasts:  go fuck yourself, Dr Beagley.

But the thing which most pisses me off, dear readers?

Headline of video: “Labiaplasty: creating the perfect vagina?”

Headline of article: “Vagina surgery on the rise in NZ”

Herald subeditors may find the following diagram helpful.

labia are not vagina

I mean, can anyone actually quantify the amount of irony involved in the Herald publishing a report which talks about a lack of information about what genitals look like without managing to work out that the labia ARE NOT THE SAME FUCKING THING as the vagina?

And why do I have the strangest feeling that an article about testicle-related surgery wouldn’t be headlined “Penis surgery on the rise”?  Or that such an article would never be written in the first place?

One comment

  1. David

    Who would write an article on testicle surgery? That would be unreadable, and I have testicles… Just more examples of ‘Jonolism’ on the rise. Woe is the state of our media.