A ‘menstruation celebration’ to remember
A couple of student groups at Princeton recently hosted a little get-together meant to “destigmatize periods.” That, in itself, is a perfectly fine goal—menstrual cycles should not be “stigmatized” insofar as they are a normal and healthy part of a woman’s life and body. What is a bit more debatable is the method by which these groups approached this goal: At this gathering, students were offered “cupcakes decorated with labia and chocolate covered pretzels designed to look like bloody tampons” as well as a game with “the aim of throwing a tampon into an oversized vagina.” Well, okay then.
What is it about feminism, and campus feminism in particular, that makes people do such profoundly weird and dreadful things like this—what motivates someone to take a pretzel and make it look like it’s been soaked in menstrual blood? That is a question that we all imagined we’d never really have to ask. But feminist political orthodoxy seems to mandate these sorts of absurdist displays of self-indulgence: Not content to simply advocate a more sensible and reasonable view of female physiology, feminists must instead venerate bodily waste in the form of snacks. It’s deeply strange and creepy, almost cult-like.
Why does this weirdness find such purchase on so many campuses? In part it may simply be that most campus feminists are younger, less experienced, less knowledgeable and more manically convinced of their own political mandate: 19-year-olds are much more likely than 30-year-olds to think that a bloody tampon pretzel is actually cool. In a related sense the larger issue is probably this: Universities are very much insulated, cocooned environments, largely shut off from the practical and consequential realities of everyday normal life. On campus it’s just another day in the student center, but nobody in the real world wants to eat cupcakes with vaginal lips on them. Such is life, at least outside of college.
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