It’s days like today that if I were a writer for The Onion, I’d turn in my resignation and just concede that the world has arrived at a point in its history where parody is made obsolete by reality faster that parody can be created.
Healthline is a San Francisco-based (keep that in mind, it explains a lot of what follows) website that provides health and wellness information. It considers itself to be a competitor of WebMD and owns several related media properties like MedicalNewsToday.com, Healthline.com, Drugs.com, and Livestrong.com. It is most assuredly not a humor or parody site…until recently when it published the LGBTQIA Safe Sex Guide.
Some of it is the banal drivel one expects when reading a manual for deviant sex, like the proliferation of genders, and the conversations to have about consent before getting down to the business of monkey-sex (actual example: “I was reading this article about different types of consent and realized we’ve never talked about it before”) but there is hilarity in the utter earnestness of it all:
These guides also often unnecessarily gender body parts as being “male parts” and “female parts” and refer to “sex with women” or “sex with men,” excluding those who identify as nonbinary. Many individuals don’t see body parts as having a gender — people have a gender.
And as a result, the notion that a penis is exclusively a male body part and a vulva is exclusively a female body part is inaccurate. By using the word “parts” to talk about genitals and using medical terms for anatomy without attaching a gender to it, we become much more able to effectively discuss safe sex in a way that’s clear and inclusive.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll refer to the vagina as the “front hole” instead of solely using the medical term “vagina.” This is gender-inclusive language that’s considerate of the fact that some trans people don’t identify with the labels the medical community attaches to their genitals.
For example, some trans and nonbinary-identified people assigned female at birth may enjoy being the receptor of penetrative sex, but experience gender dysphoria when that part of their body is referred to using a word that society and professional communities often associate with femaleness. An alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular in trans and queer communities is front hole.
There is a weird type of logic here. No matter what is left after a confused male undergoes surgical mutilation it is most assuredly not a vagina and no amount of calling it that is going to make it so. What is sort of strange about this is the implication that “trans-women” don’t want to be thought of as women. If they did, they shouldn’t be uncomfortable with their “front hole” being called a vagina. It’s nearly like they are more akin to Furries than to women. One would think the objection to calling this synthetic aperture a vagina would come from women. But I suppose we should be thankful that they didn’t just conduct an across-the-board renaming it all “front hole” and “corn hole” in an effort to be totally non-judgmental.
Why are we renaming vagina to front hole for trans men—and not renaming penises for trans women?
— Arielle Scarcella (@ArielleScarcell) August 16, 2018
For all the fun there is in this, it is also serious. The inclusion of this kind of nonsense in what is ostensibly a “safe sex” guide on a mainstream medical information website virtually ensures that this terminology will end up being taught to your child in elementary and middle school. Deviancy in not only being mainstreamed and normalized, a medical vocabulary is being constructed to bolster its legitimacy. We normals are now the frog in the pot of water that has been slowly heating since the 1960s and is now reaching a boil.
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