Saturday, March 9, 2013
One of my favorites is when I was returning a pair of pants and the clerk asked, "Reason for return?" "They're haunted," I said. Clerk edges away and speaks no more.
Or the time my neighbor and I were discussing a local vet's penchant for suggesting unnecessary surgery. "Oh," I said, looking at my dog, "Maybe I won't get Daisy that boob job then." Neighbor stares at me. Discomfort ensues.
I don't know why I like failed jokes so much. Maybe it's because it's so completely bad and awkward in the moment that celebrating them is only way to process it.
My latest failed joke, however, isn't gonna go down that way. It was a post I just did for Jezebel about vagina panties. (Sound familiar? It ran here first.) The idea was that instead of women getting unnecessary cosmetic labiaplasties they could instead just pop on a pair of these, panties with a vagina built right in:
You may as well know this first. I also called this sort of cosmetic surgery "retarded," which was dumb. I thought that we had come to a point where we could judge from context whether retarded was a cruel and deliberate mockery of a mentally-challenged person vs. an adjective for something poorly thought through. I thought "retarded" had entered the vernacular, as did former medical terms "idiot" and "moron." But clearly it hasn't. I obviously regret that people felt hurt by my use of the term.
So yes, I get and am sorry for the whole "retarded" thing and my ableist ways.
However, here's what else Jezebel readers complained about: (I realize intellectually that Jezebel commentators are famous for being particularly vitriolic and uber-PC, but it was still pretty shocking to me how completely misunderstood my message was and how personal the attacks were. "Fuck you, Jill Hamilton!" being one such input. You can head over to Jezebel and view the carnage if you wish. You should probably take a pair of protective goggles along.)
Anyway, the complaints:
--I am mocking transfolk.*
This, I guess, comes from the fact that I wrote that the panties intended purpose was for "cross-dressers, transfolk and the like." Because that's what they're for. Their product description says:
"Wearable Vagina, Vagina Panty for Crossdressing, Tranvestite and Transgender (S/M (30-36" Waist), Nude)."
It was intended as a factual and neutral statement like "Skis are worn by skiers." Someone was furious because by saying transfolk instead of just folk, I was making transfolk different. Which I was, because in the one instance of who these panties were designed for--and that instance only--transfolk are different.
Perhaps I am wrong. Maybe there might be a day when I, a non-transgendered person, might want to pop on a pair and sport a double vagina look. Or hell, maybe two pairs and go triple vag. "You like what you see? I've got two more where that came from, honey."
--I am mocking women who had labiaplasty for medical reasons.
Jesus, how much of a jerk do they think I am? If you need the surgery, go to it, sister. If, however, you are like this woman who wrote to In Bed With Married Women a few months ago...
I was married to my high school sweetheart for 15 yrs. We recently divorced, and he has no qualms about telling me before, during, and after our marriage, how ugly my vagina is. I started looking into medical intervention...
...perhaps a bit of sisterhood support (i.e. your vagina is gorgeous and he was a controlling asshole) might negate the desire for the surgery. I highly recommend Large Labia Project, a site that empowers women to celebrate their different sizes and shape of labia via photos and reader letters.
--I mentioned Naomi Wolf's book Vagina: A New Biography which someone was angry about because they didn't like the book.
What? I like that book. Suck it.
--I used the term vagina for vulva.
That's because the panties are called "vagina panties"--officially, for fuck's sake. And everyone knows what we're talking about anyway. That's the term Naomi Wolf uses as well and since I've already tossed my lot in with her, I'm sticking with it.
I also used the term Kleenex today, when more properly I should have said Kleenex Brand Facial Tissues. Please take up the issue with your congressperson.
jill, a total cunt, possibly
*If you are transgendered and were offended by this, please explain to me your objections. I do take that one seriously and since I'm non-trans (CIS), I could very well be completely tone deaf on the topic. I don't want to be that guy who's like, "What's she so mad about? I just asked her if she's on the rag?" If you could just tell me your concerns, instead of yelling and possibly avoid the sentence, "Fuck you, Jill Hamilton," I'd be grateful.
(image via Lady Cheeky, aka Smut for Smarties)