Just a Light Trim, Please

I’d never heard of Sheila Jeffreys before reading this article. Okay so I’m a dreary boring sexless humourless old-timey feminist, but I think she’s right. It depresses me to see the things women do to themselves and how it’s gotten not better but worse since second-wave feminism started.

I’ll tell you something else I hadn’t heard of, and that’s ‘trimmed labia.’ Trimmed what? Trimmed? Trimmed? You trim fingernails and hair, apples and carrots, not pieces of your body! Okay so I’m clueless, but I don’t spend a lot of time keeping up with the ‘sex industry,’ therefore I was unaware there was such a thing as ‘labiaplasty.’ What was that we were saying last year about female genital mutilation?

“Men’s desire for bigger and bigger breasts, and clothes commonly associated with prostitution, has resulted from the mass consumption of pornography.”

Ah – is that what causes it. Good to know. I’ve been wondering for years what the ‘get me, don’t I look exactly like a hooker’ fashion was all about.

She points to studies that have found significantly higher rates of suicide among women who have had breast implants. The latest, conducted in 2003 by the International Epidemiology Institute of Rockville and funded by Dow Corning Corp, a former maker of silicone gel breast implants, included a study of 2,166 women, some of whom received implants as long as 30 years ago. Dow Corning also funded an earlier Swedish study, which examined 3,521 women with implants, and found the suicide rate to be three times higher than normal.

The first thought that occurs to me is that it’s probably not that the implants make women suicidal, but that suicidal women get implants. It seems quite likely that women who think their appearance is the most important thing about them will tend to be depressive. That women who think it’s worth cutting their breasts open and having a foreign substance shoved inside just to make the breasts bigger do not have a particularly healthy or reasonable view of what they could be doing with their lives.

I can get very cross and depressed about this kind of thing. I’m glad Sheila Jeffreys has written this book, but I have absolutely no hope that it will make the smallest bit of difference.

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