Girls with Sandy Vaginas

November 1, 2010

Recently girls everywhere shrieked hysterically because the interwebs was rude to one of them. An anonymous troll complimented a female cartoonist with an over-the-top joke playing on her gender. She felt offended by the comment and a minor fracas ensued. I will now fulfill panel #9 in the linked cartoon above and Mansplain why women are wrong.

The Internet is rude, crass, juvenile and funny. There’s a style of humor that is popular on many forums dominated by grown-up boys that is similar to Beavis & Butthead. Unfortunately, this style of humor doesn’t go over well with everyone. For example, the phrase “sandy vagina” is hilarious to some men, but some women find it offensive. When a friend is complaining about something, I might say, “What’s the matter Bob, got sand in your vagina?” It’s intended as a humorous way of saying Bob is getting worked up about something trivial. Why use this particular phrase? Honestly, I don’t know where it came from but the imagery is funny. I might have said “Bob has a bee in his bonnet”, but that’s a dated expression and not at all funny.

When someone utters the phrase “sandy vagina”, does the intent and context of the comment matter? Some women are arguing that if they feel offended, it is offensive. I think many men consider the intent of the comment before deciding to be offended. Of course this can also lead to confusion: if I call Bob a douchebag in jest, he may think I’m serious and punch me in the nose. For some reason this doesn’t happen often. Men don’t seem to take these comments too seriously.

This all reminds me of the court cases involving the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) in 2004. In an attempt to attack Internet pornography, federal prosecutors twisted the “offends the community standard” test by filing suit in the most conservative community they could find. They argued that if any one community is offended, then that porn is offensive and should be stopped by COPA. Lewd and crude comments on the Internet are similar. I’m not offended, nor are most people on Fark, reddit, Digg, Youtube, etc. But some women believe that if any one person or group is offended, then those comments are, de facto, offensive. I disagree based on the same logic that defends porn from COPA. Those women need to get the sand out of their collective vagina and toughen up.

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