Misogynist Alert – Philly Op-Ed Chimes in on “Vajajay”

I like to think I’m pretty laid back and not easily offended. This column in the Philadelphia Daily News, however, is just wrong. (Also on Huffington!) I’m not sure what point, in fact, writer Michael Smerconish is attempting with his 600 word opinion piece, other than to inflate and rally against what was actually minimal objection by the feminist community to the popular new term vajayjay.

Without feminists acting out in all sorts of outrageous and bitchy ways, he used the occasion to document what he doesn’t seem to realize are truly embarrassing opinions. For example:

“…After hours of reflection, and in consultation with my man friends, I think I have it figured out.

Pardon my directness, but I refuse to beat around the bush. The feminists, it seems, have a proprietary interest in female genitalia…

This is why I think they like the status quo. Vagina is a tough word that refuses to roll easily off the tongue. It has such a sense of taboo that nobody feels totally comfortable talking about it – not even
women, but especially men. So use of the word remains almost exclusively to the feminists.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems that vajayjay is different. Unlike the starkly clinical vagina, I see a vajayjay as a happy and inviting place, with a warm and fuzzy connotation. Vajayjay
says “hello . . . welcome” and “open for business.”

No matter what you call it, many feminists don’t want guys attracted to it. If it were up to them, there’d be an image at www.dictionary.com with a sign next to “vagina” reading “No men allowed.”

In short, “vajayjay” has got us thinking outside of the box, which makes the feminists nervous. They want to keep “vagina” all to themselves.

This is so backwards I don’t know where to start. First of all, he’s on to us. Feminists are mostly lesbians. It’s out. We don’t want men near our vaginas, in fact, we don’t want men to say the word “vagina.” Come to think of it, we wish there were no men. (And dare I get quoted, it’s called sarcasm...)

Secondly, “no men allowed” because the word vagina doesn’t “roll off the tongue” easily enough for men to say? That’s why? It took “hours of contemplation” and male consultation to come up with this?

And finally – “vajayjay” is appealing because it says “open for business?”

The piece finishes with a humorous anectdote about an OB/GYN Smerconish met in a men’s club one day -too banal to even summarize here.

(And are we supposed to bask in the wittiness that is “beat around the bush,” “can’t quite put my finger on it,” and “think outside the box”? Please.)

This isn’t a blog. It’s not a shock-jock rambling on-air. This is a published piece. Smerconish apparently has an occurring column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the largest paper in my home town. My issue is not that his opinion is different than mine, nor even that it’s an opinion I do not respect. It’s that he has no argument and hasn’t even attempted to fabricate one. It’s a thinly-veiled “feminists hate men so men hate feminists” rant with not so much as anecdotal examples to support the former. That’s the journalistic criteria these days? Frat-boy speak?

I’m not an angry person. And as a feminist I suspect I’m not nearly as mad as I should be. But this piece really pissed me off.


…After looking into Smerconish a bit, his bio reveals that he’s a “fill-in host for Bill O’Reilly on the Radio Factor, and a guest host for Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country.” Articles over the past few weeks include: “THE HONORABLE MICHAEL MURPHY” – a memorial piece for a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan,”HOW RUSH BECAME THE KING OF TALK“, a laudatory piece on Limbaugh, and “Obama confronts the Osama problem” an angry and intensely sarcastic piece where he describes himself as a ” two-time, Bush 43-supporting political pundit who worked in an appointed capacity in the administration of Bush 41,” and proceeds to stagger at the audacity of someone questioning why we haven’t found Bin Laden without proving to the country that he would have been successful in W’s stead. (Although it really feels like the lifelong heavy-set kid in middle school that has heard it so much he can only respond with the Cyrano-esque, “That’s all you got? You noticed I’m fat?”)


In my defense, I haven’t lived in Philly for some time and was unfamiliar with this writer. If I’d seen his name and known him, I would probably have brushed the whole thing aside as unsurprising and unintelligent. But it caught be off guard and so I heatedly blogged about it.

FYI Real feminist reactions to vajayjay:

Steinem: Gloria Steinem actually approved of the term because it could be applied to the whole package – labia, clitoris and vagina together. She didn’t approve of it as a substitute to ease feelings of embarrassment or shame at saying “vagina”.

Ensler: The article used a quote from Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, written more than a decade ago. It said simply, “what we don’t say becomes a secret, and secrets often create shame and fear and myths,” and that too often vagina,”is an “invisible word,” one “that stirs up anxiety, awkwardness, contempt and disgust.”

Feministe Blog: “I Think Vajayjay Is A Nice Word

This is what Smerconish rallies against? This is the angry feminist tide to which he alludes??

Further Reading:

My post – more contrary than most, I think.

Bitch PhD has a lively response to Smerconish’s op-ed.


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