There’s something seriously wrong with our society when a teacher can’t use the proper medical terminology to describe a woman’s reproductive organ without getting fired:
Allison Wint, who had been teaching art at Harper Creek Middle School since January, says she was speaking about a broader topic of controversy in art when she held up reproductions of paintings by Georgia O’Keefe, some of which have been seen as erotic.
At some point, Wint remembers saying: “Imagine walking into a gallery when [O’Keefe] was first showing her pieces, and thinking, ‘Am I actually seeing vaginas here, am I a pervert? I’m either a pervert or this woman was a pervert.’ ”
This run of the mill lesson on how society used to view nudity in art ended up with Wint being fired. Because, somehow, in 2016 America, the word “vagina” is still scandalous and obscene.
The Detroit Free Press helpfully reminds us that Michigan is the same state that, in 2012, saw the male-dominated legislature literally ban female State Representative Lisa Brown from speaking for a full day because she said, “I’m flattered you’re all so interested in my vagina. But no means no,” while protesting a bill to restrict abortions.
Wint defended her “controversial” use of the word:
Wint told the Free Press she expected the students to giggle, which they did. But by the end of the class, she says the dialogue seemed productive.
“I thought if I used a euphemism, that would make it into a joke,” she said. “And I don’t think that’s a word you should be afraid of.”
Even more ridiculously, the justification for firing Wint was that she needed approval to discuss “reproductive health.” But that wasn’t the context at all. If talking about nudity in art is teaching “reproductive health” than building arm strength in gym is preparation for masturbation and needs to be approved in advance. The (lack of) logic is the same.
We’re in the second decade of the 21st century and we’re still terrified of what’s between a woman’s legs. And this is why we can’t stop treating them like second-class citizens or even real people.
‘Murika. Also, VAGINA!
Featured image courtesy of Allison Wint