Laurie and Debbie say:
By now, you have probably heard about Idaho Congressman Vito Barbieri, who (apparently seriously) asked during a committee hearing on (yes, still more!) abortion restrictions if a woman could swallow a small camera to conduct a pregnancy exam. Dr. Julie Madsen, the physician witness politely told him that swallowed pills “don’t end up in the vagina.” Congressman Barbieri later said that his question “was rhetorical and intended to make a point,” although the intended point is, to say the least, unclear.
If in fact a swallowed camera (or pills) ended up in the vagina, what else would be true?
1) In heterosexual penis-in-vagina orgasms, as women, we could expect semen to come out of our mouths.
2) In heterosexual oral sex orgasms, we women could get pregnant, as the semen slid down through this “tube” from our mouth into our uterus.
3) Maybe there would be some kind of road sign to tell food to go to the stomach, intestines and colon? If not, we would have either food or shit coming out of the vagina, and quite possibly have small cameras intended to examine our uterus going through our colon. (Imagine the confusion of doctors trying to figure out just what they were looking at!)
We might never finish making fun of this level of ignorance, but there’s a more important point to be made.
The main reason for the existence of Body Impolitic is to call attention to body image issues. Mostly that means either how we feel about our bodies or how other people feel about our bodies. But all body image depends on a basic understanding of anatomy, both our own and the anatomy of everyone else. No, not everyone has to understand how ATP feeds cells, or how neural signals get from the brain to the extremities. Not everyone has to understand what the hypothalamus is and does.
Everyone should understand the basic internal and external conformation of the body, not just the organ systems that drive gender and sexuality, but what the spinal cord is and why snapping your neck can result in paralysis, what the pathways are from the mouth to the urethra and asshole, what the difference is between muscles and tendons. Not knowing those things is like not knowing where the light switches are in your house, or where the exits are in the theater.
Knowing your environment starts with knowing your body. And knowing your body should, in a sane world, be an absolute requirement for anyone who sits in judgment over other people’s bodies.
Congressman Barbieri, if you would like a basic human anatomy tutorial, the Internet is full of them. Here’s one place to start.