Some men seem to have real trouble with cis women’s anatomy. Men Writing Women, a Twitter account that catalogs the bizarre things men think women and their bodies do, has found another entry for that hall of fame. This one is by author Stuart Woods, who wrote in his 2018 book Desperate Measures the following sentence:
“The girl had a tiny purse tucked into her vagina, just big enough to hold her driver’s license, a credit card, and a few bucks.”
— Men Write Women (@menwritewomen) July 29, 2019
Let’s unpack that for a moment. A grown man genuinely thought a woman might keep an entire purse, containing unwieldy items like credit cards and driver’s licenses, inside her vagina. Instead of checking with an actual vagina owner (or if he did, being royally pranked by one) he put it right into a book which he then submitted for publication. And no one on the entire editorial team stopped him. No one said, “mate, anatomy just doesn’t work that way.” Or if they did, and I can imagine that he just dismissed that information and went ahead with it. Astonishing.
Me yesterday: Writers can write whatever they want!
Me after reading this: There should be laws. And fines.
— Jeaniene Frost (@Jeaniene_Frost) July 30, 2019
Men writing bizarre nonsense about women is hardly news, especially on book Twitter, but this one is so out there it surprised even the most jaded of veterans. People on both Men Writing Women’s Twitter page and subreddit came together to try and figure out just how.
My favorite part of this is the line following. The speaker is obviously aware of the vagina purse, so it comes as no surprise at all. It's a baseline feature of most models of women.
— Victoria Ying – Diana Princess of the Amazons! (@victoriaying) July 31, 2019
Especially as it’s not the first time he’s done it!
This follows a scene where a crimeboss of some sort has ordered the woman to strip so they can have sex. It’s not vaginal sex, but she doesn’t know that ahead of time and doesn’t think “gee, I’ve got $87 up there, what if he notices?”
— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) July 30, 2019
Stuart's elevator pitch: "So, the setting is an alternative present, almost exactly like today, but with vajbags…"
— Rozie Suppozie #FreeChelseaManning (@rozietoez) July 31, 2019
A lot of people were understandably fixated on card part.
But… driver's licenses and credit cards don't… bend…
ohhhhhh my god
— The Disaster Ballet (@disasterballet) July 30, 2019
I’m cringing on behalf, which I try not to do, but damn!
Did the the writer never think to ask any woman he knew “hey: if you had two hard edged plastic cards, roughly 50 by 75mm, what would be the top two least comfortable places for you to keep them?”
— Jason Cineration (@Jack_B_Nimble) July 30, 2019
There’s also the fact that a vagina is not…dry.
One gentleman thoughtfully translated the experience into cis-dude so that men with similar problems to the author might begin to understand it. “I have a small wallet that I keep up my urethra, just in case,” wrote @itsJeffTiedrich.
I have a small wallet that I keep up my urethra, just in case
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) July 30, 2019
And some people suggested that maybe the problem is the author himself has a very talented set of genitalia.
In the interests of fairness, Dr. Jenn Gunter, the internet’s favorite no-nonsense gynecologist, introduced us to this woman who apparently does use her vagina as a purse (and for a lot of other strange and painful-looking things). Perhaps Woods came across her and thought she was representative in some way instead of a very talented outlier (and still, she’s not putting flat rectangles in there).
I would like to point out there is one woman who apparently uses her vagina as a purse because she likes to carry things with her vagina. And she challenged me to a Vagina-Off. Because The Internets. https://t.co/Z34xUZvrWq
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) July 30, 2019
Libby Turner explained that it might not be the publisher’s fault at all, because usually if the author won’t budge ,their hands are tied.
Anna Mazzola was looking for ways to prevent this from happening again.
Today's question: should creative writing classes explain what vaginas are?
— Anna Mazzola (@Anna_Mazz) July 30, 2019
While Reddit user keepingthisasecret posted some related rage fuel: Cis male authors can write this sort of nonsense while everyone else is still struggling to get past the gatekeeping.
One wholesome thing came out of it, however. So if you need eye bleach after reading all of this, Reddit has you covered: one user posted about storing a young kitten in her cleavage.
Aw. Let’s all think very hard about rescued baby animals and maybe we’ll forget about vagina purses for a while.