This November, as I cast my ballot, I can’t help but think of the women who came before me and how hard they fought to be regarded as equal: equal in the eyes of men, equal under the law, an equal part of society… 

While progress has been made, women still sit shotgun in a lot of ways. We are not promoted or paid equally in most fields, and we all face harassment at some point in our lives. Why? Because of a little thing (not so little) called the clit. Yep, I said it. Born with a clit, in today’s world, makes you a second-class citizen from the start.

Did you know they still don’t really study the clitoris in medical school?

Even in fields like urology, where male sexual pleasure and orgasm are considered integral, women’s sexual health “is seen as hysteria, Pandora’s box, all psychosocial, not real medicine,” -Dr. Rachel Rubin, quoted in an excerpt from “Half the World Has a Clitoris. Why Don’t Doctors Study It?” by the New York Times, Oct. 17, 2022

Pardon my French, but how do we have the cojones to claim we are a civilized, developed culture when we don’t even understand the sexual anatomy of half our population? What a ridiculous lack of professionalism.

Which reminds me, I’m actually kind of thankful for the Trump Years. Looking back on our history, I think we will see him as the ultimate mess that warranted such a deep-cleaning shop vac for the carpet of our country. He brought a lot of filth and negativity to the surface, forcing us to face our bias blind spots, and when he goes to white-collar prison, he will be setting the crucial example that no one is above the law. (Trump may want back in the White House, but the only place he’s going is the big house!)

This November is a great time to start cleaning our House. We can scrub the old stains with Woolite all day long and we still won’t have the pristine past we tell ourselves existed. Or we can change the way we do things now, so eventually we will live a cleaner, clearer future. And while we’re at it, we can start educating urologists about the other half of us.

Still, it will take more than passionate “penis doctors,” Rubin said, to give the vulva its due; there must be a concerted movement, one that transcends medicine’s traditionally siloed specialties, to understand and map this anatomy. And for that to happen, other fields need to recognize female sexual pleasure as essential and worth preserving.

“I truly believe we are just several decades behind on the female side,” Rubin said. “But we have to do the work. And we have to have people interested in doing the work.” -Again, “Half the World Has a Clitoris. Why Don’t Doctors Study It?”

Luckily, we are a capitalistic culture. And the one thing that transcends our misogyny is our longing for a magic pill. All we need to do is convince the pharmaceutical companies that there is an untapped market for female orgasm, and they shouldn’t be so scared of the research. 

Women may be mysterious, but c’mon guys — it’s not rocket surgery. Just undiscovered anatomy. It really does make me wonder, after all these years of medical advancement, why was the clit ignored? Fear of Virginia Woolf? A climactic oversight? Or was it simply because the boys don’t have one.

When I was a kid on the ranch*, supper meant beef, potatoes and the girl cousins were expected to serve/clear the table, while our boy cousins just sat there. This not only felt seriously unfair, but it did not teach us that men were smarter, or better, or more entitled to have someone wait on them. If anything, it backfired, and my female cousins are some of the strongest and least subservient people I know.

Which is why we will not be voting (against our own betterment) in support of an old, tired patriarchy that does not value its constituents equally. This November we will cast a vote for the world we want to live in, a vote for the clits.

*In our family, “the ranch” was always my grandparents’ place, just south of Carbondale. Even though everyone else also lived on a ranch, whenever we referred to “the ranch” it meant Bob and Ditty’s cattle ranch.