If you're not aware of Wanda Sykes, stand-up comedian since 1987 and LGBT activist extraordinaire, either feign a complete lack of interest in brilliant women or familiarise yourself on the double. She's well known by comedy fans for her role in Curb your Enthusiasm, but has also done several stand-up specials, the most groundbreaking of which may well be her 2006 HBO special, Sick & Tired.
In this Very Important Comedy clip, Wanda suggests and explores the absurd notion that life would be easier for women if their vaginas were detachable.
This clip is 10 years old, which was about the age I was when I started being acutely aware of the pressure she talks about. The sense that shortly everything will be your fault. The sense that right now, a sex attacker would be taken down by a mob of angry townspeople chucking bricks through his window, but in no more than three or four years that mob will turn on you and ask fascinatingly irrelevant questions, like what time it was, what you were wearing, and didn't you know the combination of an item of clothing plus a random hour of the day equals this sort of thing?
Enter: the detachable vagina. The absurd idea, taken by Wanda to its fullest absurd extent: you could go jogging without it and therefore have "nothing of value" to an attacker! You could leave it at home to be sure you wouldn't use it on that date when you promised yourself you wouldn't! Your REAL friends would bring it to you! And in true Sykes cynicism, she surmises a way your partner would find a way to use the detachability against you anyway (the way she uses the microphone lead...just amazing).
Sexism, misogyny and victim blaming are pervasive in society and 10 years after this was first recorded, it feels like we've made little progress, if any. This clip blew me away when I first saw it because despite being hilarious, it doesn't detract from the horror of that culture. I sat stunned after listening to it for the third time thinking: thank you. Thank you for talking about that pressure, the pressure that blindsided us all when we were sat down and told that we were no longer adorable kids, but conniving temptresses who were supposedly conspiring with men's boners against them. Thank you for describing it in such brilliantly absurd terms. Thank you for gut-punching the men in society who put that on us. And thank you for making me laugh about it.