British 'Muff March' Blasts Porn Culture

Dec 12, 2011 8:00 AM PST

LONDON — British feminists protesting vaginal cosmetic surgery took to the streets on Saturday with the porn industry square in its sights.

The first-ever “Muff March” protest, organized by UK Feminista, was created as a backlash against “designer vaginas” that the organizers claim are a result in part of an intrusive “pornified culture” that measures everyday women against porn stars.

A report in the Guardian said, “There is a growing concern among women that their genitals don't ‘measure up’ to the ideal touted by the global pornography industry — which for the past two decades has been busy infiltrating mainstream society. In porn, removal of pubic hair is de rigueur, and so we see this norm transferred into mainstream beauty practices. With removal of pubic hair now standard, labia are more visible and open to scrutiny. Now every inch of a woman's body is objectified and subject to judgment.”

The march was engineered to challenge the demand from porn that grown women remove their pubic hair to appear more like pre-pubescent girls, according to the activists.

Female genital cosmetic surgery including vaginal rejuvenation, designer vaginoplasty, G spot amplification and revirgination is on the rise, the report said. “Between 2007 and 2008 there was a 70 percent increase in the number of labiaplasty operations carried out by the NHS, and last year the Harley Medical Group received more than 5,000 inquiries about cosmetic gynecology.”

Blaming “porn ideals” for influencing the surgeries, the report also blasted surgeons who profit from the procedures.

But not everyone agrees.

Dr. Petra Boynton, sex researcher and educator, told the Guardian,"The focus of the Muff March on porn is, I think, limiting. While porn has undoubtedly had an impact on how we view our bodies I don't think it is accurate to simply see it as the main factor driving women to have cosmetic genital surgery or remove their pubic hair. In fact I'd say the mainstream media has a far greater role to play here but is not held accountable."

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