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Seriously. Some people are just cool. They’re talented and brilliant and ahead of their time.

I’m sick. And I’m catching up on random bookmarked articles. One of which was 10 Fantastic Banned Books that Talk about Sex. Book 6 is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. You, like me, might have just reacted with What the ..? to that. You’re what now? It turns out that the first 49 years of publication of Anne Frank’s diary was a slightly edited version – her father transcribed her original diary and he nipped and tucked a few bits here and there. In 1995, to mark the 50th anniversary of her death, her unabridged diary was released and it contained this paragraph, which she wrote when she was 15:

“…Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris…”

That a young girl might have to actually explore her own anatomy and then write it down – and that 50 years later, this might be considered to be “inappropriate for an eighth grader” – is entirely the point (thanks to @theducks for the link). In fact, so ahead of her time was Frank, that it was in the late 1960s and the second wave of Feminism that the Myth of the Female Orgasm had women reaching for hand held mirrors and peering at themselves to take a proper look and find their clitoris.

A description of a part of one’s body is hardly confronting nor automatically sexual. Part of me wonders had Anne Frank been Shmuel Frank, would that paragraph have been omitted in the first place and if it had been, would its replacement back in the text be thusly contested as inappropriate?

But more so, I wonder why the exact details of female genitalia are such a secret – so much so that many women find it all rather mysterious too. It’s really quite ridiculous, if you think about it. I saw this great graphic the other day that addressed why girls are conditioned to compete with each other – the premise was men/boys don’t want to be compared to a woman/girl and found to come short so instead, they head it off at the pass by pitting girls against each other. Compare girls to girls and make it cuthroat and competitive and then noone remembers that maybe boys could be compared to girls. I dunno how much I buy into that but it seems to me, if women don’t know that much about their anatomy, and the ins and outs of how it works exactly, then they won’t know if men are “doing it wrong”. I mean, that’s the whole kink with wanting to have sex with virgins, isn’t it?

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