We’ve all done weird things as a result of our boredom. With the cold nights drawing in earlier and earlier there’s only so much Netflix you can stand before you end up searching for absolutely anything different you can do at home. Just last week my housemates and I found ourselves making a Christmas jumper for the foot-tall cardboard cut-out of Sue Perkins that lives in our front room. It just happens.
Never, though, have we found ourselves so bored that we cooked parts of ourselves into food. But that’s exactly what blogger Zoe Stavri did recently, taking advantage of an irritating yeast infection to bake herself some sourdough bread.
Having found herself struck down with thrush, Stavri’s plan was born thanks to “a fatal combination of a slightly perverse sense of humour and a keenly scientific mind”. Next thing she knew, she was “scraping white goop off of a dildo into a bowl” to make her perfect sourdough starter mix.
Understandably, the internet exploded. Her hashtag of the experiment, #cuntsourdough, quickly found attention and she was met with a barrage of disgusted replies.
Now, Stavri was very careful to mention in her blog post about the entire debacle that she did not start the bread experiment as a feminist move. She did go on to say, though, that she was interested in the responses she received, stating that it was such horror associated with the vagina that has caused issues for those possessing them for many decades.
“I suspect the vast majority of the utter horror about my sourdough isn’t anything to do with ignorance on food hygiene, but more to do with a general mistrust and horror at vag […] The very idea of it seems to horrify people more than enough. I suppose it’s a similar socially-constructed disgust that leaves a whole bunch of people repulsed by the idea of licking a pussy. Even the mere idea of a tiny trace of pussy in a massive loaf of bread is sufficiently vile.”
Now. Let’s get something out of the way: I am a feminist. By which I mean that I believe that men and women should be treated equally. Unfortunately, I am well aware that, due to some people’s actions, feminism is not viewed in this way and is instead seen as a man-hating cult. And I’m afraid to say it is talk like this quote from Stavri’s blog that has led to feminism having such a bad reputation.
Of course people are repulsed that a woman is baking her vaginal discharge into a loaf of sourdough. But that does not mean that it is because we are all horrible harbingers of misogynistic propaganda. Everyone would be as equally horrified if a man decided to scrape some of his homegrown smegma into a cake mix. Any part of a person baked into bread is going to be met with horror – do not make this about gender.
While Stavri raises a good point in explaining that it is not technically unhygienic due to the baking aspect of the process killing off any bacteria, that shouldn’t change that people are not going to be happy about the idea. I’m disgusted enough when I see people sneezing near my food – if someone were to reach into their undies to add to their baking tray I’m not sure I’d survive witnessing such an experience.
Recently, with many celebrities chipping in with their supportive views, feminism has seen its biggest rise in the public sphere in a long time. Sadly though, this has led to a worryingly large amount of people who seem to view it more as a fashionable trend, and would rather contribute to seem edgy by calling out people for supposedly sexist behaviours where there has been no crime.
Yes, Stavri draws attention to certain issues that do actually exist. There is a common misunderstanding and surprising lack of knowledge about the vagina and everything that it does. Orange is the New Black brilliantly referenced this in their recent series by having many characters be shocked to discover that women don’t actually urinate through the vagina.
But will any awareness of this issue be raised through rants like Stavri’s? While it’s a real issue, no one will take it seriously when it becomes associated with people who like to create issues of sexism where no issues lie.
Peoples’ disgusted reactions to #cuntsourdough does not make them misogynistic. My own horrified feelings about #cuntsourdough does not make me a bad feminist. Just because you believe in equality does not mean that you are not allowed to be sickened by the idea of someone’s genital juice being served up in food.
Until people stop tarring normal feelings and reactions with the implication that they are sexist, no one will take feminism seriously. And until feminism is taken seriously, none of the issues many women have to face every day will be taken seriously. So for God’s sake, if you don’t understand feminism, don’t try to wear it as a fashion statement.
And if we could all try to keep our bodily fluids out of the oven, that’d be fab.