Ovarian Cancer Canada has an ad campaign inviting women to ‘have the lady balls to do something about it.’
No thanks Ovarian Cancer Canada. I don’t need lady balls, or any other balls that use my femininity to measure my strength of character against a man’s, or to get my health checked. I’ve got all the power and confidence I need – in my vagina.
That’s right. I wrote it. In public. Vagina. I’ve got one, and what’s more, I’m proud of it.
And that’s the problem with Ovarian Cancer Canada’s ad. The actors say ‘lady balls’ and nod their heads in admiration when the women “act like men” when they assert themselves to get the job done, or ask a guy out, or win at the poker table, or inspire girls in the locker room.
You need lady balls to do all that, says the ad.
What women need is to not have men’s balls used against them.
What women need is to not be forced into servitude as weapons of war through rape and slavery and prostitution.
What women need is to earn the same pay for the same job, to have access to locker rooms and boardrooms without being hit on or hit by the glass ceiling.
What every woman needs is the right to say No and have the word taken seriously. To go out and not worry about having their drink spiked because some dude wants to get his balls off without consent.
What women need is to have their vaginas – and all that may or not may not come with them – revered and respected.
Regardless of where our bodies are on their journey, our female sex organs hold the seat of our humanity. They are the vessels of the future, containers of our capacity to grow life, channels for our creativity, compassion, and, quite frankly powerful enough to get the job done on their own.
We need to do better than to use catchy phrases to get our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends, attention. And we don’t need to get screened for ovarian cancer to prove our sex organs are as good as a man’s. We need to get screened for ovarian cancer because our ovaries matter. Our voices matter. Our bodies matter. Our lives matter.
The world doesn’t need women to act like men. The world needs us to claim the inherent power of our vaginas. To turn the tides on aggression. To up the ante on caring for Mother Earth. To embrace humanity in the sacredness of our feminine nature and nurture it back to well-being.
We don’t need balls to do that.
We need our vaginas, our ovaries, and our feminine brain-power to give birth to a world where every child is safe from abuse, safe from being dragged and drugged into becoming soldiers of war and mass destruction. Where little boys don’t go to bed hungry and little girls don’t fear the footsteps in the hall. We need women to help end the drugs, famine, poverty, terrorism and every other conflict we, the humans of this world, have created.
We won’t change the world by growing a pair of balls.
We will change it by using our voices, our hands, our hearts, and our capacity to nurture life into being.
So yeah. I am disappointed by Ovarian Cancer Canada’s suggestion that I find the balls to do something about ‘it’ or anything in this world.
I am a woman. I’m tired of being told the only agency I have is in my ability to reproduce. Tired of hearing that I need to act ‘like a man’ as if that’s the only pathway to success. I’m tired of being asked to “grow a pair” to reach some man-made measurement of my equality and worth. And I’m tired of having my sexual organs used as a means to keep me in my place so that others can gain position and power in this world.
My vagina and my ovaries and my womb may be retired, but I am not done changing the world.