The Awful Images of Gendered Hospitals

Chinese streets are plastered with adverts for gendered hospitals. Men and women seem to be kept strictly separate, but this isn’t a puritan attempt to prevent sexual impropriety. It’s a medical industry based on the exact opposite.

The women’s hospitals advert is a girl in a white tutu dancing past the closed petals of a lush young rose. It couldn’t be clearer imagery without becoming an explicit illustration. In fact, it’s the maximally innocent illustration of a vagina, as anything more detailed would actually include a vagina, and therefore be less innocent because it’s prepared to show you its vagina. And the whole point of this surgery is pretending that they’d never do any such thing. It’s the awful practice of surgical hymen restoration, intended impress the sort of asshole who demands that you’ve never had sex before, but also demands that you have sex with him immediately.

The men’s hospitals invert things in another way. They’re not about pretending you haven’t done things you have, but about continuing to do things you can’t. “Hi!” says a man in a white coat, holding a vial, or a herb, or anything doctory apart from scary scalpels. “I’m Dr Smartman. I fix cocks.” Because there are men out there without working cocks, and you can bet your bottom dollar we need specialist facilities to get those flesh-pistons firing again. Men can pound the pork until it stops working, then get it surgically reinflated, but woman had better not even know what sex feels like until he gets there to do it.

All the finest in capitalist surgery (and what more reassuring motive could you have for someone sticking a knife into you than “They want your money?”), all so that that men can keep having sex with women, and women can keep pretending they didn’t.

This isn’t a uniquely Chinese problem. This is true in almost every country in the world, in almost every industry you care to mention. Everything from shampoo to social legislation speaks of the same ridiculous double standard. True, that virginerina poster combined almost enough images of purity in one place to crumple spacetime itself into an impenetrable hymen, preventing the progression of the human race, but the same attitude is everywhere else. And needs to be left behind.

More sexist stupidity:

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