OMG. You’ve got to be kidding. I just heard about a magazine ad that’s got me steaming mad. Check out this full page Summer’s Eve ad in Woman’s Day magazine. The title: “Confidence at Work: How to Ask For a Raise.” The very first suggestion in the eight tips on how to ask for a raise?
#1 Start with your usual routine and all the things you do to feel your best, including showering with Summer’s Eve feminine wash or throwing a packet of Summer’s Eve Feminine Cleansing Cloths into your bag for a quick freshness pick-me-up during the day.
Are you people serious?
As the author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend, I’ve got something to say about this! Summer’s Eve approached me a few months back because they wanted to throw a boatload of money at me so I could be their spokesperson. Thank GODDESS I said I would do that when hell freezes over. What did I tell them? IT’S SUPPOSED TO SMELL LIKE PUSSY.
To quote my heroine Eve Ensler from the Vagina Monologues:
My vagina doesn’t need to be cleaned up. It smells good already. Don’t try to decorate. Don’t believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it’s supposed to smell like pussy. That’s what they’re doing – trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays – floral, berry, rain. I don’t want my pussy to smell like rain. All cleaned up like washing a fish after you cook it. I want to taste the fish. That’s why I ordered it.
Amen, sister! Take that, Summer’s Eve. What was all that mumbo jumbo you gave me back when you were trying to convince me to accept your money? Here’s a direct quote from the email you sent me:
The “tone” of the program is one that emphasizes female confidence and empowerment, taking charge of health and wellness and an overall love of being female! An integral part of our efforts is a collaboration with a respected health professional to provide educational messaging for consumers. Your breadth of expertise in a variety of women’s health issues, as well as your position on women’s empowerment and the down-to-Earth, woman-to-woman tone of your upcoming book makes us particularly interested in starting a dialog with you.
Shame. Shame. Shame on you. And thank you Universe for guiding me to turn away the money and decline this offer. How in the world does this ad “emphasize female confidence and empowerment?” I mean seriously, people.
My agent, whom I lovingly call “Monkey Barbara”, had this to say when this opportunity arose: "I don't want the word douchebag coming out of your mouth unless you're saying it to some guy who wants his girlfriend to douche!"
When I expressed my belief that douching is not only an offense to women everywhere but it also increases the risk of vaginal infections by washing away all the healthy, protective bacteria, Summer’s Eve assured me that their new campaign was not about douching at all. Instead, it was about healthy, pH balanced feminine cleansing. My answer to them? The vagina is a self-cleaning organism. And oh yeah -- it’s supposed to smell like pussy.Why I’m Mad
Sure, I’m all for valuing your worth and asking for that raise. You work hard. You get to the office earlier than anyone else. You didn’t take that Fiji vacation you earned because of the deadline on that special project you tackled like nobody’s business. You’re creative in the boardroom, you know how to close the deal, and the boss just couldn’t do without you. So go ahead. Ask for that raise. You deserve it.
But seriously. Of all the ways they could guide you to step into your power, are they really suggesting that washing your vagina is the #1 most important step to getting that raise?
Here’s the problem. The very fact that they put this ad in a national woman’s magazine (and shame on you too Woman’s Day for running it!) just reinforces the insecurities most women have about the way they smell. It actually suggests that feminine odor might keep you from getting the raise you deserve. By running this ad, they’re placing yet another doubt in the back of your mind. Do I smell? Might my boss notice?
Back in the 1950’s, Lysol ran the same sort of fear-based campaign. As quoted in my book What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend Elissa Stein, author of Flow: A Cultural History of Menstruation says, “For years, they sold Lysol, the same bottle as the bathroom kitchen germ killer, as a douche. They launched a horrendous scare tactic ad campaign that assured women their husbands would leave them if they weren’t fresh and clean.”
How is this different? Now, instead of being divorced by your husband, you’ve gotta worry that you might not get that raise if you don’t freshen up your vagina with one of those feminine cleansing cloths right before you march in there and demand more money? I mean, seriously people. You gotta be kidding me.
Here’s the scoop (a quote from What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend ):
The vagina is a self-cleaning organism. Shoving it full of things meant to make you smell like a bouquet of flowers does more harm than good by washing out the vagina’s normal bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to overpopulate the delicate environment and increasing the risk of vaginal infections. Some people can’t even tolerate using soap or bath gel on their private parts, since it can lead to itching, burning, and vaginal infections. Believe it or not, warm water on a soft washcloth is all you need to keep yourself clean. And who wants to wash away those delicious pheromones anyway?
So sure, take a shower before you ask for that raise, but deodorizing your va jay jay? I think not.Just to set them straight, here are MY 8 Tips For How to Ask For a Raise
- Set your intention and ground it down. Ask the Universe for what you need and desire. Say it out loud, or even better, let us witness it or share your intention with a friend.
- Visualize your boss saying yes. Close your eyes and see yourself in that corner office with the view. Know that you’re worth it and that you already have all that you need to have all that you want.
- Dress in something that makes you feel uber-confident. Don’t do it to impress your boss. Do it because you feel like a million bucks when you wear it, and it reminds you that you’re even more sparkly inside than that light blue sweater that brings out your eyes makes you feel on the outside.
- Compile the evidence to document why you deserve this raise and make sure to focus on the results you've produced that help the organization succeed. Bring in copies of the fabulous presentation you created -- you know, the one that wowed the client and brought in seven figures for the company. Ask for references -- especially customers -- from those who love your work. Prepare a case your boss can’t turn down.
- Be prepared to walk away. If you’re irreplaceable and they know it, be willing to let your job go. You don’t have to say it out loud, but know in your heart that you’re worth it. Release any niggling fears that might hold you back (you know the little voices that say “But in this job market! You’d be crazy to let this job go!” Shhh…go away little gremlins.) Fear will only hold you back, and you’re ready to fly, baby!
- Before you approach your boss to ask for what you deserve, surround yourself with a pink love bubble. See it in your minds eye. Open your fourth chakra and approach your boss as a loving spirit, asking another loving spirit for something you’ve earned.
- Ask with a pure heart. Don’t do it because you want that Prada bag or a new BMW. Sure, it’s fine to have those things, but if you get caught up in materialism, you can lose sight of what really matters -- the people you love, the sun setting on the ocean, and serving the world with your gifts.
- Set goals, but release attachment to outcomes. Sure, it’s great to set the goal that you want to earn more money. But trust that the Universe knows what’s good for you, and if you don’t get the raise, it’s because that may not be in your Highest Good right now. Believe that the Universe has something much better in store for you. Maybe getting that raise would make it hard to quit your job next month when some other fabulous opportunity comes up. So set your goals, then let them go. The Universe doesn’t need you to be in charge.
And if you MUST do something to your vagina, don’t deodorize it, vajazzle it. Shave your pubes into a heart or go commando if you like. Don’t do it for anybody else. Do it because it makes you giggle to know how glittery you are underneath those fabulous panties. Go to a scrapbooking store and buy stickers, rhinestones, fake tattoos -- whatever might make you feel fabulously naughty and pussified.
Now go! Own it girlfriends! You smell beautiful and you’re worth every penny of that raise. Go get ‘em, tiger (growl….)
Dr. Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, an author, a nationally-represented professional artist, and the founder of Owning Pink, an online community committed to building authentic community and empowering women to get- and keep- their "mojo". Owning Pink is all about owning all the facets of what makes you whole- your health, your sexuality, your spirituality, your creativity, your career, your relationships, the planet, and YOU. Dr. Rankin is currently redefining women’s health at the Owning Pink Center, her practice in Mill Valley, California. She is the author of the forthcoming What's Up Down There? Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin's Press, September 2010).
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