Scary, Scary Vaginas* by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir

I finally figured out what my feminist superpower is: I shrink the genitals of insecure men. No, really– all it takes is a few words, or sometimes just a look, without saying anything. Sometimes all it takes is not looking at them and saying nothing. And sometimes, all it takes is me existing in this world, without even being aware of their existence.

I have had this superpower since I was in high school. A few of the more insecure guys in my classes made the mistake of saying not-nice things to me, and I responded with cutting set-downs. Their genitals shrank so badly they resorted to saying those things about me to my twin sister, in hopes that would restore their former size, but <sigh>  so far as I can find out, it never did.

I continued to have this superpower, and insecure men continued to respond by trying desperately to compensate for their shrinkage in various ways — aggressive sexual behavior, verbal abuse, street harassment, some of them even tried raping me! But it never worked — they all limped away, as insecure as ever, and much more frightened of me than they had been before.

I used to say such men had a condition called “egalophobia” – fear of equality – but now I realize, they have gynophobia: fear of vaginas. You can observe gynophobia in all sorts of men, both conservative and progressive, atheist and religious, straight and gay. They exhibit different but related symptoms: they become aroused by filmed rape/abuse of girls/women (porn) or by raping girls/women (prostitution or non-paid forms of rape), or they defend such predatory, misogynist industries; they insist on centering males in science, religion, politics, or their communities; they interrupt, mansplain, gaslight, tell/laugh at sexist jokes, ogle women (on TV or on the street), etc.—you know the patterns.

Sometimes, they try desperately to convince themselves that I have not actually shrunk their penises. For example, I visited a dermatologist last week about a benign mole on my back. After I had shrunk his penis by disagreeing with him about politics (though we were both left-leaning), he started flailing in terror. In desperation, he made a crude joke about how he would like to give me a breast exam. At first, I was pretty upset. But then I realized — poor guy, he must have really been attached to his former genital size, and he’s just bereft, grieving the loss of his manhood. I hope the state licensing board understands that superpowers such as mine aren’t always easy to control.

I seem to have passed my superpower on to my daughters. One poor man had the misfortune of having his genitals dramatically shrunk last week. My ten year old daughter walked down the street, and her mere proximity to his car caused grievous penal shrinkage. He must have been utterly terrified, because his response was truly pathetic: He leered lewdly at my prepubescent daughter and gave her a slow, sleazy nod of sordid lechery. At first, she was pretty upset. But then she realized — that extent of genital withering is probably excruciating, and he may simply have been grimacing in agony.

You can witness religious gynophobia in the terror men (and the women who look to them for protection) exhibit when you mention female divine symbols, pronouns, or titles. I preached a sermon once about how we should all be calling God “she” or even “Goddess,” and every man in the church suffered so much genital shriveling that they couldn’t even look me in the eye upon leaving the sanctuary. Well, except one man, who said it was the best sermon he’d ever heard. So I married him. Size does matter, wink wink.

You can witness atheist gynophobia in the gymnastics New Atheists do to insist that men are scientifically superior to women, or to prevent females from being treated with the same respect as males in atheist communities. You can see it in politics, when men call women “shrill” or “unlikeable” and when men (and the women who look to them for protection) defend creepy behavior by popular males within their party <cough> <Biden> <cough> <ahem>.

Even men who try to be allies sometimes find themselves alarmed by twinges of genital diminishing, and their alarm prompts them to respond to last week’s incidents by saying things such as, “I don’t think that warrants reporting him to the licensing board,” or “Why would she be so upset by him just looking at her and smiling?” Poor dears… it can be a tough world out there with all those scary, scary vaginas trying to bite off chunks of your penises with their vagina shark fangs.

Unfortunately for gynophobic men, not only does my superpower not appear to be diminishing with time, it seems actually to be growing. So much so that I sometimes wonder if every penis I shrink adds strength to my superpower! Not only is my own power growing, I have actually witnessed a growing number of women with my superpower! And… from what I can tell, these women’s penile-reducing power is also growing stronger with time, as well!! I have detected an actual movement of such women, a sort of… “radical feminism,” perhaps… like a Marvel Superhero team of sorts, in which each woman has unique gifts, but the same superpower. I think perhaps the power comes from utter and complete indifference to pleasing the patriarchal male gaze and all its offshoots of pandering and cozying up to terrified, flailingly aggressive men. From what I can gather, the stronger a woman’s indifference, the stronger her superpower, and the more she turns insecure gynophobes into trembling piles of jelly.

Well. I’m sure some folks will read this article and be Deeply Concerned about the Men With Actually Smallish Penises who might feel Sad that I used penis size as a symbol for patriarchal social currency, because making fun of patriarchal posturing is Unladylike and Unkind. I refer such folks to the above paragraph about how the stronger a woman’s indifference to men who try to center themselves, the stronger her superpower.

Fuck This Sexist Shit
Smash The Patriarchy
Rage On, Sisters.



*Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee came up with the phrase ‘scary, scary vaginas,’ for which the world owes her much gratitude!

Trelawney Grenfell-Muir teaches courses about Sex, Dating, Marriage, and Work in the Religion and Theological Studies Department at Merrimack College and about Cross Cultural Conflict in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A Senior Discussant at the Religion and the Practices of Peace Initiative at Harvard University, she holds an M.Div. from the Boston University School of Theology with a concentration in Religion and Conflict, and a Ph.D. in Conflict Studies and Religion with the University Professors Program at Boston University. She currently writes articles, book chapters, and liturgical resources about feminist, nature-based Christianity.

23 thoughts on “Scary, Scary Vaginas* by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir”

  1. Hee hee you made me laugh. I think I have that superpower too. The other night a young man who adores me said, “you are the Goddess, no man is good enough for you.” There wasn’t time to explain that being put on that kind of a pedestal is not actually all that much fun, hee hee. But I guess it is a superpower!!!


    1. Heh heh yes, pedestals are gilded cages, and gynophobic men try to lure us into them in hopes that it will thwart our superpower! HA!!! :)


    1. Thank you, Majak! Yes, I think there must be quite a large number of witches about, with scary witchy vagina powers!!! Boo!!! :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How I love this! There is so much wisdom in it. And, it is exactly the kind of empowering state of mind that women in our culture need to embrace, (or around the world for that matter.) It is only when all of us began to see and live into our power that we can tackle the one-sided and toxic framework that governs the Western world. I would love to figure out how to share this on my FB but, failing that, I shall certainly talk about the wisdom of it and spread the idea. Thank you so much for writing it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Beverly! You ought to be able to copy and paste the link to the URL of this web page to share it on facebook. You can also click this link, and it will take you to where I shared it on Facebook, and you ought to be able just to click “share” from there:

      I love your thoughts. And I agree with you – we need a collective frame shift, one we share together and hold together. I needed to do some grieving and raging before I could come to this frame, but when we grieve and rage together, we move to this empowered state together, and then… we are unstoppable! <3 <3


  3. Hilarious! I started laughing by the first period. You need to bottle your power and sell it on the Net. Oh–wait, we already have it. Most of us just don’t realize it. What you wrote is a wake-up call to the women of the world. Go-go-go-go-GO.

    Thanks for posting this day after the Abuser-in-Chief parked his symbolic genitals all over the National Mall and did a fly-over with them, too. He has to use tanks and jets because he himself has/is such an insignificant little hangy-down thingy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha “hangy down thingy” you crack me up :D
      I think perhaps we store our power in our ovaries, and then when we spend time with other women who are using and exhibiting their power more openly, eventually our own power gets activated and finally bursts out from our vaginas like an orgasmic grenade of hangydownthingy-shrinking fireworks, and from then on, small-handed men run for cover!!! :D Poor 45 must have a very severe case of micropenilism to need tanks and planes for genital compensation!!


    1. This is a satirical piece, which critiques the way patriarchy teaches men to feel like failures if they cannot demonstrate to themselves and to other men that they are superior to women, thus they often try to diminish/attack females around them, especially females who are powerful and/or indifferent to them.


  4. Brava Trelawney!! Rather than a “feminist super power”, I say it’s a natural power of all women. You don’t need to call yourself a feminist or be superwoman to access it. Women are the creatresses of life. Only women have the sacred power of the vagina (strongest muscle in the body) to squeeze life into the world from within our own sacred bodies. Women are the sex entrusted by the Divine to be a portal for manifestation of the miracle of bringing life into the physical world. Men are scared of that power, hence the shrinkage. Men are also envious and jealous of that power. Men know they do not create life (they only seed it). Men are servants of life and must accept their subordinate role and follow the lead of women who are spiritually much closer to the divine than men are. Women and men are not equal. All hail and worship the sacred vagina!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a very interesting perspective – thank you for sharing it! All hail and worship the sacred vagina! <3


  5. Thank you for these fun and interesting comments. Thank you for your patience, as a hectic family traveling schedule prevented me from responding as soon as I would have wished. Rock on, Goddesses. <3


    1. I would have guessed that already from your username, but you already know, I think, that it’s not about staying on my good side… but rather about being unafraid of female equality, even though society teaches men to be terrified of female equality. Seems so simple, really, but simple things are often the most difficult.


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