Save the Males, Kathleen Parker’s 2008 polemic on sexual permissiveness and libertinism, contains the following euphemisms for vagina: “inner sanctum,” “familiars,” “you know what,” “very private parlor,” “sacred vessel,” “vestal vestibule,” and “hirsute abyss of God’s little oven.” We will be, laments Parker in her obligatory chapter on Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, so “awash in vaginaism,” that we are nothing beyond “vaginas on the plain seeking out other vaginas with which to hold hands and gaze unlongingly into the silky night of a manless moon.” We have abandoned a better, gentler America, a place where women were “above this sort of thing,” a nation where men did not “talk about vaginas in public.”…

Parker is a phenomenally successful defender of “common sense” in all its culture-bound oddity. Love her, hate her, or lack the foggiest idea of who she might be, she is the most widely syndicated female columnist in the nation. Data on the reach of particular columnists is hard to come by, but a 2007 Media Matters report ranked her third among all columnists in terms of the number of newspapers that carry the column, just behind George Will and Cal Thomas. In September of 2009, according to the Washington Post Writers Group, the syndicate that distributes both Parker and Will, she was running in a few more papers than her colleague. These numbers don’t measure online reach, but they do suggest a massive geographic spread.