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Enough With Dick-Measuring Contests, a ‘Button’ Is Actually a Clit

Much has been made of Button-Pusher-in-Chief Donald Trump’s latest tweet that he not only has a nuclear button just like Kim Jong-un, but his is “much bigger & more powerful” and “works!”

While the tweet was widely interpreted as more dick-swinging bravado from the president, a dick is a rod, a missile, a bullet, a projectile, a baseball bat, a banana. A clitoris, on the other hand, is a button. It’s a pearl. It’s a bud. It’s a pea. It’s a bean. It’s a little man in a boat. (It’s actually much, much “bigger & more powerful” than that in both size and scope, but more on that in a minute.)

We get it: The tweet sounds like a dick-waving exercise. But a button has never symbolically represented male sexuality, and that’s its button to bear. Not that it should, either. The dick, for all its symbolic power, hardly measures up to the punch packed by the clit, anyway, which is no slouch in the sexual organ department. It has twice the nerve endings of the penis, for starters. And unlike the penis, which stops growing by around age 18, the clitoris keeps growing in size and power to the time a woman hits 32 years of age, where it has quadrupled in size from puberty.

By menopause, which Trump would absolutely be well past by now at age 71, his button — were he lucky enough to have one to brag about — would be seven times larger than its size at birth. Sorry gramps, your aging dick can’t boast that, nor can it boast the orgasms that potentially come with that larger real estate.

It’s always been irrational to use the dick as the ultimate symbol of power when the clit was right there, all along, asking you to love it. But even so, no dick in history that ever wanted to be feared, respected or even mildly admired ever called itself a button. Still, even if Trump doesn’t realize his metaphorical misdirection, it’s not exactly crazy that he’d grab the pussy — any pussy — yet again to aid in his typical boosterism. In that sense, misappropriating the clitoris accidentally to brag makes a certain misguided sense.

After all, there’s no part of the female body that men haven’t tried to control for their own purposes, and clitorises, long ignored, misunderstood and feared as the powerful organ they are, are no exception.

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They were once stroked by men only because they were believed to be necessary to aid in conception. In 1486, the presence of a clitoris was once considered bonafide proof a woman was a witch. In the 1800s, removing the clitoris was considered a cure for hysteria, or alternately, doctors were routinely enlisted to coax women to orgasm for that purpose. Men have been fighting for centuries to lay claim to its discovery, and they nearly always got it wrong.

But it wasn’t until 1998 that someone — ahem, a woman urologist named Helen McConnell — finally located the real clitoris from research on cadavers. Like any man’s wet dream about his penis, it turned out to be much bigger than anyone realized. It is, in fact, twice the size previously thought at around 10 centimeters, largely hidden and actually shaped like a wishbone. McConnell deemed its protrusion much more like a mountain than a little hill, and every bit as essential to the orgasm as the nuclear “button” is to nuclear war. After all, most women need clitoral stimulation in some form or another to get off.

Okay, to be fair, you don’t really push a woman’s button — you massage it. You flick it. You lick it. You stimulate it. You stroke it. You caress it. Sex guides make clear that, in spite of ringing her bell as another go-to for getting a woman off, the clitoris is not a doorbell, nor should it be wildly, manically pounded on like an elevator button that won’t open the doors fast enough. Still, the expression persists. Press the button is a longstanding phrase for female masturbation, and it’s not exclusive to the West. The Japanese phrase botantori, which means “button grabbing,” is also slang for stimulating the clitoris.

Which brings us to the so-called nuclear button’s other inherent irony. It’s women’s bodies, with their self-sustained capacity for replication, gestation and feeding the species, that have always held within them the power of creation. Is it any wonder that the phrase “finger to the button” is the go-to expression for the man or men who wield the power of geopolitical destruction?

What’s more, writing at The New York Times, Russell Goldman explains that the funny thing about the nuclear button is that there is no actual button. The origin of the phrase “finger to the button” goes back to World War II bombers, who were talking about hitting panic buttons that “rang a bell” (heh) to tell other crew members to jump from the damaged aircraft. That became a shorthand for wartime political threats and grandstanding, even as the technology to enact those threats evolved. Goldman cites quotes throughout history from LBJ, Nixon and Hillary Clinton about the disturbing madman power of having a finger capable of mashing that button.

But instead of a button, there is a briefcase, and gender-fittingly, it’s called a football. Only activating that football isn’t quite as simple as pushing a button or kicking an actual football, either. Trump has to enter a code. That’s fitting, too, as stimulating a clitoral button to orgasm involves at least a few different moves, even for an old pro.

It’s highly doubtful, Goldman notes, that Kim Jong-un really has a button on his desk over in North Korea either, or that he’d be able to pull off that orgasmic, deadly explosion in anything less than a few hours to achieve the real thing. That sounds about right, too.

But, he admits, when it comes to North Korea and their nuclear button-pushing capabilities, it’s all totally shrouded in mystery, much like female sexuality, even to this day. Meaning just like the clitoris, we still don’t know for sure how that whole thing works, either.