“Say it again.”
“I’ve said it like 10 times already. When can I stop?”
“When you don’t have to ask if you can stop” said my friend. “It’s obviously making you uncomfortable so you have to say it as many times as it takes, not to.”
“But why do I need to say it. I don’t like the word.”
“It’s only a word. ‘Could you say…I have ears?’ for example…”
I giggled at that. It was a minor relief in the “uncomfortableness” of the situation.
“Go on then.”
So I looked in the mirror at the woman I hardly recognised and said
“I am a woman and I have a vagina.”
“Make me believe it.” She said.
“This is ridiculous.” I said getting angry.”I don’t need to prove to you that I’m a woman.”
“How do we know you’re a woman then?” she said.
“Because I look like one. I said. I have breasts and…”
“And what?” she said.
“…A vagina.” I finished miserably.
The thing was, that these girls, my friends, had booked a trip all the way to Sweden to help me start to love my body. If only for that, I had to swallow my pride and indignity at saying the words. And I knew perfectly well that the person I was getting angry with was myself, not them. So I said the words again. And again. And again. And I looked at myself saying them. But I had to cry out my inherited shame before I could say it and start to mean it. Even now, I am only at the beginning of my journey. How can I love myself if I can’t even speak about one of the most important parts of my body?
It’s terrible how shamed women have become about their own bodies. I am not alone. From the recent article in The Independent…
The events at the Michigan House of Representatives already represent some kind of turning point. Lisa Brown concluded her speech with the words, “Mr Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no’.” She later said, “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating [on] vaginas? What language should I use?” One of her Republican colleagues explained, “What she said was offensive. It was so offensive that I don’t want to say it in front of women.” Indeed. God forbid they find out they have a vagina!
Lesson for today… A vagina is the passage from the vulva to the cervix. The vulva is the exterior genital organs of a woman (I just learned this today when writing this post and I’m 37 years old). Most people – as I did until 5 minutes ago – confuse the two. Try naming all the parts of the photo opposite. I think if I’d have been calling my mouth ‘a throat’ for 37 years, someone would have corrected me. But oh yes, I forgot. We don’t talk about it do we…
The vagina/vulva is the hottest place on a woman’s body. It’s from here that our power emanates. It’s the organ that gives birth to our babies. It’s the organ that gives us the greatest physical – and maybe spiritual – pleasure you can know here on earth through sex. It’s the organ that allows us to join with the masculine so that for a brief time, we physically become one. When you reflect on it (which I don’t normally), it’s pretty amazing. But not…in any manner of speaking… ‘cutsie’.
It can be hairy, throbbing, pink, even purple, sweaty and can leave a somewhat slimy trail if you sit down without a pair of knickers. It also has a distinct smell. It bleeds once a month. It is, in all senses, very different to the rest of your body. The vast majority of Western women do everything we can to eradicate its texture, smell and appearance. From total Brazilian waxes and vaginal deodorants to vajazzling and labiotomies. In fact, the perfect porn pussy is like the rest of the ‘model’ industry. Impossible to attain without surgery, obsession and/or photoshop.
But in truth, I find this a very healthy comparison…
Flowers are beautiful, and exist to reproduce. How do they go about it? Usually by flaunting their sexual organs as extravagantly as they possibly can. There’s no shame in nature.
The most exotic are the most admired… and here they are exuberantly and beautifully protruding, just like vaginae (lesson number 2 … that’s the latin plural form)
Men give women flowers to symbolize affection. It’s no coincidence – a flower is symbolic of a woman’s sexual organs. Not so much ‘I love you’ as ‘I want to shag you’. If a man gave you a dozen stalks, because the flower itself was considered obscene, what would we think? The flower is indeed the most beautiful part and rightly so. It is that which allows us to create life. We are the product of evolution. Minds, Bodies and Spirit. And yet we are nothing without our sexual organs. We are the stalks…for our flowers. Extinct. Dead. Thankfully, they are – it appears – hugely attractive at least biologically speaking.
So where did we learn this hate for our vaginae?
Well for those of you who regularly read my posts, it’ll come as no surprise… it’s yet again religion (I really don’t mean to take religion to task every time, but more and more of my research shows that it is a huge source of issues in modern society). The problem with vaginae are twofold:
- That human minds, (in this case men), will do anything to blame actions on someone/something else if it involves being right or wrong (remember, the mind loves being right)
Sex (being severely restricted in our christian ‘monogamous’ culture) is rather forbidden. So as is our wont, we will trespass against those ‘rules’ and men need something to blame… lo, the female sexuality, represented by our vaginas (english plural form).
- That women bleed from our vaginas.
The menstrual cycle is a renewal and cleansing cycle which has been turned into something revolting by Christianity. A menstruating woman is not to be touched or approached for 7 days because she is ‘unclean’. That also includes anything touching her (for example her clothes), or anywhere she sits. See Leviticus 15 verses 19~30.
Each and every month women become unclean, and any self respecting and Bible believing man will not sit in a chair that an unclean woman has polluted with her Satanic cooties.
(Cool one pager, visit it if you have the time).
Yes, the vagina. It’s quite impressive really that women still manage to reproduce at all, in many cases rather enjoyably. Because the patriarchy via religion and society norms has dictated that our vaginas need to look a certain way. Smell a certain way. Be shaped a certain way. And now horrifically, in the United States, be functionally governed by State laws made by men.
It’s our battle, Ladies. So let’s start trying to be proud of our amazing vaginas, because if we aren’t, as sure as hell no one else will give them an iota of respect. Can you look in the mirror and say…
‘I’m a woman, and I love my vagina.’
…And make me believe it?
Category: Motherhood & Feminism