So folks, I’m going to do that incredibly awkward thing and talk about vaginas on the internet. I’m doing so not to be lewd but to acknowledge that they (and their owners) are important and that talking about them is important, too. While Valentine’s Day makes most people think of roses and chocolates and kisses and tiny winged archers, it makes me think about what it means to be a woman and about women’s rights. I don’t often jump on non-fiber-related soapboxes on this blog but today, I am, and I’m going to try to use as many amusing euphamisms for our Ladybits as possible not because I think ‘vulva’ or ‘vagina’ are dirty words but because the euphemisms themselves are fantastic. Consider yourself alerted!
|Are you a woman? You should own these books. Are you a man? You should at least watch the Monologues.|
My physical therapist recommended I read The V Book, written by a Harvard professor and practicing gynocologist, and boy am I glad I did. It is essentially an owner’s manual for your Honey Pot. The first few chapters are a fascinating read about the history of care and anatomy and function of everything Downstairs and I have to say that even as a difficult-to-embarrass and rather ‘enlightened’ woman, and a biologist no less, I didn’t know some fairly basic things. For one, there’s an entire part called the vestibule that I had no idea had a name. If we don’t know what the Fancy Bits are even called, how can we know if/when there is a problem? And how would we describe it? There’s an entire delicately-balanced ecosystem contained within your Hey-nonny-no and the second half of the book details how things should be, how they shouldn’t, and what could possibly go wrong. Admittedly, that part of the book is mildly terrifying (anything involving the word ‘green’ in relation to my Thingamy is highly disconcerting) but I’d rather be informed than not, especially when most problems are easily prevented and/or dealt with when you know what to look for.
The second book, The Vagina Monologues, is a series of dramatic monologues written by Eve Ensler, who interviewed women all over the world about their Peach Pits. There are stories in there about every aspect of womanhood and the entire point was to get the world comfortable with talking about Joy Boxes because in a perfect world where women’s sexuality is respected, women themselves will also be respected. It is a humorous, charming, and touching play and a really wonderful thing to see performed if you can manage it. I had the chance to act in a performance of it in college and it really opened up my eyes to how lucky I was to be a girl with solid self-confidence born into a family and community that respected me… and how easily my life as a woman could have been very, very different.
Even better, it’s made an impact on the entire world through the global V-Day movement. The funds raised from the performances goes towards stopping sexual and domestic violence against women and girls. So far, the organization has raised over $85 million and has launched educational programs and opened shelters for battered women in multiple countries. If you can’t get to a performance, you can donate directly through the website. I’m not one to tell people what the should and shouldn’t think, but when it comes to women’s rights, there is really only one position I understand: equality. I can’t relate to women who claim that they are not feminists. If you are a woman who says that you don’t support feminism, you are essentially saying that your own gender makes you less of a person and therefore less deserving of respect and equal treatment in society. If you, yourself, are saying this, how can you expect other people (namely, men) to respect you, and if they don’t respect you, what’s to stop them from hurting you?
We cannot love what we don’t understand, and if we don’t love and respect that which biologically defines us as female, who will? Respect yourselves, ladies. In a nutshell: don’t doubt your abilities, aim higher, get out of bad relationships, do good and demand good in return, remember your strength, define your independence, develop something more meaningful than your looks, and make sure the men in your life know that your Sweet Bottom Grass is an important part of you but not the only important part of you. Understand your Yoni, love your Yoni. Now, go forth and learn about your Crinkum-crankums*!
* All of these euphamisms were listed with their eras of origin in The V Book. Crinkum-crankum, from the late 18th centuray, is my favorite because it is clearly awesome. Hey-nonny-no is a close second.