The other day I got the most exciting email. I usually don’t like people asking me for financial pledges of support, because I’m not stable enough, financially, to be able to support them all and I end up feeling guilty. But this one was different. I almost did a little happy dance when I read it – the Vagina Museum is finally looking like it’s going to be opening its physical doors and it’s crowdfunding to make it happen!!
I first met Florence Schechter, the founder of the Museum, last Spring, in the run up to an event we collaborated on in June – Vagina Day – at the Feminist Library. It was fun working with Florence, as she’s not just full of ingenious ideas (you have to admit, it’s not every day you meet someone who’s come up with something like the Vagina Museum!), but also incredibly funny. It is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating herstories one can learn about as a feminist – the story of women’s bodies and sexuality.
Just to give you a couple of examples, Florence told us that, apparently, many men still see the vagina as ‘shrouded in mystery’ (Eve Appeal, 2017)! Or did you know that, as VM’s stall that we also had at the V-Day showed, many of us (male or female!) still cannot name all the female sexual organs correctly! Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise, really – in a way, the former explains the latter: we are still not honestly taught about vaginas, vulvas or female sexual pleasure in sexual education, despite it being the 21st century. Equally fascinating, although admittedly troubling (and annoying!) is the fact that, throughout centuries, men fought for the right to put their name on the ‘discovery’ of… the clitoris! Yes, the same clitoris that women had known about (and used!) throughout many centuries prior!
If these stories are anything to go by as to what the Vagina Museum is going to be like, it’s going to be the best (and perhaps the most urgently needed!) museum in London, if not the world! Feminists world all over will be making it a destination place and we need to make sure that we make it happen!
If you’re intrigued and want to read more fun, fascinating and absolutely necessary stories like these, go to Vagina Museum’s blog and follow them on Twitter for a daily dose of vagina-themed fun! Fortunately, this topic seems to be opening up a lot more these days, and VM’s blog is not the only place one can read about women’s bodies, pleasure and sexuality. Two of the most recent publications that have come to my attention are Fruit of Knowledge by Liv Strömquist (I read this one in a day, it pulled me in so much! Not to mention, it comes in a form of a comic book, so it is actually possible to read in a couple of hours on the everyday trip to work and back, if you’re a Londoner like I am) and Vagina-nomics magazine (which is also currently crowdfunding for its second issue!).
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