Posts Tagged ‘“Vagina Revolution”’

One Year Anniversary of Vagina Protest in Lansing, Michigan

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by llewin No Comments

I can hardly believe it has almost been a year since Lisa Brown, a Michigan state legislator, was banned from the House floor for using the word “vagina” in a debate about abortion.  After this happened Lisa Brown did not just sit there rather she used social media to garner support and attention and attention she got—Eve Ensler, living goddess who wrote the Vagina Monologues, came to Lansing a few short weeks later and she organized a performance of her award-winning play on the steps of the capitol building.  Thousands of people attended. I used my frequent-flyer miles and flew up from Charlotte to be there.  I was in the middle of writing Vagina Revolution: A Candid and Informative Conversation About Vaginas and I could not miss what I thought was part of the beginning of the actual revolution—women taking back the word vagina and owning it and using it because after all, it is a body part that half the world’s population has.

 

The one-year anniversary of the protest in Michigan is upon us and I read a fabulous article today about Eve Ensler and her thoughts on the word ‘vagina’.

“You can say ‘scud missile’ and ‘acid rain’ and ‘nuclear war’ and ‘terrorist bombing’ on the front page of any newspaper, but you say ‘vagina,’ and people freak out,” Ensler says in a phone interview last week. “Why is that? People say all kinds of degrading things about women’s bodies and it seems to be fine. I think ‘vagina’ is like one of those words which actually represents women power. … It’s not degrading, it’s not undermining. It’s real.”

The article was written by Kristen Jordan Shamus at the Detroit Free Press.  Here is a link: http://www.freep.com/article/20130505/COL26/305050040/Eve-Ensler-Michigan-Body-of-the-World

Ensler has definitely made the world a safer place for women and for the word vagina and she shows the connection—the importance of the connection—in her new book which is profiled in the aforementioned article. But she also talks about how we have much more work to be done.  We need to normalize the word vagina, and the body part.  I try to do that in my book Vagina Revolution. Because after all, the year is 2013, information is at our fingertips, but many women still feel disassociated with and uncomfortable with their vaginas and their bodies.  Enough is enough!  It is time to own what is rightfully ours—our bodies and our feelings associated with our bodies. Vagina Revolution helps women do that because it is a book about vaginas—twenty-two topics/chapters in all (http://vaginarevolution.com/about-the-book/table-of-contents/) , and it is written in the form of a conversation between two women.  Some of these topics can be a bit uncomfortable but reading the book is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two women—very comfortable and familiar, yet also informative and life-changing.

There has been some work done in this area over the past year—the word vaginas has been mentioned hundreds of times on popular tv shows and in the media—much more than any previous year.  But there is so much more to be done.  The more the word—and the body part—is normalized, demystified and destigmatized, the better off women will be.

So hats off to you, Eve Ensler—for starting the fight and for continuing it.  I hope to join your league of warriors as we fight for change for all women.

 

Warmly,

Laura

My kids are reading Vagina Revolution: A Candid and Informative Conversation About Vaginas?

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by llewin No Comments

When the big box of my books arrived last week from Amazon I wasn’t surprised when my three children, ages 12, 10, and 9, asked me for a copy of the book.  After all I have been working on the book and talking about it for the past couple of years and they were so excited to see a big box of my books arrive in the mail.  They are no longer squeamish about the word vagina—in fact they may be too comfortable about it!  My sixth grade son Max wanted to bring my book to school to show everyone. I was so happy that he was proud of his mom writing a book but I did worry that he would get in trouble for having a book with the word vagina in the title and pictures of open vaginas within the book. Even if we as a family are entirely comfortable with the word vagina, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is just not there yet!

I must admit though, that when I went to put my 10 year old daughter to bed last night I was actually surprised that she was reading my book.  I thought my three children wanted a copy to have and to hold…but not to read!  But there Kate was reading my book in her bed. When I walked in and said it was time for bed she said “Mommy—I’m learning so much from your book!  Like I didn’t know what a clitoris is (she pronounced it all wrong) and cervical fluid. And it’s so easy to read because it is written like a conversation!” Ok, so I have to admit that my first thought was “Should I be letting my 10 year old daughter read this?  Is it appropriate for someone her age?” Then I thought about clitoris’s—they are just a body part, just like vaginas are just a body part.  Is it too early to learn about them? No, I concluded, it is not.  Many girls discover their clitoris’s when they are little girls though they have no idea what they are discovering—they just know it feels good.  Research has shown that even babies can have orgasms.  This is entirely natural and normal.  So why shouldn’t girls know about this—and know the proper word for the part of their body that feels so good?  The same thing with cervical fluid—as children get closer to puberty their vaginas start to secrete more fluid.  Many girls worry about this—is it normal? Why does my vagina feel wet?  These are normal worries and fears but they are unnecessary—if girls were taught that this is normal and a normal part of growing older then they would not worry as much.

I do worry that some people will cringe when they read this and some people will not understand. I guess that is in part why I wrote Vagina Revolution—to “normalize” vaginas—to take topics that were once taboo and uncomfortable to talk about and to show that vaginas and everything about them are totally normal. Including clitoris’s and cervical fluid.  I’m still not sure what age is too young to read the book—I think it would be different for everyone and as a general rule I say that the book is great for women ages 18 and up.  But I am happy my ten-year-old was reading the book and learning about vaginas at an early age.  I think (and hope!) that this knowledge will prove to be beneficial to her throughout her life.

 

Warmly,

Laura