Vagina Museum to Address Gynecological Health

Vaginal health problems are one of the most stigmatizing issues that have not been addressed. A Vagina Museum has been speculated to address the said issue and allow more women to express themselves.

Vagina Museum

Vagina Museum

Jasmine Of Vagina Museum. Credit: Nicole Rixon

Charity Eve Apparel conducted a survey a while back on women between the age of 16 and 25 and reported that 65% were uncomfortable with the words vulva and vagina to an extent of failing to seek medical attention due to embarrassment

Improvement of gynecological health and consent could depend on talking about it. The challenge is; how do we begin the conversation? The founder of vagina museum Florence Schechter says the museums mission is to inform people on health and gynecological anatomy.

The museum in 2017 held a vagina-themed exhibition featuring various artists at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a traveling exhibition titled ‘Is your vagina normal’ was launched. The exhibition has so far visited scientific conferences, art museums and festivals.

Schechter reports that they have had positive feedback from people and gives the progress’ credit to her volunteers who have made the environment friendly and comfortable by welcoming the people warmly. With time, attendees can easily relax and learn once they get over the initial nervousness.

At the moment Schechter is in the process of raising funds in order to build the world’s 1st -mortar and brick- vagina museum. In this pursuit they will be holding a showing where the exhibit room and space will have rotating displays where the entire human gynecological anatomy, its history, art and science will be highlighted.

As of about two weeks ago, the museum is yet to reach its £300,000 goal needed to book some space in London’s Camden Market. If this went through, the museum aims at working with the local communities host regular workshop events and even invite millions of people who visit Camden Market.

The potential of the museum being hosted at the Camden Market is the very exciting thing and Schechter attributes this milestone to the fact that apart from being a popular place, Camden Market is known to be a rebellious and queer place.

Though there is no vagina museum anywhere else in the world, Icelandic Phallological Museum was Schechter’s key inspiration. The Icelandic Phallological Museum includes animal penises in their displays. Once Schechter heard about the Reykjavik based museum, she kept wondering if there was a vagina museum in the world. After research she found out that there were art galleries, virtual museums and medical museums but no vagina museum on the map; that is how the thought came to her.

Photographer Laura Dodsworth is als following in Schechter’s steps in trying to change the female genital narrative and the stigma surrounding it. The photographer recently took photos of 100 vulvas aimed at addressing body image issues. Educators who major in sex-abuse prevention are putting emphasis on children learning to use the right phrases for their genitals to be able to get help whenever necessary. In an attempt to raise awareness about her endometriosis ordeal, comedian Amy Vreeke wrote a play “The Year my Vagina Tried to Kill Me”.

Schechter says that at this moment they may be able to host one event every month. However, having a physical location could facilitate holding multiple weekly events. She hopes that this will destigmatize conversations surrounding female health.

Conclusion

The above mentioned individuals are an example of people going out of there way and in different setups to play a part in the gynecological health awareness. A Vagina Museum with a precise venue is a core area to start from and bring together other kinds of events, workshops, performances, and exhibitions.

Considering that there are a notable number of people with severe gynecological medical conditions and even die because they were unable to discuss vagina health. Doctors have agreed that the Vagina Museum could help in saving lives.

References
  • The World’s First Vagina Museum Encourages Conversation Around Gynecological Health
  • Schaal, Benoist, and Richard H. Porter. “‘Microsmatic Humans’ Revisited: The Generation and Perception of Chemical Signals.” Advances in The Study of Behavior, vol. 20, 1991, pp. 135–199.
  • Mondragón-Ceballos, Ricardo, et al. “Changes in Men’s Salivary Testosterone and Cortisol Levels, and in Sexual Desire after Smelling Female Axillary and Vulvar Scents.” Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 4, 2013, pp. 159–159.

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