“With a Vagina Museum, all people can learn that there is nothing shameful or offensive about vaginas and vulvas”

BY ANEZKA TUREK. PHOTOS NICOLE RIXON.

In November, Camden Market is set to open its doors to a brand-new phenomenon – The Vagina Museum – the first and only charity in the UK with “vagina” in its name.

About time too, don’t you think?

But what is The Vagina Museum? Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory really. The brand new attraction will include just about everything you need to know about vaginas. (Finally!)

Founder Florence Schechter pictured outside Camden Market, 2019

As stated by leader of Camden Council, Georgia Gould: “Camden has a proud and radical history of challenging prejudice and orthodoxy.

“The stigma associated with talking about gynaecological health has meant ignorance, confusion, shame and poor medical care for too many.”

It’s this stigma that demonstrates the importance of the museum, with a huge 65% of 16-25-year olds having a problem with even using the words “vagina” or “vulva” and a reported 50% of men feeling uncomfortable chatting about gynaecology-related issues with a female partner.

Creating a “bricks and mortar” museum dedicated to vulvas of all shapes and sizes has the potential to encourage those who attend to recognise that there is nothing shameful about our bloody lovely vaginas.

Maybe then the 26.7% of people, “too embarrassed to attend a cervical screening,” (Jo’s Trust 2017) would feel less ashamed to do so.

In this case – and now for a sentence I’d never thought I’d say – could a vagina-dedicated museum save lives? Definitely. 

“As a trans person I know how much the world is obsessed with my neo-vagina but also how little the world actually knows about my neo-vagina, all that means is intrusion without safety or empowered pleasure,” explains writer and campaigner for trans rights, Juno Roche.

“The more we celebrate all vaginas; their beauty, their pleasure, their sheer brilliance, then, the more sex and body positivity and safety we create.”

The existence of such a museum would also mean an outreach programme providing support for the trans and intersex community, as well as an events programme that would include, workshops, comedy nights and performances for all.

Sounds good, right? So, it’s time to whip out a pad (pun intended) and jot this down.

In order to help museum director Florence Schechter open the glorious Vagina Museum to its full potential, a Crowdfunder has been created.

Think you could help? Click here to read more – and don’t forget to spread the wonderfully vulva-shaped word while you’re at it.

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