It's called a VULVA!
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In society the male presenting body is often honored with correct terminology and power. The female presenting body, however, is often dishonored with incorrect and demeaning terminology.
We make all kinds of excuses for not referring to female presenting bodies correctly. We say that it's "gross", too complicated or perhaps it's unsexy.
However, we are continuing to present words that are simply INACCURATE. Such is the case for the world VAGINA. A vagina is only the inner part of a much larger and interesting organ called the VULVA.
When we call a vulva a vagina then we are not focusing on the WHOLENESS of female identified genitalia. We are in fact REDUCING the genitalia and THE PERSON by simply compare their whole sexual selves with a canal in which things go into and come out of. Most people with vulvas never actually see their vagina. Thus we reduce the power of that person to connect with the totality of themselves.
The VULVA has MANY structures. These structures are important to MEDICAL HEALTH, SEXUAL HEALTH, PLEASURE and Self Acceptance. When we reduce the vulva to simply the vagina, we prevent people with vulvas from having access to important information, fulfillment and education about themselves.
In 2018 it is time for those with platforms related to this anatomical area to CALL THE AREA BY ITS FULL AND PROPER NAME. It is time for us to allow ALL people with VULVAS to be fully respected and accepted for ALL of their parts and not just the ones that other people have use for.
By doing this we can empower ALL people to properly discuss this area of the human body, without fear or confusion. We can have more healthy conversations medically, socially, intimately and privately. It is time for us to stop reducing the vulva to only a small part of itself. We do that enough to the people who have vulvas and the result is objectification, violence, disregard, lack of empowerment and being structurally inaccurate.
Join me in my efforts to REEDUCATE people about the VULVA! It matters.
DMarcella Lyles, MEd
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