The world’s first museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy, the Vagina Museum, (the first and only registered charity in the UK with vagina in its title) is set to open in Camden Market in November 2019. But to make this great opportunity a reality, they need your help to do it!
To open the Museum, the charity needs to raise £300,000 which will cover exhibitions, an outreach programme, rent and staffing. And they have launched a crowdfunder to achieve this.
Dr Alison Wright, Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says: “The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists would like to express its support for the Vagina Museum to have a space to exhibit in Camden. We have recently collaborated with the Vagina Museum to engage women in conversations about some of the taboos that exist around women’s health. Both organisations share a common mission of spreading knowledge and raise awareness of gynaecological anatomy and health. We believe the museum will be a huge asset to help people to understand women’s health and to talk about it more openly.”
The plan is to host rotating exhibitions on everything from anatomy and health, to periods and sex, to art and design, to history and society. Admission to the museum would be free because the charity believes access to knowledge about our bodies should not be dependent on your financial situation.
The museum also boasts support from comedian and author of “Animal” Sara Pascoe, who said: “I’m in love with the Vagina Museum- replacing shame with art, replacing mystery with inspiration and conversation. An exploration of the symbolism within our biology.”
Rufus Hound, actor, comedian and presenter, said: “The myriad ways in which our sisters are encouraged to feel shame at who they are – and how they are
made – is part of an ongoing system of patriarchal oppression. The Vagina Museum is part of overthrowing that oppression and deserves nothing but respect and support. So, respect and support it.”
Why is a Vagina Museum needed?
While the name might shock or even make you giggle at first, stigma has real-world consequences:
If you can’t even use the word vagina, think how that impacts your health…
65% of 16-25-year-olds say they have a problem using the words vagina or vulva and more than 1 in 10 of 16-35-year-olds said they found it very hard to talk to their GPs about gynaecological health concerns. Nearly a third admitted that they had avoided going to the doctors altogether with gynaecological issues due to embarrassment (Eve Appeal, 2016)
Over a quarter (26.7%) of 25-29-year-olds in Britain are too embarrassed to attend cervical screening (Jo’s Trust, 2017)
Mental Health and a Crisis of Body Image
There has been a 500% increase in the number of labiaplasties on the NHS between 2002 and 2012. A huge driver of this has been the “unrealistically narrow representations of vulval appearance in popular culture” (RCOG, 2012)
A Dedication to Inclusivity and Intersectionality
Four in five LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to the police (The Gay British Crime Survey, 2013)
Consent: Words are Power
Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence report to the police (An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales, 2013)
Not Just Vagina Owners Need to Know about Vaginas
Half of men wouldn’t feel comfortable chatting about gynaecological issues with a female partner, and many said they still see the vagina as ‘shrouded in mystery’ (Eve Appeal, 2017)
With a Vagina Museum, all people can learn that there is nothing shameful or
offensive about vaginas and vulvas and by fighting stigma, we can be a part of
helping solve these problems.
For more information go to http://www.vaginamuseum.co.uk