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Web Access Things!

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Saturday, 29 June 2013

What is a Vulva?

The other day I was asked what is a vulva? While the question at first seemed to be simple enough to answer, the more I thought about it the more complex the question became…really what is a vulva?

After reflecting on this question for some time I came to realize that the ways in which our vulvas are represented, interpreted and treated are very much influenced by the ways in which our bodies are able (or unable) to navigate through various social spheres/norms. I started making these crochet vulva pins in response to the shame, misinformation and silence enforced around people with internal genitalia talking about and understanding their bodies in respect to how they live their lives. In wearing my crochet vulva I have had the privilege of engaging in some insightful conversations about the multiple meanings, understandings and personal relationships people have with their genitalia and navigating their health, or how they experience other peoples genitalia. This blog and the crochet genitalia support a personal effort to create a platform where people can talk about and reclaim what is rightfully theirs, and where wearing, caring and talking about genitals through personal experiences are valued components in sharing knowledge around our bodies.

It is difficult to address the question as to what a vulva is, because you simultaneously have to ask what a vulva means and how that meaning shifts in different contexts. So my personal answer is my vulva is endless, it holds different privileges, disadvantages, beauties, demons, experiences and the list goes on. I wear my crochet genitalia as a way to represent the multiple and intersecting social, political and biological falsehoods and realities that surround my experiences. So I have to ask, what does genitalia mean to you?