Last night I talked to a 14 year old girl who told me that while she is sexually active, she refuses to see a gynecologist or discuss different prevention methods. Probing a bit deeper, it turns out that she feels shame around "a stranger" poking around something that to quote her is "hers' and so private". I asked her how it's then okay for random boy's to go "poking around" and she looked at me funny - "they don't look down there". I ask her how many vaginas she thinks a gynecologist must see in one day and she doesn't care "it's embarrassing Laura! I haven't even seen what it looks like!!" So I ask her "why not!?" She screams and says that now I'm being disgusting. "Because! It's disgusting!!"
In a world that is so sex-fixated, how did we let our daughters (and our sons) loose touch with a body part that is so central to our being - the birthplace of life?
What did it do to be degraded and downgraded to "disgusting"?
Well, the vagina did nothing. We, however, did do something! We taught our daughters (and our sons) that this is a shameful body part. In the biblical paradise narrative Eve, the woman, is portrayed as the original sinner. This original sin is passed down through generations, through the mother wound - Snow White. The mother (and here I refer to the collective mother - women) rejecting her sexuality and femininity (the pure white apple) is jealous of her younger and innocent daughter, who has not yet discovered shame around her impulses and desires. The mother poisons her with the red apple (comments and beliefs), and so the daughter learns to view her own impulses and desires as bad (impulses and desires which originate in the vagina, pussy, genitals - notice if you react to any of these words). As the daughter begins to feel wrong and ashamed, she herself, becomes the inner witch, propelling forth the shame of the original sin through her own red apple and fig leaf.
It's insane to witness how we all take bite after bite of that red apple and offer it on to our daughters (and sons, because men are just as vagina-shamed as women are) as if it were some delicacy.
Some will argue that the vagina is the "original source". The origin of life and life force. I propose that we get over our shame and embrace it as the beautiful and vital organ that it is. Teach our daughters, not only to not be ashamed of the very thing that makes them a woman, but to understand, embrace and love this unique part of themselves - like snow flakes. To be women living in intimate relationships with their bodies.