Rules for your vagina

If you’re a woman with a vagina, you know that there is a whole lotta politics involved with what goes in and comes out of it. People you’ve never met before, mostly those who don’t even HAVE magical lady caverns, want to tell you what to do with yours — how it should look, who can see it, what is supposed to go in and come out of it, how you should be paid and treated and behave on account of having one, and all sorts of other vagina rules that you didn’t ask for. Way too much of our time is spent worrying about what others’ think of our vaginas, what we’re ‘allowed’ to do with our bodies and how we can best please the patriarchy with our bewitching beavers.

This blog aims to break down some barriers and explore why the vaginal is so political. As an active feminist and birth worker who strongly believes in women’s autonomy and right to choice, I also aim to get women thinking about how their own actions, words, thoughts and beliefs can either add to or help destroy the Great Big Book of Rules For Your Vagina. This book does not actually exist (as far as I’m aware — there may be a self-published e-book out there somewhere just waiting to prove me wrong) but it exists in the power structures, cultural norms and societal standards that we all live under and within.

Subversive Owl is a pseudonym that I know not everyone will identify with or even like, but it is the one I’ve chosen so I hope you will stick around to read more content as I create it, and to join in the discussions that I hope take place.

I do actually have one rule about vaginas, though: I will not, under any circumstances, refer to a vagina as ‘yoni‘. Call me a hypocrite if you want, but I am not quite hippy enough to say or type that word with a straight face. Besides, yoni means ‘sacred origin of life’ and I believe that vaginas are more than that. They are like any other body part in that sometimes they are simply there, or in pain, or in need of a wash, or glowing with health, or bruised. Vaginas can be a source of pain, joy, pleasure, confusion, terror, ┬ápassion, birth, growth and even death. We are more than simply givers of life. We are people — women — with flaws and plans and dreams and regrets. We don’t just give life, we are life. We are more than our vaginas. It’s time to throw away the rule book we’ve been forced to read from and get a little…subversive.