The world’s first vagina museum is opening in London this November, hoping to educate about and break the stigma around vaginas.
The vagina museum will feature all different types of art forms that “spread the message that there is nothing shameful or offensive about vaginas or vulvas” including art, plays, workshops, and comedy nights. The goal is to break down stigmas around vaginas and educate the public about vaginal health. The museum is set to have a program dedicated to help “children feel comfortable talking about vaginas from an early age and will encourage health and inclusive sex and relationships education.” The outreach program will also work with medical professionals and offer services to trans and intersex people. One specific exhibit will be titled “Muff Busters: Vaginas Myths and How to Fight Them” which will fight myths “such as that vaginas and vulva need to be cleaned through the use of bespoke feminine cleaning products; however, the vagina is completely self-cleaning.”
The museum’s director, Florence Schechter, started a crowdfunding campaign when she discovered the Icelandic Phallological Museum, a museum dedicated to penises. Schechter was disappointed to find out that there is no museum counterpart for vaginas. She raised around 50,000 euros from public support. She says “when [women are] ashamed of their bodies, it becomes really difficult for them to talk about things. It’s about de-stigmatizing this part of the body and being honest about what it does.”
According to the cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust, more than ¼ of people ages 25-29 in Britain feel “too embarrassed to attend a cervical screening.” Additionally, according to the cancer research charity The Eve Appeal, 65% of young people struggle with the words “vagina” or “vulva.” The museum’s mission statement says it hopes to “act as a forum for feminism, women’s rights, the LGBT+ community and the intersex community … challenge heteronormative and cisnormative behavior … [and] promote intersectional, feminist, and trans-inclusive values.”
Source: EuroNews 9/21/19, CNN 9/20/19, BBC 9/19/19