A Vagina Manifesto For Males & Females.

Via Brooks Hall
on Jun 21, 2012
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I love men! Well, I love some of the male-bodied people I know.

It’s not for a individual human personality to truly love every body equally (it might be the realm for gods), and at the same time I believe in extending caring actions beyond the circle of people who I happen to find easy to like, including people across the spectrum of gender, ethnicity, economic status and sexuality expression.

I’m putting this right up front because the most common negation from men for my recent enthusiasm for the word “vagina,” seems to be coming from a sense of threat or competition, as if I’m trying to outdo “penis” with “vagina,” and that is so not true!

And, frankly, I want to include men and every unique expression of gender in my vision for an awesome planet of loving-sexy-beautiful relations. To have a vagina in a species that doesn’t also have penises seems pretty far out, and I have no plan to venture into that kind of science fiction here.

So, no: it’s not a sparring match of vagina versus penis.
Image Source.

 I got on my latest vagina trip when I heard about an elected official in Michigan being silenced for using the word “vagina” when discussing the topic of abortion. Here is a video clip:

To try to separate the topic of abortion from the presence of female voices and the female body, including a vagina, is beyond ridiculous! It puts us in fantasyland. These details are terribly important, because they are real. It is biological and scientific.

And it’s this vision of a vagina lost in fantasyland that inspired me to have a fantasy of my own: a tattoo (it would be my first) with the word “vagina” in a visible location. Here’s my favorite idea so far…

A mermaid armband, sort of side-reclining (long and lean body, long curving tail wrapping around arm like a snake, little boobs…), with a sash that says vagina, like Miss America. Holding fire in one hand and a lotus flower in the other… stars in the sky…

The vagina, a sacred portal, is so much more than awesome.

Bless my vagina; may I be clear about what I bring into or release from my body or life.
~Tami Lynn Kent, ‘Wild Feminine’

Considering the above excerpt, the vagina itself can be seen as a metaphor for choice: what are we allowing into our sacred space, and what are we giving birth to (or letting go of)?

I want to also bless the vagina we all traversed at some point to get here. All humans either were born through the vagina or were delivered by cesarean section, and some kind of activity, or transmission happened through the vagina to cause conception or insertion into a uterus. This all happened so we could grow into the world, hopefully as wanted children!

I also seek to honor the sacred vagina that may or maybe does not exist between the urethra and anus on the underside of your pelvis. There are some male-sexed bodies that are closely aligned with what are perceived as feminine sensibilities. Perhaps there exists a spiritual vagina. And perhaps also a spiritual penis!

Join me to become a vagina defender!

5 Qualities of a Vagina Defender:

1. Dedicated to promoting the rightful use of the word “vagina” in all places.
2. Committed to celebration of and kind regard for all people, including people with vaginas (spiritual and biological).
3. Fights for the right to self-determination of people, including people with vaginas.
4. Prepared to explore the potential for pleasurable sexuality for all people, including people with vaginas.
5. Values awe and wonder for the creative life force that moves through bodies, including bodies that have vaginas.


About Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall is a Yogic Muse from Chicago, Illinois. In this capacity she teaches Yoga, writes about Yoga, and generally enjoys it. You can find her at: brookshall.blogspot.com.


11 Responses to “A Vagina Manifesto For Males & Females.”

  1. I vaguely remember learning that we actually do all have the same stuff. Women have penises and men have vaginas inside of them (physically, as well as spiritually/metaphorically), but in undeveloped form (just as men have breasts that are generally undeveloped and don't really do anything).
    Rock on, Brooks!

  2. Brooks Hall says:

    Yes! Thanks, Jay!

  3. yogasamurai says:

    It's a matter of interpretation. It always is. Masculinists and feminists can point to human biology to reflect their own slant, if they so choose?

    The gonads can become either ovaries — or testicles. The phallus is either a clitoris or a penis. The folds may become labia — or the scrotum. It's not clear what's going to happen until something like 4 months in.

    What makes for the difference? Whether and how strongly the male hormone, testosterone is present. That's the key factor.

    You could say that we are all, in a sense, destined to become female, unless "something else" happens. That might sound comforting, especially to women

    Or you could say that female is basically the "default" sexual option – things get "interesting" when they become "male."

    The testicles as "underdeveloped" ovaries? Well, that's one interpretation certainly. So is the idea that ovaries are testicles that stayed "stuck" inside the reproductive organ, and weren't able to completely develop externally.

    You see, it's an old game. So, if you're really interested in nourishing male-female relations, you probably avoid playing one side of this biological game?

    In a more honest and perfect world, perhaps. Maybe in the year 3,000 – if we survive that long!

  4. yogasamurai says:

    For what it's worth, in my opinion, no elected official should ever say "my vagina" in public political discourse. If a man said "my penis," even in reference to cutbacks in prostate cancer research, for example, he'd be lynched by every woman in the chamber. Even so, listening to the tape, Rep Brown really added nothing to her actual argument with what seemed like an unnecessary – rather venting – rhetorical flourish. Sometimes people push the envelope verbally in ways that are compelling. I'm sure many women do find her little close out compelling, Was she silenced, though? I don't think so. Or reprimanded? Wasn't aware of that.

    Somewhere, someone – a feminist minded author – has argued that vagina is a terrible term for women to use as it derives from a "male" perspective on the female genitalia. Germaine Greer?

    Finally, I know a woman in my local bookstore who has a very prominent tattoo of a uterus on her arm. It makes a statement of sorts, but frankly, it's rather unattractive. Maybe it just lacks creative flair. (Or at least "Mom"). It did almost inspire me to put a tattoo of an arm on my penis, though. :o}}

  5. Brooks Hall says:

    I’m not sure what you expected to see on the tape regarding the word “silencing” that you mentioned, but this representative was not permitted to speak after her use of the word “vagina.” And therefore was unable to do her job as an elected official for a time.

  6. annikalei says:

    i think it's perfectly okay to use the word vagina, or the word penis, if you are attempting to pass legislation that directly affects either of them. the bottom line is that these are attempts at legislating women's bodies – how have we become so disconnected from our own bodies that we can't even use the correct biological term for our vagina in public discourse, but we're attempting to pass laws that govern it?

    and if a man ever needed to defend legislation governing his penis (can't really picture that happening), i would support his being able to speak the word penis on the legislative floor.

    and brooks, i think your vagina manifesto is not only empowering, but inclusive. you aren't leaving out men, but you are claiming a spot for both women and men to express themselves in healthy, empowered ways.

    Thanks for writing this!

  7. Brooks_Hall says:

    Thanks for sharing you thoughts! It means so much! I think that women might be used to giving agency of their vaginas and uteri to husbands and medical professionals, and we need to take action to break the cycle of giving away our power! The government cannot make these personal choices for female-bodied people: no!

  8. EcoYogini says:

    brooks this is awesome.
    I agree with you and annikalei, using medically correct terminology should be encouraged. If political figures are permitted to use profanities and call each other names I have no idea how using a biologically correct term is considered inappropriate.

    She made that comment to make a point- the legislation is a direct result in those political figures direct interest in women's vaginas and reproductive organs. Should she have called it her 'hoohoo'?

  9. Brooks Hall says:

    Yes, I think that it is a very good point to have made: we are talking about women’s bodies!

    Thank you!

  10. […] in no way want to suggest that all Americans with vaginas (or appearing female) are the same. In fact I believe that all individuals, including people with […]

  11. Dr.Bharat Vaidya says:

    I am surprise that why so much shut down for medically correct word, it is showing Biological ignorance and underdevelopment. I am whole heartily agreed with you. This shows narrow and ignorant mind of our society.