Within every woman’s belly is the source of all life.
Although many of us might know this, we fail to truly recognize this power. It’s nobody’s fault; we’ve all been born into a patriarchal society that tells us otherwise.
Rising from a girl to a woman in our world
Growing up, I was told nothing more than I was a lady, a girl. What distinguished this was my anatomy—my breasts that would eventually grow in, and my vagina and womb that would mature.
I would be ripe enough one day to bear children. In fact, society expects this of me, and so I chose to expect this of myself. This didn’t feel like anything particularly special. And I was lucky for feeling this way. For women in other parts of the world, from the time they are born, this anatomy symbolizes inferiority, unworthiness, weakness, and property.
As I grew into a young woman, my period felt more like a burden than a privilege. I felt shame in talking about my menstrual flow, so I hid it from my mother until a scheduled doctor’s checkup left me no choice. I even felt shame when buying tampons, as though I had to face the world’s judgement of this unforgiving secret. Inevitably, I understood that if nobody talked about it, then there wasn’t anything worth talking about. To bleed was messy, painful, and inconvenient. It was a by-product of having children one day. It was a reality as a woman that I must accept.
As I grew into womanhood, my hormones raged. My womb and vagina became a source of pleasure—for me and for men. It was a tool I could use to get what I wanted, to lure my deepest desires, to seek connection. I felt alive in this sexual energy, but it was driven only by primal desire and lust.
My catholic upbringing told me that it was wrong to act on my desire, that I should wait—but I didn’t buy that. The other information I received came from a flawed, barely there sex education system that centered once again around anatomy and the many ways that this raging desire could ruin my life—unwanted pregnancy (I remember once punching my stomach in the bathroom, desperately hoping my period would come) and sexuality transmitted diseases (I remember the full-body anxiety about the outcome of test results that potentially could kill me or, worse, allow me to live but make me untouchable, unlovable).
As I grew more comfortable with my body, I became very confident in my sexuality. Mostly, because pornography and the latest Cosmo magazine filled my mind with ideals of how I could use and express my sexuality. I learned how to master a blowjob, the twirls of the tongue, a sensual dance, a good ride; I learned to how to give, to please, to become the epitome of desire.
I was not helpless, far from it. I was lucky to have partners and experiences that gave me a deeper understanding of my own needs and wants. I was a lady in the boardroom and a wild, sultry vixen behind closed doors. I thought I had it all figured out. I felt like a sexually empowered woman.
How suppression and flawed sex ed systems fail us all
What all of this failed to teach me was how beautiful my vagina, my entire vulva, was. For years, I compared every wrinkle, every flap, every intricate detail of my anatomy to the tiny, little, pink and “perfect” vulvas that hand-picked porn stars flaunted for men. I still remember the days I googled the words “vaginal surgery,” only to be introduced to the term labiaplasty. I cringe at the thought today.
Never once did I stop to question how sacred my womb was—a cave where life itself is created and born.
Never once did I stop to think how holy and divine my period was—the process of shedding, releasing, and birthing anew, a cycle so intricately connected to the cycle of life itself.
Never once did I truly see how beautiful my vulva was— a source of love and intimate connection with thousands of pleasure points that help me reach howling climax.
Never once did I connect how my sexual energy could be used for something greater than me and my own carnal desires—the ability to connect with and cultivate this life force energy to heal, to love, to surrender into my true essence, and to live a more fulfilling and present life.
And yet, everywhere we turn, shame, suppression, and denial are there.
The holiness of the womb and the power of the “wombman” has been wiped from our history books. What we carry within has been suppressed, erased, demonized, and marginalized, leaving us with nothing but an empty space, readied for procreation and carnal desire.
We have young girls who grow up to be women who despise their period, who cannot stop to rest and honour their bodies during this time because we are told it’s nothing. We have textbooks on anatomy and a flawed sex education system that leave us with more questions than answers. We have young women looking out to the world for those answers, usually finding them in mainstream media and pornography, which teach them nothing about self-care or self-love.
We have women who forbid themselves from masturbating or receiving oral sex because they are ashamed of what is between their legs. We have girls and women that give their power away freely, aiming only to please, shrugging it off casually because they know no different. We have accounts being banned on social media because women dare bare their body parts—all the beautiful parts they were born with, and from.
It is time, it is long overdue, to start recognizing how intricately linked our womb is to something much greater than us. After all, our wombs are the divine portal between the eternal and the earth.
Empowering women to love and embrace their bodies
So how do we get there? There’s no simple answer. The reality is that we cannot rely on the current school system to teach our daughters and sons about the sacredness of their bodies and their sexual energy. The change begins with us, through example and open conversation.
We need to do the work first, to seek a deeper connection with our womb and our bodies. And while I’d like to sit here and tell every woman to rest during their period, I know that’s not realistic. But what if they could slow down and take a moment in a day to connect with the releasing process? What if they poured baths and lit candles to honour themselves occasionally? What if they masturbated for 30 minutes with only the intention of sending love to their vulvas? What if they danced freely and naked in their living room without thinking of themselves as sexual?
Today, there are countless women leading the way, trying to break through the mold, the conditioning of shame, guilt, and fear that we’ve been programmed to carry to keep us small. These women are guiding others at circles and gatherings, sharing knowledge about body positivity and self-love, hosting sessions for womb healing practices, and creating nonprofits and Oscar-winning documentaries to help eradicate period stigma.
And for every person who thinks this a bunch of hippie-dippie stuff, there’s another person who has released shame, healed trauma, cured physical illness, and gained incredible amounts of power, confidence, and self-love from these teachings and endeavours.
It’s also time to start having more honest conversations about our sexuality as a whole—and not in a way that is shameful or surface level. We need to start approaching the conversation from a place of connection, empathy, and love.
What if we told little girls from a young age that their bodies are temples that they need to treat as gifts? What if we didn’t sexualize nudity and let them run around naked in the garden without shaming them for it? What if we raised young women to understand how unique their bodies are and how that makes them beautiful? What if we empowered teenagers by telling them it’s okay to feel a rush of sexual energy, but also talk through the feelings and emotions that are behind the decisions to act on it?
If we can broaden our perspective on sexuality, if we can have more open, accepting, loving conversations about our bodies and sex, the world can start to heal in much bigger ways.
And while I speak mainly from a woman’s perspective in this article, women cannot do this work alone. Men suffer as well, in very deep, palpable ways, from the same shame and lack of depth in discussion around sexuality in our collective. Reclaiming the power of the womb happens in tandem with men healing, too.
Creating a future of honour, not shame
Whether we bear children or not, whether we identify as a woman, a man, or any other beautiful form of gender expression, it doesn’t matter. This world can be one where we all come together to educate our daughters and our sons on how sacred a woman’s womb and our broader sexuality is.
A world where every part of what makes us a woman is nurtured, adored, and loved.
A world where we all rise and recognize that the womb’s infinite power to create and carry life was never a mistake or something to be ashamed of, but something to cultivate, respect, and honour.