gender, language, sex, vulva, womb

Vulvagate: why the words we use for our bodies matter

Is it OK to use 'vagina' to cover all the internal and external female sexual organs? 'Vulvagate' reminds us of a lost world of passages, gates and doors.

Bad History, diseases, remedies, sex, virginity, vulva

Making a disease from a remedy: Trotula and vaginismus

  Here’s a particularly fine case of Bad History, showing that while it’s bad enough to modify an ancient text to make it into a precursor of a modern condition, it’s even worse to misread a remedy as a symptom in order to make a historical text do what you want it to do! Trotula… Continue reading Making a disease from a remedy: Trotula and vaginismus

vulva

The vulva goes on pilgrimage

(updated February 2018) We've looked at several different aspects of menstruation here, and as a logical next destination, I suggest the female genitalia. That's the external parts, not the internal ones - the confusion between those I've discussed here. I'll start with the pewter badges worn in the hat during the Middle Ages, my favourite one… Continue reading The vulva goes on pilgrimage