The Mayor of NYC uses words "Vagina" and "Clitoral Stimulation"
New York Mayor Eric Adams: “We can talk about erectile dysfunction but not clitoral stimulation…Something is wrong."
He continued, “We would have a lot more research and care options for women’s health if we weren’t so afraid of saying the word ‘vagina.'” He then went on to outline a progressive Women’s Health Initiative that sets the stage for thorough and complete care.
More than 8.5M people live there: that’s more than the population of 38 of the states. So, when the Mayor of New York talks, it matters directly to a lot of people.
His words come at a time when the word vagina is finally getting used as a correct anatomical term in major media and social media. In the last year, we’ve seen vaginal health, period care, and menopause come out of the shadows, along with sexuality moving from a shameful or titillating topic to being seen as an “important part of overall wellness.”
In 2017, in our little book The Invitation, I wrote, “Ignoring women’s biology reflects a long cultural legacy of downplaying females. There is bias in culture and education, bias in medical research, and bias in the long shadow of religious and political suppression of the feminine. Even the so-called 'witch hunts'—which sought out and punished women, especially independent women with knowledge and connection to the plants and wisdom of the earth and its cycles—arose from a fear of the feminine. There’s even bias in the language available around what we call a woman’s sexual organs…And this, in turn, has led to an absence of knowledge, and a lack of self-care. Secrecy leads to suffering: suffering that doesn’t have to be there. We don’t take care of the parts that society shuns or shames. But all of this is changing….”
Indeed, it is.
And you can be part of the change by taking the following steps:
- Developing personal literacy on intimate anatomy and lifecycles
- Having shameless discussions using anatomically correct language
- Advocating for equal research and care into female diseases and health issues
When we move from shame to neutrality, we’re one step closer to restoring celebration and reverence.
Footnote: The only states with more people than the NYC metro area are VA, MJ, MI, NC, GA, OH, IL, PA, FL, TX and CA (and of course the whole state of NY).
Read more from New York Mayor Eric Adams' Address on Women's Health at NYC.Gov.