This piece was originally published September 2019. We relaunched our #NotADirtyWord campaign in 2020.
Momotaro Apotheca is excited to announce the launch of our #NotaDirtyWord campaign — an effort to acknowledge vaginal wellness as an important and respected part of our sexual and reproductive health.
Perpetuated by a lack of education and antiquated views of sexual equality, the word "vagina" has been cast as taboo, fostering unnecessary and regressive stigmas about reproductive health. As a result, adolescents can develop negative, embarrassing, and uncomfortable relationships with their bodies, partners, and health-care professionals that can last throughout their lives.
Negative effects on sexual health and relationships are well documented
According to a 2014 study, 65 percent of women were uncomfortable saying the words “vagina” and “vulva,” and 40 percent used “code names” referring to their vaginas.
- Another study found that 60 percent of women were unable to identify the vulva on a medical illustration of the female reproductive tract. (FYI it's all the external parts including the inner and outer lips.)
- Despite the broad concern about possessing, maintaining, or obtaining a “normal shaped vagina," a 2018 study tells us, "there is so much variation in every category that they concluded even offering an 'average' would be woefully misrepresentative."
We're trying to find a solution, or at least be part of the solution. By using anatomical language instead of nicknames, we acknowledge vaginal wellness as an important and respected part of our sexual and reproductive health. Feelings, smells, and discomfort are not things to be covered up, but instead frankly discussed and taken care of in a realistic way.
#NotaDirtyWord is a call to action that challenges the fact that people far too often avoid or are uncomfortable talking about their sexual and reproductive health.
To mark this campaign, Momotaro Apotheca designed a limited release #NotaDirtyWord tee and crop top to serve as a token of empowerment to anyone wearing them. 10% of proceeds will go to the National Institute for Reproductive Health, an organization that supports reproductive rights. "The NIRH continually and proactively works to normalize reproductive health care decisions, particularly those that are stigmatized, such as abortion. As we fight for a society in which everyone has the freedom and ability to control their own lives, we applaud loud-and-proud initiatives that combat stigma around sexual and reproductive health (Andrea Miller, President of NIRH Action Fund)."
We look forward to supporting our community as they explore their own stories about how these taboos have affected their lives, says CEO and co-founder Lindsay Wynn (she/her). "Friends have already begun to create short videos sharing their own experiences and perspective.”
It's time to normalize these conversations about our sexual and reproductive health. It's time to normalize the word vagina. It's not a dirty word.
Say it Loud & Wear It Proud: #NotADirtyWord Vagina Socks
A percentage of all proceeds from #NotADirtyWord sales will go directly to the Women's Prison Association (WPA) to support people with vaginas everywhere.
Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.