This word has been coming up a lot in my life, embarrassment. I hear it from people who have gone through (or are going through) a similar situation, that we shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about below the belt cancers. Of course I agree, and I’ve noticed it in my own life. People who refuse to speak to me anymore, sinceI talk openly about my cervical dysplasia. It’s really sad that we feel there are things people should hide, that they shouldn’t talk about ever. I don’t know if it’s like one nurse’s opinion, that people are afraid, or if it really just is plain ignorance. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised though, since every day people are told to change who they are. It would be nice to see things change, for people to be more open, and there are places where that change is happening.
That would be what I learned on Friday, that there are people who are working on changing how we talk about our bodies. It was my first rehearsal for the Vagina Monologues. It was amazing to be in a room of women who were open to discussing anything. They said words like vagina with ease, and made jokes that were hilarious and daring. And a few were there like me, to be part of something that forces our society to accept that female sexuality exists, and to speak about their own sexual health issues! One girl was even there because she wanted to learn to become comfortable with talking about sex, cervixes, as she was very uncomfortable with feeling uncomfortable. How brave is that?!?! I’m still not sure about this whole being on stage thing, but just being in that room for 2 hours for rehearsals made me feel less alone. And no one laughed at me when I answered the question “What would my vagina wear?”, everyone else spoke about wearing diamonds, and fabulous things, whereas I said mine would wear something inconspicuous because it wants to hide. And the level of acting talent in that room, and how brave one girl was with a monologue that was mainly moans…..
I think women like us are meant to change the world, the maybe small ways, but even small changes can be powerful. I think the director was right that being a part of something so challenging and scary will be healing for me.