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Hymen Facts – Is Virginity Even REAL?

Image text: Hymen Facts Image shows six sketches of hymens. First, a ring of tissue around the vaginal opening. Second a very thin ring of tissue. Third shows a vaginal opening nearly covered except for a sort of slit in the middle. Fourth shows two openings in the tissue. Fifth shows a medium-sized ring of tissue around the vaginal opening. Last shows a hymen with several small holes in it.

Spoiler alert: nope! It’s a construct we made up! Read on for more info on hymens.

Image shows a sketch of a vulva with text labeling the anatomy: clitoris, urethra, vaginal opening, and hymen, also called vaginal corona.

Hymens don’t necessarily break when something is inserted into the vagina (1).
And they can break without any vaginal insertion: through injury, or masturbation, etc (1).
Hymens change in size, shape, and flexibility across a person’s lifespan (1).
The hymen will often tear during the first vaginal birth (2).
Hymens have very few blood vessels and may not even bleed when torn (1).
There is no universal definition of the term “virginity” – its meaning varies by era, culture, and religion (3).
Clinicians are not trained or educated on the complexities of the hymen (1).
The term “intact hymen” has no anatomical correlate and should not be used (3).

If you want this information in the social media formats or in a printable flyer you can use for your clients or students click here.

SOURCES:

1) Mishori, R. “The Little Tissue That Couldn’t
2) Frye, Anne “Healing Passage
3) WHO “Eliminating Virginity Testing
4) drawings by Nina Reimer

Categories: Activism, education, infopost
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Hello, friends!

I’ve been pretty devastatingly disabled for the last two and a half years, as many of you know. It’s been particularly difficult to recover because of the particular hellscape that is medical and mental health care in the United States. I’ve only recently been able to access a doctor who recognizes my ADHD and is willing to treat it – but I have to pay out of pocket to do so. In any case, whoa boy has Adderall been changing my *life*. Suddenly tasks that used to make me feel like I was drowning, feel reasonable. It’s incredible to simply be able to say “I should do laundry” and THEN I JUST DO THE LAUNDRY. What? That’s not to say I’m all better. I still struggle almost daily with depression, anxiety, long-term autistic burnout, and, yes, the ADHD as well. I feel on the upswing for the first time in two years, but I know it’s still quite a ways until I am back to my old self, and even longer before I am back to my old self AND ALSO treating and correctly accommodating for the neurodivergence I spent 41 years undiagnosed with. Undiagnosed without? That sentence was kind of a journey, and I apologize or something? haha

All that said, I have slowly been getting back to work here and in our social media spaces. I have been publishing both infoposts and Badass Bitches posts. I have been posting at Tiktok (both personal and professional stuff) and sharing some of those in reels at Instagram. And, you may notice, I’ve removed ads from this website. In truth, this was primarily because earnings have changed and it was no longer worth it to have the code all fucked up because of ads doing nothing for me, monetarily. But it’s always been a goal. I had just hoped to be more financially stable when I finally got to this place, haha I’ve also been trying to relearn how to manage the design aspect of this site, but two years of my brain being mush has apparently rotted all that I previously knew so it’s taking some time to relearn it and I apologize that things are kind of wonky for now. Wonky but functional is like my whole aesthetic.

Thanks for sticking around. I’ll soon be actively asking for submissions again. And if you happen to have sent a submission in during this time when I was not functional (but always wonky!) please be patient as I *will* get to it.

Healing from a mental health crisis without social or familial support is a long process. Thank you so much for sticking through it with me. Love to you all.

Categories: Submissions
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A Timeline of Fashionable Bodies

banner image for blog post A Timeline of Fashionable Bodies

This one began as a project in my Women’s Studies 102 class that I took as part of my WS minor a few years ago. We had to create a zine on a feminist topic and my group did body image (of course lol). I wound up creating this idea of a timeline showing how popular body shapes have changed over the years. I think it’s a powerful concept to keep in mind as we go through the work of learning to love, or at least accept, the bodies we live in. The idea that we could go from a curvy af Gibson Girl to a straight, skinny Flapper within just 20 years blows my mind. Because unlike clothing, one cannot change the shape of their body at will.

Before I go on, I want to just ask that you keep in mind that a body’s primary function is to serve the person who lives in it. I know it may not always serve it perfectly, or even well enough, but if you are reading this, it is serving you. It is for you to experience the world through sense. It is for you to think and learn and grow. It is for you to give and receive pleasure. It is not for others, ever. You may very well choose to share it with others in various ways (sex, pregnancy, or more). But it is always primarily for you. The fact that society has made us all believe it is meant to look a certain way is simply toxic and manipulative. And you deserve better. That’s why we’re here doing this work.

OK here we go!

banner 2 The Gibson Girl

1890s – The Gibson Girl

The “Gibson Girl” is named for Charles Dana Gibson whose illustrations made these bodies iconic. The waists were made to appear extra tiny because of the use of corsets and other illusions (1).

A Belgian actress and model, Camille won $2,000 in the early 1900’s in a contest to find a real life Gibson Girl (2).

banner 3 The Flapper

1920s – The Flapper

By the 1920s the flapper was all the rage with her straight, flat-chested, boyish figure, and short bob hairstyles.

The Gibson Girl shape was often synonymous with Suffragists (2). The flapper was also a style identified with independent women (3). What do other body shapes of different eras symbolize?

banner 4 The Sexpot

1950s – The Sexpot

To this day, we consider Marilyn Monroe to be the epitome of classic beauty and femininity with her curvy figure and blonde hair. We often try (incorrectly) to compare her size with modern sizes, or her body with modern celebrities (4).

Marilyn is remembered as a ditzy, superficial, social climber but she was actually a highly intelligent, resourceful, and independent woman who worked for equity in her industry

banner 5 The Stick Figure

1960s – The Stick Figure

Only about a decade later, we swung wildly back to straight and skinny bodies like Twiggy’s, an English teenager who became one of the first international supermodels.

Twiggy was associated with the Mods of the UK, and like all youth counterculture movements, the Mods pushed back on archaic societal ideals. Not unlike the Flappers of the 20s.

banner 6 Fitness Curves

1980s – Fitness Curves

By the 1980’s we wanted curves again, but in the decade of Jazzercize and fitness videos, women were expected to be physically fit as well. Or to appear that way, at least. Eating disorders were on the rise in the 70s and 80s (5).

banner 7 Skinny Again

1990s – Skinny Again

Bodies like Fiona Apple’s or Kate Moss’ of the 90s are often called “heroin chic” which is cringeworthy. Bodies of all sizes, shapes, colors, abilities, and in all states of health are good bodies!

Besides, heroin addiction is nothing to be flippant about!

banner 8 Gibson 2.0?

2010s – Gibson 2.0?

In the 2010s, women were expected to have extreme curves and *also* a thigh gap. What in the misogyny??

Think about how the Kardashians are percieved for their bodies. How have our attitudes towards body shapes and the women who live in them changed over the last century?

Remember that your body doesn’t exist to be viewed, but to carry you through your life.

All Bodies are Good Bodies:
fat bodies, skinny bodies, curvy bodies, straight bodies, trans bodies, disabled bodies, intersex bodies, bodies of color, tall bodies, short bodies, ALL bodies

banner 9 Sources Cited Below

Sources:
1. Chopin, Kate. “The 1900’s Answer to Barbie- the Gibson Girl.” Kate Chopin, Loyola University: New Orleans, http://people.loyno.edu/~kchopin/new/women/gibsongirl.html.

2. “The Prince Of Pilsen: The People In The Piece.” The Play Pictorial. XXII (IV): 144. August 1904. https://books.google.com/books?id=YVIZAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA144#v=onepage&q&f=false.

3. History.com Editors. “Flappers.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 6 Mar. 2018, https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/flappers.

4. Berlin, Erika. “What Dress Size Was Marilyn Monroe, Actually?” Mental Floss, Mental Floss, 30 July 2015, https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/66536/what-dress-size-was-marilyn-monroe-actually.

5. Deans, Emily. “A History of Eating Disorders.” Psychology Today, Psychology Today, 11 Dec. 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201112/history-eating-disorders.

Categories: Submissions
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