Posted in Anatomy, book club

Occasional Book Club, #1

This non-fiction graphic novel is a glorious, witty and visually engaging look at a history of attitudes towards vulval genitalia throughout the ages. It kicks off with a run down of top 10 men who were interested in vulvas in unhealthy ways. I was educated, outraged and entertained, all in equal measures. This is a book I wished I had doodled!

Posted in Anatomy

Telling your elbow (and other things) from your ars*.

I’ve stumbled across a few examples of misunderstandings about (cis/typical) female genital anatomy that have really surprised me recently. A common one seems to be that the vagina (entrance to the uterus) is the same ‘hole’ as the urethra (where wee comes from). In humans at least, it isn’t. This comes up on the labour ward a fair bit- perplexed partners asking how baby can ‘get out’ if a catheter is put in. An episode of The Guilty Feminist included a confession by one of the presenters that she didn’t know where her urethra was, “even though I’ve pushed a baby out of it.” I am very sure she hasn’t.

Above is a diagram. Imagine you are standing next to someone laid on their back, legs akimbo. There are three ‘holes’, all shown in red. The top one is the urethra- connected to the bladder. Wee comes out here. The middle one is the vagina. The lowest is the anus. It is my dream that one day everyone will be able to sketch it as easily as the hairy penis with balls. You know the one I mean. You’ve probably seen it scrawled on a bus seat, toilet door or similar.