Why isn't it called the Vulva Museum?
We understand the frustration about the frequent misuse of the word "vagina" when people mean "vulva". The museum is going to be about the entire gynaecological anatomy and its place in our culture and history. This includes the external anatomy (vulva) and the internal anatomy (ovaries, uterus, cervix, etc). There is no good word for the whole anatomy that isn't overly medical (gynaecological system), or focuses on one purpose (reproductive system) or is trans-exclusionary (e.g. female genitalia). 'Vulva' only refers to the external parts (labia, clitoris, opening to the vagina, etc) and not the uterus, ovaries, etc, therefore would not be an accurate word to describe the entire anatomy.
In a vulva museum that was being totally faithful to the name, things like PCOS, cervical cancer, most forms of contraception and even pregnancy could not be explored. Vagina isn't a more accurate word either, we totally admit that. But we thought it was a more recognisable word than vulva which is important to make the museum accessible.
The Museum is going to be a learning opportunity for people to learn the difference between the vulva and vagina - but before there can be a learning opportunity, there must be engagement. If you don't know the word vulva, and you see something called the "Vulva Museum", you will likely scroll past because we naturally engage with things we relate to or have heard of. So the people engaging with a "Vulva Museum" are likely people who already know the word vulva, therefore we would not be targeting the people who need to. But almost everyone knows the word "vagina" so we're more likely to engage with people and provide learning opportunities. In the permanent museum, there will be an exhibit about anatomy and the differences between the external and internal anatomy, the vulva and vagina and other parts.
Can I bring children to the exhibitions?
We have no minimum age limit for entry to our exhibitions. At the entrance to the exhibition, there will always be a sign detailing if there will be distressing or adult information or images. If you would like to check in advance, please contact us.
Aren't you defining women by their vaginas?
The aim of the Vagina Museum is to destigmatise the vagina, vulva and gynaecological anatomy. Through destigmatisation comes empowerment for all people with vulvas.
Perhaps the reason you are asking this is because feminism has fought very hard to have women viewed as something other than objects, as people and not just sex objects or baby vessels. Objectification of women is wrong. But for many people, their vagina is a part of their identity and directly affects their lives. It is one part of a greater whole that makes the person. By shutting down discussions about vaginas, it makes it difficult to address issues that are directly related to them like FGM and sexual violence. That must end and the first step is by acknowledging that vaginas exist and they deserve respect.
We also believe that defining women by anatomy, as so many patriarchal institutions have done before, would be trans-exclusionary. We are very committed to being gender-inclusive and if you think we've slipped up please contact us so we can correct it as best we can.
Do I need to pay to enter the museum?
All our exhibitions are completely free admission.
How can I become a friend of the Museum?
Can I buy a membership as a gift for someone?
What should I do if I lose my Membership card?
If you lose your card, you can order a replacement card by emailing us at friends(at)vaginamuseum(dot)co(dot)uk. Please note that replacement cards can take up to 10 working days to be dispatched.
How can I submit my artwork for an exhibition?
How can I volunteer?
Do you have a space to keep coats and bags during our visit?
Yes, we have a small place to keep coats and bags with a suggested donation of £2 per item.
Do you have space for us to eat lunch?
We do not have a cafe at the moment, but there are lots of fantastic places to eat in Camden Market!
How accessible is the museum to wheelchair users?
Where can we be dropped off by our coach?
Can the museum come to us?
Can I bring my pet to the Museum?
Pets are welcome in the Museum as long as they are on their best behaviour. If an animal is not behaving, we may ask the owner to remove them from the Museum. Service animals will always be admitted to the Museum.
I have a question that hasn't been answered here.