On the occasion of International Men’s day on November 19, Vagina Museum published a list on their Twitter thread that had a lot of people fuming and amused at the same time. It revealed a list of female reproductive parts named after men.
Vagina Museum brought to our notice that the ovarian follicles, the pouch of Douglas, Mullerian ducts, Bartholin’s glands, the G-spot, and even the Skene’s gland are named after men. There is not a single gynaecological body part that has been named after a woman.
Grafenburg who was bestowed with having the G-spot named after him wasn’t its founder. Skene, who the Skene gland is named after, was known as the ‘father of modern gynaecology’. In a shocking revelation by Vagina Museum, it was brought to light that Skene enslaved black women to experiment on them against their will.
Interestingly enough female doctors and female contributors in the field of medicine have been neglected from being bestowed this honour. The father of gynaecology, J. Marion Sims, like Skene, practised on Black Women and engaged in various unethical practices.
Dr. Helen O’Connell was the first urologist to have made complete documentation of the clitoris which was meant for the public eye. Before this, the medical field dominated by males was quick to dismiss and reluctant to accept the existence of a clitoris fully. Despite this magnanimous accomplishment she is yet to receive an honour that her male counterparts like Skene or Grafenburg have received for doing far less.
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Female Reproductive Parts Named After Men After Sidelining Significant Contributions By Females
Did you know what the clitoris was called the first time it was dissected? A French physician named it member honteaux or the ‘shameful member’. He declared that the sole purpose of the clitoris was to urinate.
In the 1900s when the functionality of the clitoris had somewhat been grasped by the society they decided to eradicate the ‘shameful member’ through FGM or Female Genital Mutilation. Initially, the process wasn’t recognised as FGM and only as female circumcision.
The very thought of female pleasure was frowned upon. The 1970s saw an increase in the execution of FGM on women. Women who did not undergo FGM faced criticism post-marriage from their husbands and society at large. Mothers made sure that their daughters were circumcised out of fear of facing exclusion from society.
There is a story from Greek mythology that sheds light on how female pleasure was viewed. Tiresias, a blind prophet, was cursed by Hera to be transformed into a woman for seven years as she believed the existence of a woman was sorrowful. Later, Tiresias was asked by Hera which gender out of men and women enjoyed sex more. Tiresias admitted that women had the most fun and was struck blind by Hera for such an admission.
Women only existed to cater to the sexual pleasure of males and the existence of the clitoris challenged that very notion propagated by society.
Metrodora, Elizabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, Gerty Cori, Virginia Apgar, Gertrude Belle Ellion, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Yalow, Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Francoise Barre Sinoussi, are the names of some women who have made a significant contribution to health and medicine which had lead to breakthroughs in the past. However, their names remain to be commemorated like their male peers.
Naming female body parts after males is a practice of ownership, not equality. The day women are treated like equals and not objects of possession, places like Iran would see a little less sorrow, abortion laws would operate from a position of kindness, there would be fewer gendered crimes, and women would be free and not ‘allowed’ to make their own choices.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
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