101 Vagina Exhibition

On Tuesday night, I attended and spoke at the opening of an exhibition called 101Vagina based on a graphic book that aims to break taboos around vaginas and the female body in general. It gives expression to women to speak from and about their vaginas and to generate dialogue, acceptance, understanding and love. (I wonder how many times I will say vagina during this post).     I walked in to the exhibition to be greeted by images of vaginas hanging on the walls, a large puppet vulva that you could put your face inside and have your photo taken and a spiritual nun who happens to also be a sex worker in a hoop dress where you could duck underneath and confess your sins to her vagina! At first I thought she might have been joking or it might have been something creative, but on close inspection I found…

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Negging –  the likelihood is if you are a women you have been negged and if you are man you have negged a women. No it’s not some code for a kinky sexual act. A neg is a backhanded compliment, usually said by a man to a woman, to surprise and/or annoy her so she does a double take and tries to prove her value to the man. Negging comes from the Pick Up Artist community and was a very popular method suggested to men who wanted to take very attractive women “down a notch”.   Negging involves insulting a woman in order to undermine her confidence—making her vulnerable, full of self-doubt and then, hopefully, up for a date in order to validate her self-worth. (I can think of many ways to validate my sense of self that don’t involve going out with a man who has just insulted me)….

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