Growing up, I had a little or no awareness about my vagina, where exactly it was 'down there' and why I had that unique organ.
The first time I ever heard about the vagina, I was in college. A female teacher had come into the class, for we were all girls, to tell us about the menstrual cycle, the female organ and that pregnancy can happen.
The lecture was not overtly communicated but the message was that we should never let the boys close to our organs and later, I got to know that she was actually talking about the vagina.
I grew in a society where as a female, I was never taught to talk about what lied between my legs. Talking about it was tabooed because my mother or anyone else never talked to me about it and the little I knew, I read from books which I would hide at the sounds of footsteps for fear of being caught flipping through the pages of books with images and words of the breasts vaginas and joysticks.
Because I had no one to talk to about my vagina, an opposite sex had written me when I was fifteen, telling me about the vagina, the pains it comes with and how much better it was to have penetrations at an early age to ease child labour in the future. I only read his notes, cried and lived. He further threatened to rape me and all I did again was cry and ask the darkness in my head why I had a vagina, why I was a woman.
Once, my mother had woken me in the kid of the night to talk about virginity and the vagina but she kept referring to the vagina as 'there' the many times there was a need to mention it. I noticed the shake in her voice, how her voice danced for words to send the messages she already stored in her mind, and I immediately concluded that she either had no enough courage or that she didn't to call the vagina by it's name lest I think it's normal and begin to say it.
It is true that no woman gets through life without stories to tell and the story of my vagina is one that I can only tell through the ink because, my vagina was a part of me that I lived in the dark with. I never talked about it with anyone, not even with my reflections in the mirror or the tranquil in the room when I was alone. I had a hard time calling my vagina by its name or anything else except in my thoughts because, I grew only hearing few people saying the word in very low voices and later being condemned for letting such words come out of their mouths.
At seventeen, the words 'Sanitary pad, shaving and menstruation' scared me. They became too huge to escape my lips and my society made it more difficult for me to ask questions about them. My family never had the time to talk about the vagina and the things it does, they were always busy talking about dreams. My friends never had the time too and my teachers at school thought they had taught us all we needed to know. What they never knew was that I had so many other questions to ask about my private part; the organ down there. Questions like if I was supposed to let the thick hairs growing on the skins down there to continue growing because small boils developed on skins the few times I shaved them.
I wanted to ask why I got stained each time 'Aunty Flo' visited even with the sanitary pads. I wanted to ask where exactly my piss and my period came out from but I was too afraid to ask.
No one was talking about those things, and I couldn't look at my vagina in the mirror while I peed or while my period flowed because I constantly feared that someone would walk in through the door, see me staring at my vagina and say,
"Amara, you're a corrupt child," and later report to my mother who would hit me and ask what kind of woman I was growing into.
Once, Aunty Flo didn't visit when it was time and I grew scared because I had touched a seven year old boy's male organ and I thought pregnancy had happened.
Who could I talk to about my fears?
And so, I stayed in my dark with my vagina band fear and Aunty Flo visited the next month.
I am twenty-one and I cannot talk about my vagina boldly and in a loud voice like I talk about my dreams because, I still live in that same society; one that will condemn me if I do without knowing the kind of joy that comes with having a vagina, without recognizing the beauty and strength of the vagina. The society I live in is ignorant of this beautiful organ; the vagina, of the beautiful feelings it evokes, the pride it comes with - having the power to hold a joystick, a thousand sperm, and allowing the passage of a baby.
My Wife's Vagina Is Loose! Please HELP!
They do not know of its strength and they do not also know that one day, my vagina will become a source of happiness to me, it will assist in my joy as my cute babies will be brought into the earth through my vagina.
Written by: Mbagwu Amarachi Chilaka