A Lebanese Woman’s Vagina

Your health matters.

I’ve said the previous sentence to so many people lately, possibly as a byproduct of my medical education, that it’s become akin to a broken record. The people I tell it to are always hesitant to agree. They never do. My advice always falls on deaf ears. Everyone thinks they’re invincible.

The biggest restraint I’ve gotten is from women my age, who are not in the medical field, and who always inquire about elements pertaining to an entity of their life that they almost never share with anyone. I always advice them to seek out a gynecologist with whom they can establish a good rapport and take good care of themselves.

Why would I want a gynecologist, they’d reply. What would people think of me if they knew?

I’d go on and on about the need for a gynecologist at any age. I’d tell them about the importance of being healthy. But the stigma is too much for some.

I find the following video by Marsa to be simply brilliant, perfectly summarizing how Lebanese society gets its women to look at their private parts as shameful organs that should be hidden, tucked away from everyone – even themselves.

 We talk about laws to protect Lebanese women, to empower them and make them stronger in our patriarchal society. But will any law take hold if our women’s view of themselves remains tainted by the years and years of upbringing that have only served to bring them down? Will those laws take hold if many of our women view their vaginas as nothing but shameful?

Think about it.

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