I know that when you bring out the big guns – use the word VAGINA – you should be doing something groundbreaking and important, as Eve Ensler did with the Vagina Monologues, or at least something fresh and riveting like Inside Amy Schumer.  (For a real laugh check out her her youtube videos).  But vagina is still a special word, for the most part. I don’t know why, since dick jokes are as common as knock-knock jokes.

My vagina hurts. There I said it. I’m just complaining. Complaining about a pain that I’m not supposed to talk about bec it’s down there. I had a minor surgery last week, and I’ve come to view my vagina very differently.

When it hurts, it hurts with the same passion with which it normally evinces pleasure. The pain spreads and can seize my whole body’s attention.

The vagina itself seems to grow in size as it becomes my core, my spine, and my power, all usurped by an incision, 1″ in length and perfectly re-sutured.


I walk slowly, a little hunched over and tolerate the minor but insistent pain.

It reminds me of a poem from For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange.  When this was a show on Broadway and a new book (1976) I loved the poem, “somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff.”  Her “stuff” was the way she sits with her legs open sometimes, her chewed up fingernails, her rhythm, her voice, and her talk. And the man who stole it, when he broke up with her, doesn’t even know he has it.

Our stuff, our privates, our urges, our core elements, our creativity – can all be assailed by unwitting ex-lovers, well-meaning surgeons, demanding families and bosses, or judgmental checkout girls.

We gotta keep our stuff. And you gotta know you have it.