Vagina Museum in London : behind the scenes!
In 1997 in Iceland the world’s first ever phallological museum opened its doors – basically, a museum dedicated to penises (phallus word comes from the ancient Greek word φαλλός which means penis). It took the world only 20+ years for having something equivalent for the vaginas; one of the most amazing human organs ever! But this recently changed! A few months ago, the gap got covered thanks to some fabulous ladies who took the extra mile to open the first Vagina Museum worldwide. Of course, this could have happened only in one city: London my friends! I managed to visit it a little while back so let’s talk about everything you need to know about the Vagina Museum in London and if it’s worth visiting!
Where exactly is the Vagina Museum?
The Vagina Museum is located inside the Camden Stables market. The location choice was indeed a very wise one for such an idea as Camden is one of the most alternative and underground London neighbourhoods. It is also the perfect match for tourists in London since most of the London itineraries include Camden Town anyway! Unfortunately, the area slowly loses its character and it’s turning too touristy but this is going to be the topic of another post!
How to Reach the Vagina Museum
By tube: You can use the Northern (Black) Line towards Edgware and hop off either at Camden Town station or Chalk Farm station– my recommendation is to use the latter one. Since the walking distance is the same from both sides (approximately 10 minutes on foot) coming from Chalk Farm will be better because you will face almost no crowds in comparison with the extremely busy Camden Town station.
By Bus: the closest bus stop (which is served by the buses no. 24, 27, 168 etc.) is called Hartland Road Camden Market and it is a short 2-3 minutes walk to the unit that the museum is located.
What to expect
Just to be clear, the word “museum” might be a bit confusing; currently, the display forms more an exhibition rather than an entire museum but this is OK (and expected) since this is the first stage towards their future permanent premises. The people behind this idea have been doing an excellent job since 2017 (when the project founded) and they are trying hard to be trans-inclusive and as accurate as possible when it comes to the terminology, anatomy facts and message delivery.
Having said that please expect a small but super informative exhibition full of facts that even people with higher education don’t know/ choose to ignore/ have yet to realise. Myths like “having a lot of PIV sex will cause the vagina to get loose”, “pubic hair is unhygienic”, “period blood contains toxins” etc are finally debunked.
*Important Information Bite: the team explains why they controversially called the museum “Vagina” here*
Statistics and other crucial facts are revealed along with interesting artworks. The exhibition is open for all ages because the founders believe that it’s about time for the taboos regarding gynaecological anatomy and stereotypes to be erased from the social sphere. It’s 2020 and we still have people in Europe who don’t know what the difference between the vulva and the vagina is and why a period is not dirty! Pretty disappointing, right? Oh, by the way, virginity is a social construct, okay?
Moreover, here one can find a donations box and a tiny shop where every visitor can support the cause- at the moment the entrance is free so any kind of embracement is more than welcome. You can even shop their products online! Several talks, lectures, events, workshops and exhibitions take place in the same space as well. Since the main exhibition is not permanent the museum might not remain in Camden forever! As a result, should you plan to travel to London (or if you live in London) make sure to add a visit to the Vagina Museum on your bucket list as soon as possible!
However, the team has no intention of stopping anytime soon! Follow their journey for updates on their Facebook page or their official website. If you want to volunteer or if you can propose an event/ workshop the Vagina Museum encourages these proposals too as long as are in line with their values and goals.
Vagina Museum Opening Hours (2020) are: Mon-Sat 10-6 (last admission 5:15)
Sun 11-6 (last admission 5:15)Conclusively, I really deem the Vagina Museum worth visiting and its mission to be extremely vital for society. No doubts, it will take a while for the museum (which is already registered as a charity) to be perfect but, thus far, I consider it as a must-see when in Camden, if not in London!
What do you think afterall? Would you visit it? Do you find this kind of museums/ exhibitions useful at all? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!