Lifting Skirt

This article is about Catherine Blackledge, author of “The Story of V” (2003), which “explores the vagina from a scientific and historical perspective.” It introduces me to the word and the tradition of anasyrma — “the centuries-old gesture of lifting one’s skirt to display female genitalia and ward off evil.”

“Most parents in the UK choose to use vaginal euphemisms such as flower, tuppence, fairy, bits or front bottom… If the UK wants a new non-anatomical word, my vote is for verenda. It’s an old word for the vagina and means ‘the parts that inspire awe or respect’. Grace, gravitas and a great provenance combined.”

(Alison Flood, “‘Vagina is not a rude word’: the scientist fighting to empower women, one word at a time,” theguardian.com, 2-20-20)

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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