A group of sex educators and activists have created something a bit… well, out of the ordinary. I suppose that’s extraordinary by definition, yes?
Yes, you read that correctly.
While I am not personally offended by the title, some may be. Does it offend you? Read below for the rationale. Don’t care for the title? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Read on!
I plan on referencing articles from this site in the supplemental files for specific classes I teach and using some information for discussions in an upper-level course. I may post links to articles here as well. I’m definitely going to toss some of my personal money in their direction in hopes they continue producing candid content. This is important “stuff” (imho). If you agree and wish to donate or contribute to their work in other ways, there’s information about that here.
Have issue with their content or website? Contact them with constructive criticism.
Have an issue with me giving them space on MY platform? Contact me directly!
What follows is from the website’s “about” section (unedited by me):
Knowledge is Power
Pussypedia is a free, bilingual encyclopedia of the pussy* made for you to understand.
Pussypedia aims to address the lack of quality, accessible information about our bodies on the internet. Pussypedia is a community-sourced project: the product of people all over the world working together. It is a platform meant to facilitate our ability to collectively generate high quality, accessible information.
- A 3D interactive model of the whole-pussy* system made by Biodigital so you can see what we’re talking about and get a spatial understanding of what is in your body.
- A portal of rigorously vetted resources. There are great resources for sexual and reproductive health on and off the internet but they are scattered, and often too hard to find. We collect, review, and curate quality resources and make them searchable.
- Original articles: our articles range in topics from puberty to prolapse, menstruation to menopause, trans health to reproductive rights. Our articles are rigorously fact-checked and written for you to understand. See our protocol for writers here, and for fact checkers here.
Talcum powder increases risk of ovarian cancer (the odds of ovarian cancer were 1.3 times higher among women who used talc compared to women who did not). Women who douche once per week or more experience bacterial vaginosis 1.17 times more often than women who do not douche. And yet, both talcum powder and douches are sold on the shelves of most pharmacies. Labiaplasty is now the world’s fastest growing cosmetic procedure among teenage girls, despite a lack of evidence that it’s even safe.
How do we account for the fact that somefuckinghow, we have landed on the moon, but have yet to fully describe with certainty the organ responsible for the orgasms of half the planet? (Or that most people who have them couldn’t draw one?) Institutions with resources don’t often fund research about pussies*. Of what little sexual health research exists, too much centers on male, cis, and heterosexual needs and the majority is practically inaccessible to the vast majority of people who need it.
In a vacuum of high-quality information, most of what we learn about our bodies comes from a misogynistic cultural legacy and from advertisers who capitalize off of it by using shame to sell us products that often harm us. Ignorance and shame rob us of our agency over our bodies, our capacity to experience sexual pleasure, and too often, our self-worth.
Knowledge is power. Knowledge is the tool to assert control. We should, at the very least, have the power to control our own bodies. For that, we need a lot more access to information about them.
Who made this?
A huge global community of contributors: Over 200 incredible humans from three continents reached out and gave their time and energy to making this a resource for the world. Articles (except for the trans, nonbinary, intersex, and disabilities portals) were written on a volunteer basis. We edited the articles, then passed them off to volunteer fact-checkers, translators, and illustrators. We’re calling it a community-sourced project. “Crowd” is too impersonal. If you would like to join the effort, see the different ways to contribute here.
Zoe Mendelson is a journalist, researcher, information designer, and content strategist. Her writing has appeared in Fast Company, WIRED, Hyperallergic, Slate, Next City, and elsewhere. Her research has appeared in The New York Times, This American Life, and Quartz. Her projects have been covered by The New York Times en Español, New York Magazine, CityLab, PBS, Univisión, Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan Mexico, and others. Previous projects include official emojis for Mexico City, a data narrative about drones, and an op-ed-civic-engagement platform for nihilist millennials.
Maria Conejo is a visual artist. Her main media is drawing. Her interest is to reveal the body as a gesture that communicates. She was finalist in the First Illustration Biennial in Mexico, organized by Pictoline and NY Times in 2018. She has been awarded twice with the FONCA grant “Jovenes Creadores.” Her art has been shown in De Kooning Studio in New York and Volcom Garden in Austin, Texas in 2019. Her work was included in the 2019 Juxtapoz Club House at Art Basel Miami and was part of the Invited Projects section at Salón Acme 6.
Michael Yap is a designer, developer, and educator. He holds a Bachelor of Studio Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Interaction Design. Yap has worked with design and innovation consultancies like IDEO and now practices Design Strategy at Etsy. Yap is best known for his data visualizations of Foursquare check-ins, NYC’s bike sharing system, and the Department of Homeland Security’s drone program. His work is published in Raw Data (2014), a book by Steven Heller, and has been covered by a number of publications including Fast Company, Site Inspire, and WIRED.
Content map, research guidelines, fact checking process, and massive amount of fact checking by Jaquelyn Jahn. Site construction by Waverly Mandel and Joseph Thomas.
Why we use the word “pussy*”
*We propose a new gender-and-organ-inclusive use of the word which means “some combination of vagina, vulva, clitoris, uterus, bladder, rectum, anus, and who knows maybe some testes.”
We’re taking “pussy” back. Cuz we like it. The word “vagina” comes from the latin word for “sword holder.” We are not down with the idea that vaginas exist as objects of service to penises. Also, “vagina” only refers to the canal. When we refer to that canal, we still call it a “vagina.” If we call the whole thing a “vagina,” we ignore a bunch of other important parts, including everything you see on the outside and the clitoris which is made of the same tissues as a penis, about the same size as one, and responsible for our orgasms. (We wish we didn’t have to refer back to penises to make this point about how important the clitorises is!) If we call it a “vulva” we ignore the vagina and everything else inside. So, we’re using “pussy” to mean the whole thing.
We, Pussypedia’s founders, are cisgender women. The origins of the site are in our own curiosities about our genitals and a serious lack of accessible, accurate information about them. The site’s focus on genitalia aims to address this specific information gap, not to suggest that this part of the body defines sex or gender. To be clear, our pussies do not make us women. Many people with pussies are not women, and many women do not have pussies. As bad as the information out there is for cis women, it is way worse for trans, non-binary, and intersex people. What we have created to date is just a beginning and in no way encompasses the range of perspectives and experiences out there. Nor does the 3D model, in its current form, reflect the diversity of genital anatomies that exist. We hope to one day have one that does! People can have lots of different combinations of parts. And we consider a lot of those combinations “pussies*.”
Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Requests? 💌⇒ firstname.lastname@example.org
🚨 Pussypedia is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for general education purposes only. Pussypedia is NOT a replacement for going to the doctor. Don’t ever delay going or not go to the doctor because of what you read here. Don’t ever go against what your doctor said because of what you read here.