Women Educating Themselves

Back in the beginning of the second wave of the Feminist Movement, women had to resort to educating themselves on feminist topics because a lot of the discourse was only available to people who could afford college. Women’s sexual health during this era was no different because women were not given the resources to know what was going on inside their bodies and the majority of high schools did not offer sex education programs to help educate the public population. Feminist vendors and stores like Joanne McQueen’s store here in Oxford would sell a reusable speculum that women could use to practice safe sexual health. They could learn what their parts look like, how they are supposed to feel, and explore their own sexual parts. Looking at a product like this is odd because it is not something we see a lot in our society anymore. Nowadays, high schools implement sex education programs and no matter how successful they may be, it teaches young women enough about their bodies to survive on. Sometimes those programs do fail, but our generation can rely on the internet to educate them on the areas that the class failed on. I honestly wish we saw more personal speculums for young women to use because I think it would be important to be able to understand your own body. The speculum sold in McQueen’s store came with instructions on how to use it and how to take care of yourself while using the product. It even had pictures on it to guide young women on how to use it. If we remain ignorant on our own sexual health and about what our vaginas actually look like, we lose part of the battle on reclaiming the power on our sexual health and the rights that follow it.