Tag Archive: black woman and child


Thank you to all of you who came out last Saturday to support What’s Up Down There at the Women’s Health Matters forum and expo. Can I tell you that the room was PACKED? It was thrilling to see so many sistahs ready to show and prove that, as Black women, we have our own way of dealing with health issues and our own culture around the discussion itself.

The only drawback was that we clearly did not have enough time. Half an hour is NOT long enough for us to get a true meeting of the minds going on. There was a lot of interest in having us come back to the forum for more time next year. If you would like to have the opportunity to connect again with Black Woman and Child at this forum, send an email to forum@wchospital.ca.

And there’s more on the horizon for What’s Up Down There so stay tuned. Get in touch with us – you can send us an email at bwac@nubeing.com if you are not already on our mailing list.

And a special thank you to Jacquie Cohen for the pictures:

WUDT – 1 and WUDT – 2

This morning (at 6:30AM while the rest of the household sleeps), I am up working on my presentation for What’s Up Down There at the Women’s Health Matters forum next Saturday (January 19 at 12 noon, shameless plug, OK sue me). Anyway, I decided to look up the spelling of the word “va-jay-jay” since one woman brought it up in our discussion group, saying she heard it on Oprah and Grey’s Anatomy. Fair enough. Having no idea what I was getting myself into, I dutifully typed it into Google…and there the fun begins!

ALL kinds of definitions, blog postings and comments are on the web about what seems to be a very offensive term. People everywhere are riled up about the issue, which seems to be that instead of using the word “vagina” on a show that is obviously for adults, TV executives have chosen to create yet another nickname for fear that viewers may be offended or turned off by the word “vagina.” Wow, even in this day and age, nothing offends like a woman’s private parts.

I found it interesting because our whole discussion around What’s Up Down There was based on the fact that a majority of African women, Black women, don’t use the word vagina but we have other names for it that are often created out of our shame, our mother’s reluctance to talk about sex or anything having to do with sex. But my assumption was that while we were mired in all this drama, White women were out there, free-wheeling and dealing, using the word “vagina” with all the comfort and freedom of an unoppressed people with no barriers, sexual or otherwise, in their perfect shampoo, hair-tossing world. It was surprising to learn that even in that world, there are hurdles to overcome when it comes to talking about our…er…um…(cough) vaginas.

Here are some recommended readings. I suggest, if you have a chance, look these over before you join us on Saturday (at 12 noon…oops, there I go again with the shameless plugs). If by some unfortunate incident (such as, you live on another continent) you can’t make it on Saturday, TALK ABOUT THIS with your friends, your mother, your daughter, somebody! Just talking about anything can make such a difference in the way we move in the world.

(By the way, if you want a FREE PASS to the forum, visit www.blackwomanandchild.com — OK, I promise, that’s the LAST one…well, for this post anyway).

RECOMMENDED READING

Wow, I was just reviewing some newsletters we produced in 1999 and found a quotation by Susan L. Taylor. In getting ready to start the new year, I thought this would be a good piece to keep in mind:

“Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off.

Stop waiting until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy…Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” — Susan Taylor

Growing up, many people used different words to describe their “private parts” As a child, what did you call “down there?” How do you teach your children to speak about their bodies?

Please click the heading to leave your comments.

Special thanks to the seven sistahs who spoke out at the What’s Up Down There? dinner and discussion. And thanks to all the sistahs who sent in their responses to our questionnaire. Everybody is welcome to be there on Saturday 19 January 2008 for Women’s Health Matters. The What’s Up Down There? session is at 12:30PM in the Zoom Room 802. Find out more at www.womenshealthmatters.ca/forum.

Feel free to congratulate me! After I spent the whole weekend immersed in the world of eNewsletters, SEO, digital editions, old code vs. new code, SNS, del.icio.us and God knows what else, I came home to my three kids (and football-watching husband), headed for the kitchen and executed an admirable RSS feed!

RSS feed might mean something hip and tech-savvy in the online world, tonight in my kitchen, it stands for Really Simple Stew. Here’s the recipe if you don’t have a lot (or any) time on your hands:

  • 2 cups of red lentils
  • 3 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • half a jar of tomato sauce (or whatever was left at the back of my fridge)
  • seasoning (mixed herbs, bebere, Caribbean green seasoning,, whatever you have)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or crushed, it’s faster)
  • 1 onion, chopped (watch your fingers)

Put it all in whatever medium-sized clean pot or frying pan you can find. Bring it to a boil then cook, semi-covered, on medium-low heat. Try not to let it boil over (but that always happens to me, I just wipe it up and turn on the fan to get rid of the burning smell). When the lentils are soft, it’s ready (about 10-15 minutes).

Toss it over some couscous, quinoa or rice (couscous is faster — I pour it in a bowl with boiling water from the kettle and cover it. It will steam while the stew is cooking and be done right on time).

Well, my children ate it down and asked for seconds (OK, maybe they were just that hungry). It might not have been the RSS feed that I had in mind at Web Weekend but it worked! And on top of that, here I am blogging away. I guess it was a double success.