#VivaLaVulva - Understanding Kath Mazzella's Vision

Kath Mazzella_Viva La Vulva.jpg

I have been on this journey now for 23 years, since my own operation.  My message has always been the same. As a community we need to better understand the terminology, to break down the barriers so we can communicate openly and to save lives through being more aware of the risks, symptoms and treatments of GYN conditions.

I have been asked many times in my journey what I am about.  For some, they don’t see a clear message. Possibly this is because there are multiple messages that I am communicating to different target groups.

To clarify this lack of understanding, I have crafted this statement that gives a clearer overview of what I want to communicate.

My messages are:

1. For women who have not considered their GYN health, become more GYN health aware.  Get your pap smears, visit your gps, ask the questions and don’t put off your GYN health.  Be proactive.

2. For women who have recently discovered a GYN issue, be educated about your own body and confident to seek out the best possible help for your recovery journey.  It’s your body, it’s your journey, own it and don’t be afraid to say no to something that you don’t think will get the best possible outcome for you.

3. For women who are in recovery from or living with a GYN issue, seek out other women who will understand your journey and be connected.  You don’t have to sit in silence and suffer alone.  Talk to people. Let them go on the journey with you and provide you with support.

4. For the broader community, be open to conversations on the topic of GYN health, gain your own knowledge and be more understanding and compassionate about the challenges women face.  Corporates, Men, Schools, be open to talking about GYN health and helping to save lives and better support women with GYN challenges.

I often speak about Vulvas and Vaginas and the difference. People don’t really understand why I am so passionate about this.  They say, “but it’s only a word, kath.” But I say that it is more than just a word.  It is a pervading attitude that has been with us for centuries that says that women are too dumb to understand correct terminology so it has to be dumbed down for them. But also that their sexual organs are in some way shameful (Pudendum:  Latin meaning, female genitalia, one who should and out to be ashamed, the shameful part of a woman). I refuse to be ashamed.  It might be just a word for some, but I am seeing the bigger giant sitting behind the word.  It is time for women to step into their big girl panties and be educated. To celebrate all of who they are and demand respect.

The bottom line is, we can call our sexual organs all the pet names under the sun and I have a list for those who’d like to see it - there are many names!!! - but when you go to see your doctor, they identify that part of your anatomy by it’s real medical name.

Viva la vulva!

How to get involved:

  1. Go to kathmazzella.com/IGAD and download the IGAD Kit, which takes you step by step through the process of how to celebrate and share the message.

    Join the Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/KathMazzellaUBUCampaign/and join in the fun!

  2. Make the decision to celebrate the IGAD on 10 September

  3. Book Kath to come and speak to your group or to do an Undies for Better Understanding Workshop with your community or corporate group.

Article by Kath Mazzella OAM