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Byron Shire
August 18, 2022

Vulvas

Latest News

Food, drink and craft brewery ’in principle’ approval for Tweed South Industrial Estate

Industrial estate zoning was under question at Tweed Council's planning meeting on 4 August as councillors endorsed the development application (DA) for an ‘artisan food and drink industry including craft brewery, retail area and restaurant at Industry Drive Tweed Heads South. 

Other News

Power of the people

Katherine (Letters, 3 August) asked ‘can the power of the people compete...’? The answer is in the recent federal election:...

Planning Dept investigates Splendour festival site

The company which owns and manages North Byron Parklands is being investigated by the NSW Department of Planning over traffic safety breaches that occurred during last month’s Splendour in the Grass festival.

The Bogong

The Byron Writers Festival has partnered with Blak & Bright curator Jane Harrison to present The Bogong, a Blak version of The Moth. The Bogong, Hosted by Danny Teece-Johnson, is a celebration of the lived experience in crafted spoken word form. Featuring six First Nations storytellers, it’a feast for the ears.

Kids Big Day Out at the Byron Writers Festival 2022

If you are a kid, or you know a kid who loves books, reading and creativity, then Byron Writers Festival’s ‘Kids Big Day Out’ on Sunday 28 August is the ultimate event for you!

Fairy of the week – 17 August, 2022

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don't be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

A chance for young poets to shine

Youth poets across the region are being invited to take part in the John West Youth Poetry Cup in Byron Bay on August 27.

Many Nolan is valiantly trying to make an important point in her article ‘Vaginas are us’, in the face of the escalating trend in seeking an illusory image of bodily perfection.

However, her point would be far more effectively made had she used the correct terminology. The vagina is only a very small part, the internal part, otherwise known as the birth canal, of the female genitalia. The external, visible area of the genitalia, which includes the labia, clitoral hood and other features is NOT the vagina; more correctly, it should be called the vulva.

This is more than a pedantic issue. I am aware of many women who experience discomfort or itching in the genital area and complain about it as an ‘itchy vagina’ have been misdiagnosed with, and treated for, conditions such as thrush; only to gain no relief and later learn that they have a condition of the vulva such as lichen sclerosus which may lead to vulvar cancer, which often necessitates the surgical removal of the entire external genitalia. As you can imagine, this has very traumatic and lasting psychological impacts on the women concerned, and sometimes on their intimate relationships. Such cancers are more common than you may think, as most people are uncomfortable discussing them and they do not generate anything like the same public awareness as, say, breast cancer. 

Many of these cases could have been prevented if only we had learned to use the correct terminology when referring to those parts of our anatomy. I have a friend who is a survivor of brutal vulvar cancer surgery and for the past 27 years has tirelessly advocated greater awareness of this issue, and I write this letter in support of her efforts.

My message to Mandy, and to all women, is that we need to clarify our communications in relation to those parts of our bodies by always using the correct terminology.

Jill Garsden, Goonellabah 


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